Family is already a sensitive subject sometimes so when you add in a wedding there is bound to be some obstacles. Who should you include? How should you include them? Things can get tricky when it comes to family and weddings, so we are here to help you navigate through that and help you avoid hurting anyone’s feelings along the way!
If you are lucky enough to have grandparents still living, the perfect way to honor them is including them in the processional with a prime seat in the first or second rows. Ordering corsages and boutonnieres is a nice touch; grandparents always appreciate the more traditional aspects.
If your grandparents are no longer here, honor them with a small memorial display of a picture. A cute sign and candles with greenery is always a way to spruce up the sad sentiment.
Hopefully, your parents have been a crucial part of your life leading up to this day so it is thoughtful to honor that. Start off by including your parents in your processional. Whether they are still married or not, they can process together or separately so this is a safe way to include everyone equally.
Of course, tradition will have it that the father of the bride escorts the bride down the aisle. If you have that kind of relationship with your dad and want to keep to tradition, a dad always enjoys that moment with his daughter! If your dad is no longer around or not in the picture in that way, it is totally okay to bypass this tradition! Maybe your mom wants to escort you in addition to your dad or maybe you are following the Jewish tradition! Another way to include moms at the ceremony is through a rose ceremony presentation or the lighting of an unity candle.
At the reception, include your parents in the introductions, or at least give them a shout out during introductions for an extra nod to their importance! Also, you could let your parents give a welcome speech (assuming they are hosting) at the start of the reception. Prefer to give the welcome yourself? Mention your parents in the speech for their ongoing love and support.
The most common way people include any siblings is by having them as a part of the bridal party. However, maybe the groom isn’t super close with the bride’s brother or vice versa with the bride and groom’s sister, there are tons of other ways to recognize siblings (including mixing up guys and gals on either side!)
Have your brother serve as an usher pre-ceremony or as an escort for grandparents or parents during the processional. Maybe your brother was more of a father figure growing up because your dad wasn’t in the picture. If that’s the case, ask him to walk you down the aisle.
A reading is also a great way to include any sibling in the ceremony. Honor your siblings with a corsage/boutonniere, even if they are not in the bridal party, and snag them a front row seat at the ceremony. At the reception (or rehearsal dinner), offer them the chance to give a speech if you trust them!
Any aunts, uncles and cousins that you may have an extra close relationship with are easily honored with a reserved seat at the ceremony and possibly even a reading during the ceremony. Also, pre wedding, an invite to the rehearsal dinner is a nice nod to their importance to you.
Photo Credit: Katherine Elena Photography