Ways to Include Family Members in Your Wedding

Photo courtesy of Jolynne Photography

Last Friday, I drove up to New Market, MD to visit family (hence the reason there was no blog post that day!).  My aunt & cousin were in town from Indianapolis, IN and staying at my other aunt’s house.  It was nice to have some girl time and get to see my family.  One evening, my cousin and I got into a conversation about who would be in our bridal party if we were planning our own weddings right now.  I started thinking about how people often include family members in their weddings.  Sometimes, it is difficult to include everyone in your bridal party, seeing as a larger bridal party can sometimes be overwhelming & expensive and there are many others that need to be included there as well.  Catherine had such a large family (and bridal party) that she had to find alternative ways to include important family members.  If you are interested in including family members in other ways in your wedding, here’s a few ideas for ways to do it!

1) Include them in a special unity ceremony.  Adel & Max had a tree-planting ceremony, where they used soil from gardens belonging to Adel’s mother, Adel’s step-mother, & Max’s mother.  Including family members in  a unity ceremony, like tree-planting or sand ceremonies, will represent the unity of your families, rather than just you and your spouse.

2) Allow them to read at your ceremony.  Include family members by allow them to do some special reading during your ceremony.  It could be Biblical Scripture or even just some special passage that is meaningful to you and your spouse.  For example, Catherine‘s sister read a beautiful passage by Robert Fulghum called Union.

3) Slideshow.  Include a slideshow at your rehearsal dinner or reception with photos of your closest friends and family members.  That way, guests can see who is closest to the couple through pictures!

Photo courtesy of Luster Studios

4) Toast.  Allow some very special family members to give a toast at your rehearsal dinner or reception.   Just make sure there is a limit on the number and length of toasts so they don’t take up your entire reception!

Finally, don’t be afraid to not include some family members in your wedding.  This is your special day and just because someone may expect to have a role in your wedding, does not mean you have to include them.  Politely explain to them that there is simply no way to include every important person in your wedding.  Perhaps a slideshow would help to alleviate the “hurt feelings” of those who aren’t involved directly.  Or, give them some small task in the planning or day-of to be in charge of so they still feel significant.

What other ideas can you think of to include family members in your wedding day?

Happy Monday!


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