Weddings are more than a joining of two people – they're also a time to celebrate your families and honor the special roles they have played in your lives. The ceremony is the perfect time to call out these important loved ones in the presence of all your guests and acknowledge how their support has helped you reach this important day.
Since ceremonies don't often feature specific opportunities to recognize various loved ones, brides and grooms can feel free to brainstorm creative ways to involve them in the service. We asked Charley Izabella King of Bluebell Events what some of her favorite ways to bring family members into the ceremony are (even if they aren't able to be there in person), and how to symbolize their significance in your lives. You'll make a special day even more meaningful for those dearest to you by utilizing these helpful suggestions.
Present parents with a meaningful token. For example, give your moms roses during the ceremony. "I recently had a groom give his father a bag of pine tree seeds, so that he could plant a tree for them representing the new family tree, growth, and unity," King says. "I really loved that!"
Ask family members to do a reading. This is a perfect task for sisters and brothers who are not in the wedding party, as well as extended family like aunts and uncles.
Have your officiant mention family members who couldn't be there. At the top of the ceremony, he or she can acknowledge specific loved ones and remark that they are still in your hearts today. "[It's] lovely, especially if the ceremony is being filmed. They will see it one day and know that they were thought about," King explains.
Represent deceased loved ones with a candle. Place the candle on a chair where he or she would have sat at the ceremony, so you can feel that they are still with you.
Live stream the ceremony. This is a great way to allow loved ones who couldn't make it (especially if they live in another country) feel like they are still a part of the celebration. "I have live streamed weddings all the way to India before," King reveals.
Planning your ceremony but unsure where to start? Check out this guide to each part of the service and discover how to customize the ceremony to fit your personality. Want to pay your respects to those who are no longer with you during the ceremony? Be inspired by 15 ideas for honoring late loved ones throughout your wedding celebration.
Opening photo by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography