How to Include Your Grandparents in the Wedding If They Can't Go

They can still be an important part of your big day!

Though many brides and grooms may sheepishly admit they hope to receive some RSVP cards with the decline option checked in order to keep the guest list down, it can still be disappointing when those closest to you can’t attend. This is most common when it comes to grandparents, particularly if the wedding is not in the city they reside and travel has become difficult in their advancing years. 

how to include your grandparents if they can't attend your wedding
Photo by Elizabeth Messina

If you’re particularly close to your grandparents, it may seem like the easiest solution is to get married where they live, but nowadays it’s much more common for engaged couples to not have grown up in the same region. With potentially four sets of grandparents, it is very likely that there won’t be a location that is easy for everyone. People are often getting married later in life, meaning grandparents can be well into their 80s and 90s at the time of a marriage. As sad as it may be to not have them with you, there are still ways to make sure they don’t miss out and allow you to feel their presence. 

Thanks to technology, it’s possible for your grandparents – or any other guests that can’t make it – to view the ceremony in full. Live streaming has come a long way and there are even companies you can hire to broadcast your vow exchange. Colleges and universities have been doing this for their graduation ceremonies for years, and there’s no reason to not take advantage of the available technology for your big day. For a more simple DIY approach, you can have a trusted loved one get your grandparents on a video call – such as with Facetime or Skype – so they are able to watch from the comfort of their phone or tablet. A couple featured in our Summer 2018 issue video chatted with the bride’s grandmother after they said their I dos. 

You can even ask your grandparents to record a special message to be played at your reception, during the portion of the evening when toasts are given. If they’d rather keep it old school, a letter written by them – particularly if they have a long-lasting marriage – can be a lovely touch during either the ceremony or reception. And of course, you can always visit them after and watch your wedding video, reliving the day together. 

Learn how to highlight your grandparents on your wedding day and how to honor loved ones who have passed away. 

Authored by: Emily Lasnier