A recent bride asked my opinion, as a company with great experience with dressing children for weddings what she could do to make her soon to be step-daughter, who was going to be 9 years old at the time of the wedding, a bit happier about the upcoming nuptials. Knowing that many children are sometimes torn between the family she has known and what is about to be, I wanted to see if I could help them decide what the best thing to wear for her young lady-to-be. These older girls, usually Jr. Bridesmaids, have strong opinions about what they should wear and also their role in their about-to-be new family.
There are so many emotions tied up in wedding planning for new families about to form. Sadly too, the first wife doesn’t have the best interest of the child in mind and can make it unpleasant for the child, almost sabotaging matters, and deliberately uncooperative with important preparations like proper measurements for the child.
But, thankfully, this is many times not true and your job as the step mom to be is to help make life easier so what better time than to ask the child to help participate in the responsibilities of planning your wedding?! You may find this is an easy time to bond since so much of the decisions that have to be made are also a great way in finding out what her likes and dislikes are. A trip together to the florist may show that she has an affinity for organization or a particular color preference. Likewise, a planning trip with your bridal consultant can make for interesting conversation and help the children become active participants in the wedding.
About a year ago, I had one new step-mom to be call me, almost in a whisper, deciding what dress she should be wearing as a flower girl in her wedding. After about 10 minutes of conversation with the bride, I asked her whether her fiancé’s daughter could get on the phone with me. For about 15 minutes, after I found out from the girl that the color in her parents wedding was the same the bride was considering and about 20 other things that was getting in the way of this little girls future with her step-mom to be, I then got back on the phone with the bride, who was of course listening all the time to the little girl. Ella, my bride was so happy that I took the time to talk to the two of them and most importantly was able to hear what her new step-child was worried about – some of the concerns were over my head of course but after I got off the phone with the two of them I felt, in some small way, that I was able to facilitate some better communication between the two.
Weeks later, with a similar scenario, I felt more comfortable suggesting to the mom to be, this time sans the conversation with the child, that all her new step child needed was to feel like she had a say and some contribution to the wedding of her father. Silly as it may have sounded, I suggested to the bride that perhaps let this 14 year old walk down the aisle with her dad because after all, she was about to give away her father to a new family as well.
I don’t remember after all this conversation exactly what was chosen for these children’s wedding attire but I did feel that I was able to play a small part in helping to make these girls feel better about their new families.