“CHOOSE A SEAT, NOT A SIDE. WE’RE ALL FAMILY ONCE THE KNOT IS TIED!”
While your wedding day is very much “your day”—celebrating the commitment that you and your partner are making to one another—it’s also about two families becoming one. Many couples take this opportunity to recognize their families for everything they have done. After all, these are the people who have loved you, supported you, and made you the people that you are today.
Making the choice to honor your family in some way is an easy decision; what may be harder is figuring out how and when during the wedding festivities to do so. Some family members might thrive with a special moment where the attention of everyone in attendance is briefly drawn to them, while others would just appreciate a small private moment between the two of you.
To help you find the best ways to show the family some love on the big day, we are sharing some of our favorite ways that our Treasury on the Plaza couples have involved their families throughout their wedding day!
1. TAKE A QUIET MOMENT TO FINISH GETTING READY WITH SOMEONE SPECIAL
There isn’t a lot of quiet or private time on your wedding day. From the moment most brides and grooms wake up, they are on a tight schedule to make sure that they can get ready in time for the ceremony.
Brides are typically surrounded by bridesmaids, makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, and more. Grooms are often surrounded by groomsmen, friends, and other family members for most of the day.
Schedule a break in this whirlwind of activity for some private time with a special family member as you finish getting ready. You might be surprised at how powerful a quiet moment can be, especially on your wedding day.
If you want to make this moment even more meaningful, give them a handwritten letter letting them know how much their love and support has meant to you over the years. If words aren’t your forte, give them a small token of appreciation instead.
2. GIVE YOUR LOVED ONES THEIR MOMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life, often surpassed only by the birth of your children. Your parents, grandparents, stepparents, or other parental figures in your life will cherish the ability to say a few words to talk about how much they love you, are proud of you, and are excited for your future. Sometimes sappy, sometimes sweet, and almost always filled with dad jokes, they’ll rock the mic!
Do you have a beloved family member who is ordained (or a notary)? Having them act as your wedding officiant can be a beautiful way to symbolically tie the two families together.
If a particular religion plays an important role in your lives, you can also have a family member share a blessing, prayer, or other ritual. Perhaps that’s saying grace before dinner or praying for your marriage during the ceremony.
3. WALK DOWN THE AISLE WITH THE PERSON (OR PEOPLE) WHO MAKE YOU FEEL CONFIDENT AND CALM
Walking down the aisle is one of the biggest moments of your wedding day. Having someone by your side who has had a meaningful impact on your life will make that moment all the more special.
Traditionally, fathers walk their daughters down the aisle, but this is not a moment where you should feel chained to tradition! Having both parents walk the bride (or groom!) down the aisle is a meaningful way to honor the role that both of them have played in your lives.
Those that come from blended families might have a lot of family and parental figures to honor. A unity candle or sand ceremony is an easy way to include extended family members who have played a part in raising you.
4. PLAN A SPECIAL DANCE WITH YOUR FAMILY DURING YOUR WEDDING RECEPTION
The parent dances are always one of the most heartwarming parts of any wedding reception, when a father gets to dance with his daughter on her wedding day and a mother gets to dance with her son. But why limit those special moments to just the father-of-the-bride and the mother-of-the-groom?
Plan a special dance for other close relatives too! You can even keep it a surprise until the last moment. We’ve seen several mothers-of-the-bride and other family members overcome with emotion after unexpectedly being called to the dance floor.
If you don’t want to make a big scene about it, talk to your DJ about playing a loved one’s favorite song. Have the DJ let you know just before the song is played, so you can make sure to dance with your family member.
Or ask the DJ to play your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding song and watch the two of them fall in love all over again!
5. MEMORIALIZE YOUR LOVED ONES
It’s common to see photos of the happy couple on display at their wedding reception, but you can also showcase pictures of parents, grandparents, and other family members.
This is also a great opportunity to include a candle or flowers for those who can’t be with you. A memory table is a beautiful way to honor someone’s memory and have their presence with you as you celebrate this huge milestone in your lives.
We’ve also seen couples reserve a “memory chair” during the ceremony, complete with their loved one’s photo and favorite flower. What a sweet way of ensuring that all of your family can share in your special day!
6. FOR THE GRANDPARENTS WHO LIKE TO MAKE A BIT MORE OF A STATEMENT, SWITCH OUT FLOWER GIRLS FOR GLITTER GRAMS!
Whenever a kid takes an active part in the wedding, it is always adorable. Especially the flower girl, who showers the aisle with flowers and cuteness just before the bride makes her grand entrance. But not every couple has a young niece, cousin, or family member who can fill the role. Maybe you simply want an adults-only wedding; what do you do then?
Enter the Glitter Grams!
We love seeing the “young at heart” fulfill their role with such gusto!
7. INCLUDE CHILDREN IN YOUR WEDDING CEREMONY OR RECEPTION DANCES
If the bride and groom have any children, it can be very meaningful to bring these children into the wedding day experience.
One way to include children during your wedding is to take a moment during the wedding ceremony to acknowledge them and make them feel included. It’s always a touching moment when their new stepdad or stepmom makes a special vow just to the children!
Reception dances are another opportunity to make your children feel special. You could include them in the father-daughter or mother son dances, or do a dance together as a family.
8. ASK THEM TO SHARE THEIR TALENTS
Does one of your family members have an incredible voice or play an instrument? Have them sing or play your first dance song or another special song during the wedding reception!
Maybe your dad bakes amazing cakes or your cousin makes incredible cookies. Request a groom’s cake or edible wedding favors!
Showcasing their talents will strengthen the bonds between you and show them how much you appreciate them.
9. MAKE A PERSONALIZED KEEPSAKE TO REMEMBER THIS SPECIAL DAY
Chances are good you are already getting your wedding party a gift as a thank you for being there with you on your special day. What about your family members who have been there for you throughout your entire life?
A personalized keepsake can become a prized possession for anyone lucky enough to receive it.
10. DO A PRIVATE FIRST LOOK
Maybe your parents aren’t one for hankies or watches—no problem! Set aside time for a private first look with the special person who will be walking you down the aisle. Just make sure to bring your photographer along to capture these sweet shots!
HOW WILL YOU SAY YOUR “THANK YOU” AND INCLUDE YOUR FAMILY ON YOUR WEDDING DAY?
To the families who raised us, love us, and got us to this big moment, this day is for you, too!