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Blended Family Ceremony

Most often we think of marriage as the joining of two people to be wife and husband. In reality, marriage is often much more than that. It is also the coming together and merging of family and friends. When the bride and/or groom have children, it is appropriate for the children to be included in the wedding ceremony. With children present, the wedding ceremony also becomes the proclamation of a new family or a "family wedding."

Generally speaking, children will accept a parent's remarriage more readily when they feel included in the wedding plans, the wedding ceremony and are given a tangible symbol of being embraced by a new family; perhaps a beautiful bracelet, a gold-banded birthstone ring or some other significant token of love.

Blended families are often referred to as step-families or co-families. This ceremony can easily be incorporated into the wedding ceremony.

Pouring different colored sands together is another way to symbolize the joining of the bride and groom and their family together. See the Blending of the Sands Ceremony.

•    •    •

Blended Family Ceremony #1

Officiant Remarks: It is the desire of _________ and _________ to extend their commitments to each other by making some promises to the children of this family. As you all join hands to form a new circle of love, we will seal this union with spoken promises like the rings this bride and groom have exchanged.

Officiant to the Bride/Groom: Do you _________ and _________, promise to be faithful, loving, tender and nurturing parents, always there for _________ (child/children's name), not only providing their/her/his physical needs, but their/her/his emotional needs as well, always a good listener, a loving counselor and a friend?

Bride & Groom: We do.

Officiant to the Mother/Father (Speaking to the Child/Children): (Repeat after me). _________, I want you to know that I love your mother/father very much. I will not and cannot replace a mother/father loved by you, however I can promise you that I will love you and care for you as if you were my own. I promise to be a committed listener. I promise you my trust, to be fair, my support, what knowledge I can share, to be your friend, and to provide a shoulder to cry on. I promise to be available to you as I am to your mother/father.

Bride/Groom to Child/Children: _________, I give you this _________ (gift) as a sign of my loving promises made this day.

Officiant to Child/Children: Do you accept the promises made by _________?

Child/Children: I do or We do.

Officiant: May a kind God now bless you all as family, and bless this marriage and this home, wherever you may be. And so it is.

•    •    •

Blended Family Ceremony #2

Officiant: There are children who will share in this marriage. The gathering of this new family will have a deep influence upon them. It will both complicate and enrich their lives. They will also have much to contribute to this new family. We realize that in order for the home to be a happy one, it is essential that there be love and understanding between the children and the adults being married.

Officiant to Bride and Groom: Is your love for each other broad enough to include _________ (name the child/children) and deep enough to honor their/her/his presence in this marriage and to pledge yourselves to love and care for them/her/him?

Bride and Groom: We will.

Officiant to Child/Children: You are a vital part of this new marriage. _________ and _________ give you their unconditional love and honor your presence in their lives.  _________, you will have a share in this union, for your life/lives will be touched by the covenant being made here today. Your participation is requested to help develop the bonds of a new family.

As _________ and _________ have exchanged their pledges in holy union, we ask from you also a pledge, that you will join together to weave a fabric of mutual help and comfort, of challenge and support, and that you will help create a home and a way of life in which all of you may grow into the fullness of the best people you can be. Will you now pledge to do your best to help make a happy and successful home for all of you by your love and cooperation?"

Child/Children: I will or We will.

Officiant: And so it is.

•    •    •

For more information on the following books, click the book title.

Blended Families An Anthology Blended Families An Anthology - Valerie L. Coleman - With divorce, single-parent households and family crises on the rise, many people are experiencing the tumultuous dynamics of blended or stepfamilies. Learn biblical principles and practical tools to successfully blend your family.

The Smart Stepfamily - Ron L. Deal - Perfect for stepfamily adults and single-parents whose children live in a stepfamily part-time. Those considering remarriage can prepare for stepfamily living. Ministry Leaders -- discussion questions at the end of each chapter make it the premier ministry tool for stepfamily groups, Bible classes, and pre-remarital counseling. The Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal

The Stepmom's Guide to Simplifying Your Life The Stepmom's Guide to Simplifying Your Life - Karon Phillips Goodman - A reader friendly guide for stepmothers on how to better achieve balance and a stable family life through simplicity. A book written from the heart. It offers a wealth of dependable advice, illustrative anecdotes, and accessibly practical guidelines for stepmothers everywhere.

Larry's Review: To say stepparenting is a challenge is an understatement. I know. I made lots of mistakes that reading this book would have corrected. It's the most complete compendium of thoughts and ideas on this subject that I know. It's good for stepdads too! Highly recommended.

One Family, Two Family, New Family - Lisa Cohn & William Merkel - A must-read for stepparents, dating single parents and befuddled relatives of stepparents. This book tackles numerous stepfamily challenges during their first years together. It is filled with practical advice about stepparenting plus honest tales from Cohn, Merkel and three other families about the joys, triumphs, heartbreaks and challenges of stepfamily life. One Family, Two Family, New Family

29 Ways To Make Your Stepfamily Work 29 Ways To Make Your Stepfamily Work - Kelly Kirkendoll Shafer - Regardless of your situation, the challenges of stepfamily life are similar and this book will help you find a clear path through uncharted territory. This compact, powerful book tackles tough issues in a practical, personal and optimistic light. From "Preparing the Children" (Way #3) to "The Ex-Factor" (Way #28), the author gives you ideas and creative tips (based on real-life victories and lessons learned) to make your stepfamily life a success.

Step Parenting and the Blended Family: Recognizing the Problems and Overcoming the Obstacle - Scott Wooding - Despite the fact that more than 40 percent of Canadian marriages end in divorce each year, over 70 percent of divorced people eventually remarry and fail again-over 50 percent of the time. Among the many reasons for the failure of these second marriages between supposedly older and wiser participants, the problems stemming from step-parenting and the blending of the families ranks high, explains psychologist and author Scott Wooding in this comprehensive and groundbreaking look at the challenges faced by couples starting over again. Step Parenting and the Blended Family: Recognizing the Problems and Overcoming the Obstacle

For more books on "stepparenting," "blended families" and other related topics, click here.

•    •    •

For more information on "blended families," click here and National Stepfamily Day, click here.

Read: "When Stepfamily Reality Sets In" by Kelly Kirkendoll Shafer, guest author.

Read: "Blended Family Holidays" - After divorce or remarriage, many things change, including seasonal celebrations. Experts agree that minimizing holiday stress is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their kids - here's how.

Read: "Surviving the Blended Family Holiday" by Dawn Miller, guest author.

Read: "Holiday Survival Handbook" - Follow the links to read the entire handbook.

For mare Articles about Blended Families and the Holidays, click here.

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