How to Incorporate Son into Wedding...

Updated on May 23, 2011
L.P. asks from Uniontown, PA
17 answers

I am getting married this Saturday. I have a 5 year old son, who is not my fiance's son. They love each other and get along well, but if you're the least bit familiar with any of my past posts, you might remember that I'm completely paranoid about my son being raised as a *step-child*... I just worry so much that somehow this will not be a good experience for him, although I have absolutely no concrete reason to feel that way in our situation. I guess my fears come from so many step families gone wrong that I've seen.

Anyhow, I asked a question last week about what gift I could give for my son at our wedding. He is the ring bearer, btw. I decided on a ring, because he has wanted a ring for a while, plus I thought it would be a nice statement, with my fiance and I exchanging rings, that he'll be getting a ring too. Kind of like we are all making a committment to each other, all of us. Not just me to my fiance, or him to me. My son is my first priority, and will remain so even after this marriage. So I want him to know that I/we are committed to him. I actually got him the same ring my fiance will wear in a smaller size. My 5 year old has serious man paws - lol - so I was able to buy him an adult size 6 ring...

So my question is this... I am thinking of asking the pastor to somehow include my son in the ring exchange part of the ceremony. (Good Lord, I tear up just typing that...) I was thinking that maybe after we exchange our rings, the pastor could call my son over, make a little statement to him about our committment to him, and about us becoming a family, something like that. I know this will be really emotional, and I'm totally NOT for making things more emotional than need be. But I also think it is important that my son know how loved he is (which I'm sure he already does), but also to feel truly a part of the ceremony and of our new family.

What do you think? Good idea? Too emotional? Just silly? If I do choose to do this, I'd have to tell the pastor exactly what to say, so I'd love to hear your suggestions for ideas of what she could say as well.

Looking forward to your suggestions...

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So What Happened?

Read Karen B's response, and I have to respectfully disagree. When my fiance decided to marry me, he decided to marry us, my son and me. He decided to make a committment to us being a family. I do understand that there has to be a component of our family that is "husband and wife" and that component must be nurtured separately from the family, just as my relationship with my son needs to be nutured, and my son's relationship with my fiance needs to be nurtured. So I don't agree that this marriage is an entity that is completely separate from my son. I just don't see it that way, and neither does my fiance.

As for my son's father, he is most definitely in the picture, he and I have a lovely friendship. He wants my son to be happy and feel loved in his new family situation. He knows that he can't be there for my son everyday, so he's grateful that my son will have a loving family to be there for him and with him on a daily basis. He sees my son at least weekly, and they have a wonderful relationship and bond.

And lastly, the idea of giving my son a ring being "gross," well, I really don't see that, at all, and I have to say that I kind of take a little offense at the suggestion. I know it will make my son feel special, and my fiance loved the idea. My son's father even helped us come up with an idea for something to make our son feel special and loved as this all transpires. We ALL want him to be healthy, well adjusted, and loved. I don't see how in any way this, or a ring, is gross.

I just have to disagree on this one. I understand that there are times when my relationship with my husband will need to be nurtured, and at those times, his/our needs will be priority, but never to the detriment of my son. In that way, my son always comes first. That's what I meant, not sure if I wasn't clear.

Kind of a tangent, here, sorry...

Featured Answers



answers from Pittsburgh on

I think it's a WONDERFUL idea!

L.--almost at the finish line now--BEST WISHES to all THREE of you! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fort Wayne on

My cousin did this when she got married. She had a young son from a previous relationship. The step dad gave the son ring and even had "vows" for him! It was SO cute! The step dad basically said the he knew that he was joining lives with the mother and the son and that he promised to be the very best father he could be. He promised to always love him. Then he gave the little boy the ring.

I think that would be totally amazing!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Sacramento on

Great idea! At my sisters wedding, they did a similar thing to give her husbands daughter a necklace. Its so special, and very emotional. I think it will make the day more memorable for everyone, especially your son.

Congratulations on the wedding!!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Many blended family weddings include this and I think it is really important in starting off on the right foot. I would ask your pastor if they already have somthing for this or you two can just speak from the heart.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Please include him in the ceremony that will be so important for him to know that mommy isn't commiting herself to husband & husband isn't commiting himself to mommy but as a "family".Yes it can be done it was done @ my sil's wedding with her 2 girls & his 1 girl I think it has made the whole transition better for all of them.It can be done after you exchange your rings then having the "step daddy" put the ring on your son awww how damn cute & emotional will that be while the pastor is saying a prayer in the acceptance of a new family to be there & guide you as a family.Son being the ring bearer is great our son was but he was 3 at them time & it was so cute,yes he did have our wedding rings in a box.
Your not the only one who worries about your child being raised by a step parent I worry too much about that & I don't have step kids nor does my husband.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Glens Falls on

When one of my friends was remarried, the children from both sides participated in the vows and it was beautiful. They were older than your son so it was a little easier to not overwhelm them. The parents vowed to each other and then vowed to the love and support of their blended family. The children were asked if they agreed to the marriage and promised to love and support their new family and responded "I do". It was very nicely done. I think it's a wonderful idea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

You're going to get varying opinions. Here's mine. Marriage and parenting are TWO SEPARATE THINGS. It's great that you're including your son in the ceremony, as me and my husband did with my oldest. My oldest was 7. Our situation was a bit different as my husband adopted my son directly after getting married. There was no birth father in the picture.

I read your post to my husband and he was a bit against this idea that you are having and was wondering where his birth father is, since he would remain a step son, and what his birth father's opinion is of this. He feels if he were the birth father he would have a huge problem with this because his son wouldn't have anything to do with his mother's marriage, as they're two different things. It's fine to be included but to such an extent seems very overboard.

I agree with my husband. To have the boy involved to include him is one thing but to go to such an extend as to get him a ring is overboard. The ring is something for the bride and groom and represents the never ending circle of love within their marriage. To include the boy almost seems, well, gross, lol. I mean, the 3 of you are not getting married! The son does NOT need a gift as he's not the one getting married. And he should NOT be your 1st priority. Your fiance should feel offended if he's put behind the boy. That can cause problems down the road. The boy is first when circumstances allows it, and your husband is first when circumstances allow it, and YOU are first when circumstances allow it. You're all one family. You all come first together as a team but there are times when one or two of you will come first depending on the circumstance. If there's enough food in the house for one, the boy gets it. If your anniversary comes around and your son demands to be included then sorry, you and your husband comes first. That's like demanding your and your husband are included on your son's birthday when it's his day. Not fair. But I digress.

I feel including him as a ring bearer is more than enough. Someone will have to be in charge of your son for the entire day and night so you and your new husband can enjoy YOUR day. Do not worry about the "step" thing. It is what you make it. Be normal. Act normal. And things will be normal. He shouldn't be treated any different than if he were your new husband's son. I love my kids but if me and my husband were renewing vows and had a big party there's no way I'd be including my kids to such a depth that takes away from me and my husband. Suck it up kids, lol! We have our days and you have yours. It's my day, I love you, but I'm going to enjoy myself. My son had a great time at our wedding! I had someone in charge of him, I danced with him, checked in on him here and there but focused on my day with my new husband. If you set this high of priority to your son now he will only expect more and more as time goes on and that will cause problems in your marriage. Remember, marriage and parenting are two different things. You are not a bad parent if you say that your son is not always your first priority. It's just impossible to do. If my husband brings me home flowers my daughter used to think she should get some too. I finally told her sorry. Not everything is about you. This is between me and my husband, and sometimes I have to use the term "me and my husband" to remind my 5 children that we're not just "mom and dad", we're also husband and wife here.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I like the idea of having the pastor incorporate your son into the ceremony. If the pastor thinks that is inappropriate, you could have your husband say something about how he feels about your son and his commitment to him. I went to a wedding where the bride did this for her husbands children and it was very moving.

If you are having the ceremony video taped, your son will get a kick out of watching it in years to come. It will reinforce that he is an important part of your new family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

During the ceremony have your husband to be give him a ring, or gift to signify that he too is a part of his life as you are. That might be a good way or have your son do something like help light the unity candle or announce you two as married. He might feel special that way.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I think it is beautiful! What a wonderful man you are marrying. I would talk with the pastor about this. It's sort of like a dedication, I don't believe in infant baptism so I had my children dedicated as infants, where I made a commitment to them. I think you should let your fears go, your son is growing up in a house full of love and dedication to family. If you and your husband do have children I'm sure he won't feel like he doesn't belong but he's the big brother...
I hope you have a beautiful wedding day, Congratulations!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I think it's a great idea. At our wedding, we had a unity candle. Instead of just my husband and I lighting the candle, we gave his daughter any my son (both age 5) an unlit candle to hold. We lit our candles, then together lit each child's candle, then all four of us lit the family candle together. The kids then stayed with us on the altar for the remainder of the ceremony and we all walked down the aisle together.

I thought it would be super-emotional and it wasn't really. It was touching, and we had not a dry eye in the chapel, but it wasn't something that made me sob like I thought I might.

I love the idea of a ring - congrats and enjoy your day!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

You've gotten great responses so far! I think it's so important to proclaim your unity as a family, not just as husband and wife. We're saying a little something about our kids too (even though 1 is ours together)... I think your idea is wonderful too. I think you'll regret it if you don't do a little something with your son, even if it's as simple as 'we are gathered here today to join [you] and [hubby] as husband and wife, and to recognize their unity as a family unite with [your son]'... that's kind of along the lines of what we're doing. GOOD LUCK!!! I'M SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

I think it is beautiful.
Talk to your Pastor - I am sure he will have an appropriate way to incorporate your son into the ceremony.

Have a wonderful wedding and an even more wonderful marriage

God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, L.:

I was feeling somewhat confused by your information.
A child is to be kept safe, nurtured, and disciplined among other characteristics.

I was wonderiing what your son's involvement was symbolizing to you on a deeper level.

I thought maybe you all need a circle dialogue with the three of you and each of you anser these questios:

1.What do you think about now that you realize this wedding is happening>
2. What are you most concerned about?
3. What is the hardest thing for you now that it is happening?
4. What do you need to make this relationships work?

Just a thought.
Congratulations and all the best.

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answers from Cleveland on

LOVE it!!! My son was alot older when I got married, so he along w/ my dad gave me away. My husband surprised us all by mid-ceremony turning to my son, and makiing a beautiful "speech" about how he was honored to be becoming part of his life, and that when he fell in love w/ me he fell in love w/ him too. (now I'm getting teary lol)
I think you should definately incorporate him w/ a ring, and BOTH of you say something to him. How this day means you are all "officially" becomming a family, and how you both promise to always take care of each other, love and support one another, and that he is just as an important part of this day as the two of you!!!
I also had a seperate Mom/Son dance w/ my son, and the song was "I hope you dance" by LeeAnn Womack. Can't be more fitting for a mom and child :) CONGRATS!!!! Enjoy your day!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

When my aunt married my uncle, my cousin (girl, so his step-daughter) was about four or five years old. He prepared vows for my cousin that he read right after he made his vows to my aunt. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I think it is a great idea, and I have seen it done at 2 weddings. One the pastor said that pretty much what you said, about the committment being made between no only the couple, but also the child, and that the family circle was now comeplete. At the other the groom kneeled down to the daughter of the bride and gave her the ring and talked directly to her. Those of us in the pwes couldn't hear what he said, but it was a very sweet moment. He then kissed her on the cheek and it was done.

1 mom found this helpful
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