Three Ways to Include your Kids in Your Wedding Ceremony

A Handfasting, a Unity Sand Ceremony and a Broom Jump - A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
Somerset Celebrant - Unity Sand Ceremony for Blended Family
The Somerset Celebrant - Unity Sand Ceremony
The Somerset Celebrant - Unity Sand Ceremony
The Somerset Celebrant - HandfastingCeremony
The Somerset Celebrant - HandfastingCeremony

3 ways to include your kids in your wedding ceremony.

I am often asked, ‘How can we include our kids in our wedding ceremony?’

Hannah and Chris included their five children throughout their wedding. It  was a beautiful celebration, not only of their love for one another, but also of their love for their children, and for the new blended family that had been created by their union. It was a celebration of family.

Their children were involved in the ceremony in traditional ways, for example, they had roles such as best man, matron of honour and bridesmaids.

But what made Hannah and Chris’s wedding so unique, and personal, was the way they included them in three beautiful elements, a Unity Sand Ceremony, a Hand Fasting and a Broom Jump. In their different ways, these elements symbolised their joining together in creating a new family of seven. 

Each member of the family chose their favourite colour to represent them in the unity elements. This gave us a bright collection of yellow, blue, mint green, red, purple, sand and orange, colours, which were just perfect for their festival themed wedding.

3 ways to include your kids in your wedding ceremony is through  including unity elements. 

1  –   A Unity Sand Ceremony

What is a Unity Sand Ceremony?

The unity sand ceremony is a tradition in which the couple, and sometimes family members, pour sand from separate vessels into a unified, central one.

It is a beautiful and very visual representation of the ties that are being created through the wedding ceremony, and is meaningful in different ways for every couple.

A Unity Sand Ceremony

The Unity Sand Ceremony in Hannah and Chris’s wedding ceremony, symbolised and celebrated the new blended family that was being created through their union.

As they poured their sand from their individual containers, something beautiful and unique was created, something that can never be separated or return to what it was.

It also created a beautiful keepsake of the wedding, a colourful work of art that represents how each member of their family complement one another, through their blending together.

3 ways to include your kids in your wedding ceremony is through  including unity elements. 

2 – A Handfasting Ceremony

What is a Handfasting Ceremony?

It is widely believed that the tradition of Handfasting was first practised by the ancient Celts and dates back as far as 7,000BC. In this ancient ritual, hands are tied together to symbolise the binding of two lives.

Phrases like ‘tying the knot’ and ‘asking for your hand in marriage’ probably originate from handfasting ceremonies. (Maybe even, ‘tied to the kitchen sink!)

Whilst handfastings are often included in Wiccan or Pagan ceremonies, they have become more mainstream.

Today, the tradition can be incorporated into the wedding ceremony or is the main event itself.

In addition to the binding of hands, vows are also typically exchanged.

There are many different ways to ‘tie the knot’ and each handfasting is unique to the couple.



A Handfasting Ceremony

Hannah and Chris ‘tied the knot’ with a very colourful seven ribbon handfasting.

Each of the colours represented a value that was important to Hannah and Chris in their marriage.

Each of the colours also represented a member of their family, A theme which ran through their ceremony and was reflected in their unity sand ceremony and the broom jump.

The binding of the hands, and the tying of ribbons, symbolically represented the uniting of their family, and their strength through shared values.

The unity cord was a Kumihimo braid I made, using seven cords of similar colours to the ribbons.

As Hannah and Chris didn’t exchange rings, Chris’s son presented the unity cord and helped to tie the knot.

We hadn’t met up beforehand to practise it, we just went for it on the day, and it was perfect!



 Somerset Celebrant - Handfasting Ceremony

This for you, for both of you,
a small poem of happiness
filled with small glories and little triumphs
a fragile, short cheerful song
filled with hope and all sorts of futures

Because at weddings we imagine the future
Because it’s all about “what happened next?”
all the work and negotiation and building and talk
that makes even the tiniest happily ever after
something to be proud of for a wee forever

This is a small thought for both of you
like a feather or a prayer,
a wish of trust and love and hope
and fine brave hearts and true.

Like a tower, or a house made all of bones and dreams
and tomorrows and tomorrows and tomorrows
Neil Gaiman

Somerset Wedding Celebrant -  Broom Jumping Ceremony
Somerset Wedding Celebrant - Broom Jump Ceremony
Somerset Wedding Celebrant -  Outdoor Woodland Ceremony
Somerset Wedding Celebrant -  Confetti

3 ways to include your kids in your wedding ceremony is through  including unity elements. 

3 – A Broom Jumping

What is a Broom Jumping?

The tradition of jumping the broom symbolises the sweeping away of the old and the welcoming of the new.

The broom was chosen because it has been the symbol of the home for many different cultures, throughout history and represents the threshold between past and present, a symbol of new beginnings.

There are many conflicting accounts about the origin of the ritual of jumping the broom., some argue that it originated in West Africa, others, that it started closer to home,  in Wales.

In Wales, Roma people’s marriages were not recognised by the church, so they would have “Besom Weddings.”

With these kinds of weddings, couples would jump over the besom or broom without touching it to get married.

A Broom Jumping Ceremony

When Hannah and Chris jumped the broom together, It was a fantastic finale to an unforgettable wedding ceremony.

The broom was decorated with seven brightly coloured ribbons, each one had been chosen by a member of the family, to represent them. In this way, their children were symbolically involved in the broom jump, without having to actually jump with Hannah and Chris.

The colours matched the the  Handfasting ribbons, and also the colours of the sand in the Sand Ceremony. This united the three elements, in a very meaningful and symbolic way.

Hannah and Chris jumped the broom to signify their crossing of a threshold into a new relationship as husband and wife, and were taking their family with them.

When Hannah and Chris picked up the broom and swept together, it rather surprised the guests, who were certainly not expecting it, and found it rather amusing.

Their sweeping showed their dedication to work together, through all life’s circumstances.

Once they had finished sweeping, I laid the broom in front of them and invited the guests to encourage them to jump.

We all counted down from three and shouted ‘Jump!’ and everyone roared and clapped with delight as Hannah and Chris leapt over the broom.

They literally ended their amazing wedding ceremony on a high!

3 ways to include your kids in your wedding ceremony 

I hope these 3 ways to include your kids in your wedding ceremony, inspire you and fill you full of ideas for your wedding ceremony.

As you have seen, including special elements in your ceremony enable you to involve your children in a way that is meaningful and personal to you.

Many thanks

I’d like to thank Hannah and Chris for their kindness in allowing me to share their wonderful ceremony. It really was a a joy for me to be part in such an amazing wedding.

Pics Lucie Hamilton Photography

Further Reading

3 ways to include your kids in your ceremony could be through choosing different elements to Hannah and Chris.

More ideas can be found in the links below.

The Elements series:

A Ring Warming Ceremony

A Parchment Signing Ceremony

A Unity Sand Ceremony

An Arras Money Ceremony

A Unity Candle Ceremony

A Jumping The Broom Ceremony

 A Wine Box Ceremony




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