The people you choose to be a part of your wedding festivities are the ones who have woven themselves into your love story. When it comes to celebrating your Big Day, often among your closest friends are the people who are truly at the core of your story: your family.
Whether they are with you in spirit, celebrating from afar, or there to celebrate in person, there are so many unique ways that you can incorporate treasured family members into your wedding day. You don’t have to stick with just the traditional moments, either—like a father walking the bride down the aisle, the mother/son dance, or a family photo at the altar.
At Crystal Gardens, we’ve seen many special and fun ways to involve family in wedding celebrations. Here are some of our favorites:
Honor family members and traditions through your wedding day attire and accessories.
Your dress and veil
For many brides, it’s special to wear a dress and/or veil passed down through the family. If the dress doesn’t fit but you still want to incorporate it, you may be able to get it altered to fit, or even have a piece (or pieces) of it sewn into your own dress. Regardless of your choice, the seamstresses at The Dress Shop are here to help. (Although you should double-check before you deconstruct a family wedding dress!)
Tokens of good luck
We’ve all heard the age-old wedding rhyme: “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” This refers to the four good-luck objects a bride should include somewhere in her wedding outfit or carry with her on her wedding day. Although this is an old tradition, it’s still a fun way to commemorate or incorporate special family members into your wedding—plus, it doesn’t have to be just for brides. Grooms can have their good luck tokens, too!
Brides — Use things like jewelry, pins, or brooches passed down through generations, or even a hairpiece your mother wore at her wedding.
Grooms — Wear cufflinks that were your father’s, or a pocket square custom stitched as a wedding gift from an older relative.
The flower bouquet
If you have a family member who has passed away but who you wish could be there as you walk down the aisle, consider attaching a small locket with their picture to your bouquet as a special and decorative touch.
Include family members in your ceremony and reception
Displaying the pieces of your families’ love stories
Use your wedding as a time to share the generations of love in your families. Share something that was part of their love stories, like old wedding photos or letters. This is one of the most special ways to weave family into your wedding, and is a beautiful way to celebrate the history of marriage in the bride and groom’s families.
Asking loved ones to play a direct role in the ceremony
There is no bigger honor to a family member than being asked to play an important part in your wedding day. Think about having a close family member to officiate the wedding, request a special speech or performance from a talented relative. Many people ask aunts and uncles, cousins, or other family members to read a poem or a prayer before their vows.
Taking a moment to remember and recognize loved ones who can’t physically be there
Of course, not all of your family will be able to attend your wedding. Maybe they live far away, or are no longer alive to celebrate with you. If you have lost someone very dear and special, you can “reserve a seat” in their honor with a picture of them. If you can’t spare the seating, have a moment of silence, or play a song in their memory.
For those guests who can’t be there because of things like distance or illness, reserve a moment in the ceremony or reception to thank them and recognize them, or have a toast in their honor!
Having a special moment in the ceremony to join the two families
Let’s not forget that the point of your wedding is to join the lives of two families. Take time in the ceremony to honor that with a special ritual, like a candle lighting or a reading. And, of course, a “new family” photo will forever capture that memory.
There are so many ways that family can have an impact on your love story. Whether they have been there to watch it unfold, or have been there in spirit, they are the people who mean most to you. By making a point to involve them in your special day their experience at your wedding will be just as special and memorable as yours.
If you need more ways to incorporate family into your wedding, our wedding experts at Crystal Gardens always have great advice and insight from being part of so many couples’ Big Days. Get in touch with us today, by email or phone at 877-545-1002.