Friday, January 30, 2015

New Ways to Incorporate Family and Friends Into Your Wedding

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Asking someone to be a bridesmaid or groomsman is one way to include a loved one into your big day, but how else can you include special people in your wedding celebration while simultaneously avoiding a bloated bridal party?

Consider these new and non-traditional roles that are significantly more fun than pointing people to their seats.

The amount of couples marrying in religious institutions has dropped significantly in the last five years - a sign that more couples are breaking the mold on tradition. If you are one of these couples, consider asking a close friend, who knows you both, to pronounce you newlyweds. Ideally, it’s someone the couple both trusts and knows well.

Real-life bride: Janice-Yu Moran married Wes Moran on August 8, 2013 at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Miao Zhang, friend of the couple for eight years, officiated. 

Musical Entertainment
If you have friends or family who are talented musicians or singers, ask them to perform a song. Either before the ceremony starts, during or later on in the evening during the cocktail hour or wedding reception.

Real-life bride: MaryBeth Searls married Houston Howell on August 12, 2014. They had their friends perform during the cocktail hour, prior to the reception at Lacuna Artist Lofts.

Dinner Blessing
Whether or not you’re religiously inclined, a way to balance the old and new is to ask a person you love and respect to provide a blessing over the meal and/or celebration. After all, how often will all these people be together again? Take a moment to acknowledge and honor the moment.

Charlotte O’Donnell

Real-life bride: Lauren McTigue married Teddy O’Brien on September 20, 2014. A blessing was conducted by a non-bridal party person before the start of dinner at their Montgomery Club reception.

Photo Wrangler
Instead of usher roles, put 2-3 friends in charge of photo opportunities. These are people who know the group dynamics and can quickly point them out to the photographer, or happen to be able to catch these memorable shots themselves.

Ximena Beltran Quan Kiu

Real-life bride: Kristina Rediehs married John Rediehs on October 20, 2012 at St. Francis Xavier.

Whether it’s because you’re worried about the pronunciation of the people’s names in your bridal party or because you have a lively friend or family member who can fill the role - an MC is a great way to include someone outside of the bridal party and personalize your wedding reception. This person is a key component to helping you create the right mood for the evening.

Real-life bride: Jillian Ruggiero-Gaza married Joe Gaza on August 10, 2013. Jill’s uncle MC’d their reception at Drury Lane.

While you’re evaluating the different roles your loved ones can fill, rethink the aisle roles. Who says your flower girl or ring bearer has to be a child? Feel free to ask a friend or grandma - especially if you’re having a child-free wedding. Let your mind reach beyond the traditional norms, and consider all options as you plan each detail of your wedding. There is a job for everyone, you just have to find it! 

Thanks so much to Ximena Beltran Quan Kiu of C1 Revolution. A real bride (with nine bridesmaids and counting) herself, Ximena is working her way through wedding planning one step at a time. Be sure to tune in to more ideas from Ximena as she continues her path down the aisle!

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