My partner and I are in our 40’s and planning a wedding. We have both been married before, and we both have school-aged children from our first marriages. Our kids get along well with each other, and we get along well with each other’s kids. They all want us to get married. However, we do not want to include any of our kids in our actual wedding ceremony. When we told our kids this, they were very upset. I have always thought it was weird when people get remarried and have their kids from previous marriages in the wedding party. I’m not sure kids should participate in a new marriage when the prior, failed marriages were the whole reason the kids exist to begin with. I worry about how other people will view our kids’ participation in the ceremony, and I also don’t want the kids to dictate our wedding plans. What do you think?
Ceremonial in Soldotna
Dear Ceremonial in Soldotna,
In my opinion, you and your partner should do whatever makes you comfortable in terms of a wedding, be it just the two of you on a bluff somewhere, a courthouse administrative job, or a big to-do involving all of your extended families and children. So I agree that you should not let anyone else, including your kids, dictate your wedding plans.
However, I do not think it is "weird"—nor do I think it will be perceived as weird—to have your kids be part of your wedding ceremony. The fact that your kids “would not exist but for prior failed marriages” has nothing to do with the fact that everyone is moving forward in a new joint life together. Not that anyone else’s opinion matters (it doesn’t), but it strikes me as very normal and almost expected to have your kids—who will be part of a blended family—be part of the ceremony that actually blends that family together.