How to Include Your Whole Family in Wedding Planning

What to do when everyone wants to be involved in your big day.

If your relatives are begging to get involved, we have tips on where they would be most useful.

Photo: Abby Jiu Photography

Weddings and engagements are an exciting time! While you are glowing from your proposal, this may seem obvious: Of course you’re excited – you’re getting married! But it’s also a celebratory time for your family, and they will probably want to be as involved as possible, especially if you or your future spouse are the first of your generation to tie the knot. Though your nuptials are about you and your beloved, not including your family or your future in-laws in the coordination of the day can lead to resentment and hurt feelings. However, it’s equally important that you only ask for help from those who genuinely offer their support: Friends and family are there to celebrate with you, not be your vendors. With that said, if relatives are begging to get involved, we have tips on where they would be most useful. 

formal wedding with family portrait, groomsmen in tuxedos, bridesmaids in black off-the-shoulder dresses

Photo by Samuel Lippke Studios; Floral Design by White Lilac Inc.

First, figure out what the non-negotiable aspects of your day are, and have those be off-limits to outside influence. Use the natural skills and interests of your loved ones to figure out what task of wedding planning fits them best. If your aunt is a lawyer, she might be able to help you look over contracts with vendors, while your future brother-in-law could use his graphic design skills to help design your invitations. 

Next, for people whose skill sets might not necessarily match up with the wedding world, look for tasks that promote bonding. Bringing your mother and sister are obvious choices for dress shopping, but asking your future mother-in-law and sister-in-law is a great gesture of good will, provided you don’t already have a contentious relationship. Envelope stuffing and tastings for the food and cake that will be served at your reception are also great ways to make someone feel involved without having to compromise your vision. 

Weddings do more than make two individuals into one unit; they also create a link between families. Finding ways to draw both sides into the process can ultimately make the transition smoother.

If you're not ready to invite your future mother-in-law dress shopping, learn how the two of you can bond here. If your daughter is getting married, discover how to be the best mother of the bride ever.