There are so many ways to involve kids. If they are younger, you can have them exchange vows with their step-parent to be. One of my favorite exchanges is this one:
The vows exchanged here today between _____ & _____ have created a whole new family. To make their commitment to the new family complete, they wish to include _____ & (child/children) _____ and recognize them as an integral part of this marriage.
Do you (step-parent) _____, take _____, to be the (child/children) of your heart, to love and to hug, in tears and in laughter, through triumphs and growing pains, as long as you shall all be together?
And do you _____, take _____, to be your step-(mom/dad), your friend, accomplice and fellow conspirator, to love and to hug, as long as you shall be together?
Do you (parent of child/children) _____, promise to support this/these relationship(s), to give them room to breathe, to encourage their special bonds with each other and to love them through it all?
Many times the bride and groom will honor the creation of the new family with a family pendant.
Another nice way to include children is to perform a unity sand ceremony. Instead of just the bride and groom pouring the sand, each child will also pour sand into the unity vessel. They can even pick their favorite color sand.
If the kids are older, why not have them as part of the wedding party? If they are outgoing, they can even offer a reading during the ceremony – something they feel expresses their thoughts toward the union of their parent to another spouse or the creation of an extended family.
Sometimes the blending of families can be a challenge. It's difficult to accept that mom or dad is getting remarried. But if you are up front with your feelings for them as your children and stress that their acceptance of your new spouse means a lot to them, they might surprise you – especially when you give them an important role in the ceremony and an integral part of the relationship overall. Remember, love breeds love.