Involving Family in Your Wedding Experience
Getting married is truly a larger experience than that one magical day. Unless you choose to elope (and maybe even then as well), it is important to include your family and close friends in as much of the experience as possible. Here are some ways to involve them:
1. Ask for their advice and input
Right from the start, you can ask your families for their opinion on initial decisions, such as the date or the location. For example, your family members may have some insights regarding your relatives’ availabilities. Ultimately, these are your decisions to make, but it sure helps to have a second opinion, and to make your family feel involved right from the start.
2. Planning tasks
Think about tasks that could be delegated out to your family (or friends). Perhaps they could help with wedding favors, creating décor items, or planning the rehearsal dinner. My Mom and Grandma expressed interest in taking the lead on our wedding favors, and I was more than happy to let them take on that project! Think about whether you have any crafty, handy, or organized family members who could share their expertise leading up to the big day.
3. Invite to wedding related events
There are so many events leading up to the actual ceremony and rehearsal. From bridal expos, to trying on wedding dresses, to checking out venues, and more, there are so many opportunities to bring some family along (just not all family at once!). If you and your fiancé are having an engagement party, shower, and rehearsal dinner – these are all great opportunities for family to participate.
4. Email updates
This is particularly helpful for close friends or family who are farther away. In the months leading up to your wedding, you can send out email updates recapping decisions you’ve made and vendors you’ve booked, so your out of town family can stay in the loop. Since my parents live in the same city as us, we naturally update them more frequently about wedding plans, and it is easy to show them our venue in person. Since my fiance’s parents live across the country, we’ve found it helpful to send them emails recapping our plans, even if we have already shared it verbally over the phone. This way you can also attached links, and photos and ensure they are included in the plans.
5. Role during the wedding
Do you have close family members who aren’t in the wedding party, and would like a role on the day of? Think of other roles to appoint them: emcee, décor-coordinator, day-of-coordinator, greeter/usher etc. Other ways to involve family include: having a family member give a reading at the ceremony, say grace at dinner, play music as you walk down the aisle, or encourage guests to write in the guest book or use the photobooth. The opportunities are endless, and there aren’t any strict rules – you can make up roles as needed!
You may already naturally have your family involved in each of these ways. If so, good for you! For others, you may want to make a conscious effort to involve your close family and friends. This stage in your life may be as exciting to them as it is for you!