Building Your New Family
Laying the groundworkHere are some suggestions on how to help the transition go smoothly.
Talking to Family
- Inform your children of the engagement before telling anyone else, including your parents--and especially before telling your ex-spouse(s).
- Speak with your children alone, without their future stepparent present. This way, the children will feel more comfortable expressing any concerns and asking questions.
- Include your children in some of the time you spend with your fiancé/fiancée, to give them a chance to get to know one another better.
- Assure your children of your love for them. Let them know that although your family situation is going to change, they are always going to be a major part of it.
Involving your children in the weddingHere are some popular ways for children to participate in a second wedding.
Planning the wedding
- Helping the parent select his or her wedding outfit (a daughter might help her mother choose her bridal gown, for example)
- Picking out their own outfits to wear at the wedding
- Giving suggestions for the flavor of the wedding cake
- Helping the couple select family items on their gift registry
At the ceremony
- Serving as a junior bridesmaid or usher or, for younger children, a flower girl or ring bearer
- Doing a reading during the service (younger children could read a very short poem)
- Handing out ceremony programs to guests as they arrive
At the reception
- Watching over the signing of the guest book when guests first arrive
- Handing out party favors
- Joining in the first dance partway through