I am marrying a man who has a 6 year old daughter. I love her very much and am pleased to have her be a part of our ceremony. My fiance’ wants to include her in many different ways in the ceremony because he wants her to feel that it is for her as well as us ( blending of our family). But I feel like there will be more of a focus on her then on the two of us.
He would like when my father walks me down the aisle that he join my hand with my fiance’s daughter and his hand while the Pastor greets the congregation. Then during the vows, he would like her to hand us the rings, so that she can be a part of that but without saying anything. I wanted her to be a part of the unity candle ( I have purchased 3 tapers and we will all light the candle together). He also wants the three of us to walk out together. We are not having a ceremony in a church. I am crazy for thinking this is too much involvement in the ceremony? Please help!?
Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Obviously,your fiance’ wants to make a strong statement to his daughter that she will continued to be involved in his and your life, and that you are now a family. An important question: Where is her biological mother? If she is still involved in this little girl’s life, some of this may be inappropriate.
For example, his first idea: “He would like when my father walks me down the aisle that he join my hand with my fiance’s daughter and his hand while the Pastor greets the congregation.” This is not usually done. This need not be done.
“Then during the vows, he would like her to hand us the rings, so that she can be a part of that but without saying anything.” Absolutely appropriate and traditional.
“I wanted her to be a part of the unity candle ( I have purchased 3 tapers and we will all light the candle together).” This is a lovely and clear message that you are a family now. However, if you think there is too much emphasis on her, then why not leave this out?
“He also wants the three of us to walk out together.” Given her age, I think that would be adorable. The two of you can walk out arm and arm and he can hold her hand with his free hand.
These are matters of the hearts and matters for discussion…
What is wonderful is that you both love her very much and you both want her included. The main focus is your marriage.
The rest you can work out!
Yvonne Kelly, MSW, RSW, Certified Stepfamily Counsellor and Coach
I would agree with the advice given. I think the Unity Candle is nice but from my understanding is used when there is no other way to signify the new family and that will be accomplished in other ways. When I married my husband he had two daughters; they were 9 and 15 at the time. One did a reading, one sang, they joined us as we read our vows to each other and accompanied us down the aisle together, one on either side. Now my husband had been a widower so there wasn’t a biological mom in the picture who may have been sensitive to this level of involvement, so that may present a different set of circumstances than you are bringing here. Bottomline, whatever fits for the two of you is probably fine. If you already have a couple of ways of signifying this then that is probably sufficient. I would also agree that you walking with your father down the aisle should be just left to you and your Dad. What you do during the ceremony can symbolize your new life together and I think you have that more than covered.
One more word of advice though, don’t compromise entirely just to satisfy your partner’s need to absolutely feel that his daughter is included. Feel good about being honest with him and letting him know that the father daughter walk is important for you to do it your way. Too often stepparents compromise on more than they are really comfortable with and resentment can begin to seep in, so as long as you are taking everyone else’s feelings and needs in to consideration, don’t forget about your own. You are an important part of this equation as well and it’s okay for you to express what you feel and what you need. Start that way now and it will be easier along the way.
Best of Luck!!
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc
As Yvonne said, “the real stuff happens after the wedding”. However, what you do during the wedding planning can set a precedence for your marriage. Work together to come to the best conclusion. Also remember that you are marrying a man with a small child, so she must fit into many areas of your married life. The three of you will be a family.