Blended families are extremely common in today’s world. In fact, approximately one third of weddings form a blended family. Whether you’re marrying someone who has children, or you have children of your own from a previous relationship, your wedding day is as much for you as a new family as it is for you and your future spouse. We’ve rounded up a few ideas to make room for everyone in your blended family on your special day.

Assign Them a Role 

One of the best ways to make the children feel like they’re a part of your special day is to actually assign them a role. Whether it’s as a flower girl or ring bearer if they’re young, or standing by you and your future spouse at the altar if they’re older, they’ll appreciate looking back on your wedding and knowing they played an important part.

Make a Family Vow 

Your wedding ceremony is an opportunity to promise your love and respect to your future life partner. When you’re joining two families, however, that promise extends to the children just as much as it does to the adults. Take a moment before you say “I Do” to promise to cherish, love and protect the children of your beloved to show them that you’re as committed to them as you are to their mom or dad. 

Coordinate Your Ensemble 

Have your outfits match or complement each other in some way. Even if you’re already planning to have the children be a part of the wedding party, a special ensemble will spotlight their importance on your wedding day, and as a part of your new family. Matching ensembles shows your guests, and the children themselves, that you’re all on the same team. Fathers and sons can coordinate tuxedos or wear matching shoes and ties, while mothers and daughters can wear the same color dress or match their accessories.

Incorporate a Family Unity Ritual 

The unity candle is a part of many wedding ceremonies, in which each partner adds the light from their individual flame to one, big candle, symbolizing the joining together of their lives. The same idea can be applied to uniting a new family. There are many twists on this traditional ritual, but our favorite is the candy jar. Each individual has a small mason jar filled with their favorite candy and labeled with their name. The candies are then poured together into one, large jar labeled with the new family name, or simply with the word, “us.” The mixture of the candies represents the individual strengths and talents that each person brings to form a new, united family. 

Have a Family Dance

Want to represent your new family in a fun, upbeat way? After you and your new spouse have your first dance, invite the rest of the family to join you on the dance floor for a family dance. Choose a song that’s upbeat, or better yet, let the children choose their favorite song for you to dance to.