Ask the Experts: How to Honor Step Parents at Your Wedding

by Marta
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Ask the Experts is a bi-weekly wedding advice column designed to let you ask your pressing wedding questions to a panel of wedding professionals.

If you have a question for our experts write asktheexperts@onewed.com

Dear Experts,
My fiancé and I each have a stepparent. We’d like to include them in the ceremony, but don’t want to confuse their role with our parents roles. We each have two siblings, so we want them to be our bridal party, but we also want to somehow include other friends (people who would have been bridesmaids and groomsmen if we didn’t have siblings). We thought we might have each of the stepparents do a reading, but then what do we do with our friends? What are some ways to include friends and relatives in your ceremony without turning it into an open-mic night?
Thanks
Bride with Honors

Jeff of Blackbird Images:

The trickiest part is deciding where to draw the line. If you include some friends and not others there is always potential for hurt feelings. (Because we work around the edges, we often overhear the, “I wonder why she was asked to give a toast and I wasn’t?” comments. It happens – a lot.) One way to include friends and relatives is to create a few “special” photos: Maybe all your college buddies, or all the friends from your old neighborhood, all the people you work with… or just a big group snap of all your friends who came to the wedding. Making a point of creating those types of photos shows you want to commemorate their part in your big day – which I’m sure you do.

Also, don’t over-think the participation/inclusion issue. Your step-parents, for example, will simply be proud and happy for you. They won’t need to be a reader in order to feel included. They know it’s your day and not theirs. A hug and a kiss is all I want when my children get married.

OneWed’s Wedding Maven
I agree that you shouldn’t over-think this too much. Your wedding day is really about you and your groom, you don’t have to find a way to work everyone in. If there are people that you really want to honor, consider thanking them in your program, or in a toast at the reception.

Here are some links to other helpful articles:
How to Distribute Honors
Deputizing Helpers
Pros and Cons to Assigning Roles

Jeff Haden is President of BlackBird Images, wedding photographers based in Harrisonburg, VA. Not only is he a well-respected and talented photographer, but has also gained recognition as a ghostwriter.