Parents play a significant role in weddings. The bride’s parents walk her down the aisle, while the groom’s parents welcome the bride and her family with open arms. But where do stepparents fit into the wedding? Whether or not you’re close with your stepparents, they are a part of your family. However, since there’s no traditional role for them at weddings, you may have to get a little creative when finding a place for them.
Communication Is Key
Communication is key, especially when planning a wedding. If you have stepparents, it becomes even more important. You may be close with them, just getting to know them, or not know them at all. These are all crucial factors to consider when planning your wedding.
If your stepparent helped raise you from a young age or acted as a biological parent, they might automatically assume they’re in the wedding. You may already have plans to include them, but it’s still important to have that conversation, especially if you plan on including both of your biological parents.
If all your parents and stepparents get along, planning who will do what at the wedding will be even more manageable. However, if both sets of parents don’t get along, you’ll have to have separate conversations with both groups about who is doing what at the ceremony.
Include Their Names on the Invitations
While traditional invitation etiquette leaves stepparents off, it’s become acceptable to list them, especially if they helped pay for the ceremony or reception. If you include both sets on the invitations, just make sure to list them on separate lines.
Include Them in the Photos
When you meet with your wedding photographer, make sure to tell them in advance about your family structure. They’ll be able to suggest portrait arrangements that will work for everyone. The most important thing is to be as inclusive as possible, especially if you’re close with a stepparent.
The Walk Down the Aisle
There are many ways you can include stepparents when walking down the aisle. If all of your parents are civil with each other, consider having your biological parents walk with you while your stepparents follow behind. Being surrounded by so many people you love down the aisle will surely make the day feel even more special.
Other options include having just your father and stepfather walk down the aisle with you together. Or your stepfather can walk you halfway, followed by your father. Choose the style that best suits your family, and make sure to have a plan well in advance.
Seat Divorced Parents Appropriately
If your parents are divorced, they may want to be seated separately with their spouse, friends, or family members. However, if there’s no tension between the two couples, feel free to put the tables close together or even seat them at the same table.
Have a Dance with Stepparents
The mother–son and father–daughter dances are traditions at weddings. But you won’t want to leave a stepparent out, especially if the two of you are close. Planning a special dance with them will show how much they mean to you.
If you don’t want to take up too much time with parent–child dances, you can always trade parents halfway through. Just make sure not to step on anyone’s toes—literally or figuratively—when planning these dances.
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