How To Include Family In Your Wedding
Wedding days are meant to be shared with your family and friends and including them in the lead up and on the day of the wedding can be part of that journey and make it all the more fun, albeit sometimes stressful (depending on your family of course).
Making your family members a part of your wedding, whether that be your mum or mother-in-law, dad, sisters, or grandparents is such a lovely gesture. Trust me, they will want to be involved and totally appreciate you allowing them to be in such a special time of your life.
I think including family members is pretty awesome, as long as it makes you comfortable and you control the level of involvement without mummy getting a bit too over excited about it being her second wedding of course!
Firstly, when considering what level of involvement you want your family to have, honesty is key!
Open and honest communication early on is super important with your family members so there are no preconceived ideas about what you will be doing and no assumptions either.
I’m going to run though key family members and some suggestions for how you might like to include them in your planning or on the day itself.
Father of the Bride
The original tradition was to have dad walk you down the aisle. The premise behind this is for dad to give away his daughter to her new husband. It’s often a very special moment for dad and I find more often than not a tradition that is kept by most brides.
The father daughter dance, again another tradition that often means a lot to your dad, as long as you are both comfortable, is such a nice way to include your dad.
On a smaller note, I find giving dad a few little jobs in the lead up is nice too, often dads are forgotten (not that they want to be coming dress shopping necessarily) but some inclusion is nice, maybe if your dads handy he could make something for the wedding like an arbour or a cake stand. On the day of the wedding you might ask him to deliver something to your venue or collect the ice.
Mother of the Bride
There are stacks of ways that your mum can be included in the wedding planning from attending dress shopping, visiting the venue with you and heaps more. On the day itself, mum will often be all jittery with the day and looking for a job, something simple without putting her to too much work is giving her a couple of small jobs to manage, even as simple as making a platter for the bride and bridesmaids to enjoy in the morning while getting ready or ensuring she is there to help the groomsmen pin on their buttonholes.
During the wedding, we have also seen both mum and dad walk the bride down the aisle and mum make a toast or speech.
Mother of the Groom and Father of the Groom
Whilst there seem to be a lot of traditions including the bride’s parents, let’s not forget the groom’s parents. They are just as big a part of the wedding so ensuring they also feel involved is really lovely too.
Giving some jobs in the lead up is nice, and if you have mini events before the big day e.g. hens party or dress fittings or menu tastings, including them in these may be a good idea.
Often the parents of the groom will do a toast or speech during the reception or maybe a reading at the ceremony.
As with any of these notes, it’s completely your decision, if you are not comfortable including anyone in something and you feel it may take away from your experience, that is totally your decision.
Depending on how close you are to your grandparents, I have seen couples have nan make jams for the guest favours or the wedding cake or desserts for the dessert table. Again, if you have handy family members, put them to work a bit. I bet they will feel really chuffed to be asked!
What about allocating a special comfy seat to the grandparents with a reserved sign, this is such a nice gesture and ensures in the whirlwind of the day they are not forgotten.
Do You Have a Dog?
They are family too! Often couples want their best friends aka their pooch included in the wedding, mostly to walk down the aisle (and if said pet is skilled enough, carrying a ring!) Getting a few happy snaps with your token baby is often really important to the couple after the ceremony, and then a pet sitter or friend can watch the dog afterwards.
Include your brother or sister in the wedding too, depending on how close you are to them, if they live nearby and will be on site the days leading up to your wedding, ask them to help out. Maybe that’s picking up hired décor or setting up furniture (although shameless plug, as I have mentioned before I highly recommend you hire a wedding stylist of planner to do this, let’s not have your family members be cheap labour!). Giving simple jobs like picking items up or small setups are a helpful way to have your siblings included.
Maybe making sure they are included in the getting ready process on wedding morning, could be a nice way for them to be included too, attending the hens or bucks party or maybe a wedding speech.
In my opinion, weddings are about family and friends and enjoying a day with your nearest and dearest. I think it is so nice to include them in the planning and on the wedding day, in what form that involvement is, is completely up to what you are comfortable with as a couple.
To subscribe to the Let’s Talk Weddings podcast, click here and don’t forget to leave a review on your podcast app.
You can listen to this podcast episode here:
Episode 57 – Including Loved Ones In Your Wedding
You may also enjoy these episodes:
Episode 36 – Should You Have Your Pet at Your Wedding?
Episode 44 – Children at Your Wedding – Yay or Nay?