In Thailand wedding ceremonies tend to be very relaxed and it’s really easy to include children. Some may be a little shy at first but since the ceremony will probably be held on the beach most quickly get into the spirit of things and have lots of fun.
Some children, however, really don’t want to be included in activities where they feel everyone will be looking at them, so don’t force them to participate. They may be happiest just being part of the audience. In order to find out who will make a great participant, use your intuition and your knowledge of the child. Ask yourself if he or she is old enough – it’s best not to involve children under the age of 5 as they may suddenly become scared or just be plain tired out. Remember jet lag effects children, too.
If you’re bringing children with you to Thailand or people in your group are, then there are several ways in which they can be directly incorporated in the ceremony.
Junior bridesmaids tend to be older children or even teenagers and are usually between the ages of 8 and 16. Their duties are fairly simple: they precede the bridesmaids and wait for everyone by the altar. They’re usually dressed in the same way as the other bridesmaids or wear a variation of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
Flower girls precede the bride as she comes towards the podium. Their job is a traditional one – to scatter petals on the ground in front of the bride, symbolizing a wonderful future. At a beach wedding, you certainly don’t need to stick to any traditions, however, and you could equally well have flower boys.
Ring bearers are traditionally boys, but again there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a girl ring bearer. The task sounds easy: the bearer hands the rings to the bride and groom. The rings are usually placed together on a small ornamental cushion. The worst thing that can happen is for the rings to be dropped on the sand – the danger is they’ll simply disappear. Once everyone has frantically scrabbled around, they’ll appear sooner or later, but it’s best to avoid this scenario. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have two ring bearers: one for the bride and one for the groom.
Candle lighters are rare at beach weddings. This is simply because most ceremonies are held on the beach and there’s usually some kind of breeze, which tends to automatically blow out any candles. The job of lighting wedding candles is considered a difficult one anyway. Some couples opt for their own candle lighting ceremonies, in which they themselves do the lighting.
Children can be wonderful at wedding ceremonies and usually add their own special touch to the proceedings. If the ceremony is being filmed, they add a lot of charm to the footage. More than this, if they are included, it makes the day feel extra special for them