Experts estimate that there will be about 2.2 million weddings in 2023. Is yours going to be one of them? It’s time to get excited about your big day!
Many brides- and grooms-to-be don’t start considering how they’re involving family members in weddings until it’s too late. If you want to incorporate your family into your special day, it’s time to start planning!
We’re here to talk about some traditional and non-traditional wedding roles that family members can play. Read on to learn more.
Traditional Family Member Roles in a Wedding
In traditional Western weddings, family members already have their roles to play. Of course, families are diverse, so a traditional “role” may not be possible depending on your family makeup.
You can modify roles as you wish and we’ll be talking about a few non-traditional ways you can incorporate your family later on.
First, the mother of the bride is typically given a role in the bridal party. This is similar to the maid or matron of honor. She is partially responsible for handling wedding preparation, bridal showers, and more. She may stand with the bridal party during the wedding.
The mother of the groom plays a smaller part. She may participate in wedding planning, but it depends on her relationship with the bride. She’ll participate in a mother/son dance at the wedding.
The father of the bride traditionally walks the bride down the aisle. He may give a speech.
The father of the groom does not have a traditional role in a wedding, though it’s appropriate to have him act as the usher, have him give a speech, or give him another prominent role of your choice.
Siblings are often bridesmaids and groomsmen, though this is not necessary.
Involving Family Members in Weddings in New Ways
So, what if you don’t want to go the traditional route? What if you have children, cousins, uncles, and aunts that all want to feel more “involved” in the wedding?
We’ve compiled a few ways that you can include your family members in your special day.
Make Your Seating Family-Friendly
Not everyone is going to have, or even want, an actual role. They still want to feel involved in the wedding, however. If you want to make sure your family gets enough attention, arrange your seating in such a way that it puts the spotlight on them.
There are a few ways you can do that.
First, you can put family-specific seating near the front. Reserve those spots for specific family members so they can be up close and personal at the big event.
You can also use one of the more popular non-traditional wedding ideas and forgo the idea of pre-arranged seating. Encourage the families of both partners to intermingle. Using your wedding as an opportunity to merge families is a great way to include them.
Use Flower Children and Ring Bearers
Flower children and ring bearers are semi-traditional roles, but they’re not always played by family members. If you have young children in your family, this is a great way to incorporate them.
Young siblings, cousins, or even your own children make great flower children and ring bearers. We’ll talk more about this later, but don’t worry about whether these children fit into the traditional gender roles of these positions. A child doesn’t have to be a girl to be a flower child or a boy to be a ring bearer.
They will enjoy being included regardless.
Do “First Look” Photos With Family Members
“First look” photos are traditionally between the two spouses-to-be, and these photos are always gorgeous and emotional. Why not also do “first look” photos with the families of the spouses-to-be?
These photos will be perfect for the family members who are close to the spouses-to-be but aren’t in the actual wedding party.
Do Family Toasts
Looking for a chance for your family members to speak? Do some family toasts! These can happen during the reception or during the rehearsal dinner.
Let your family members know that they’re welcome to make a toast if they choose. It’s also polite to make a toast to your family members if you find time to do so.
Incorporate Talented Family Members
This isn’t going to be an option for everyone, but if there are some talented people in your family, why not give them a chance to showcase that talent?
If a family member is a talented musician, give them a few minutes on stage. If they’re a writer, give them an opportunity to speak. If you’re lucky, you may have a talented artist in your family, perhaps they’d like to be a wedding painter.
People love to have their talents acknowledged, and this is a great way to do it.
Ignore Traditional Gender Roles
Traditional gender roles in weddings are old-school. There’s nothing wrong with sticking with them, but if it doesn’t make sense for your family, don’t try to force it.
There’s no reason that brothers and other non-female family members can’t be in a bridal party, for example. Sisters and other non-male family members can be “groomsmen.”
By getting rid of the traditional gender roles in your mind, you’ll be able to find new and interesting ways to include your family members in your wedding.
Involving Family Members in Weddings is Special
Involving family members in weddings can be stressful, but when the big day arrives and everyone is happy to be included, it will be worthwhile. Whether you choose a more traditional role for each of your family members or you go off the beaten path, including them will make your day more special.
At the Madison Event Center, we know a thing or two about making weddings special. Our all-inclusive wedding services make preparing for your big day a breeze.
Schedule a tour with us today to see what we can do for you.