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How to incorporate step-parents into your wedding

How to incorporate step-parents into your wedding

Statistically speaking, the rate of divorce today is much greater than it was even 20 years ago. One side effect is that today’s young brides have to do a strange dance in order to fill roles for extended family in their wedding.

Truth be told, it should be the bride and groom’s choice on how they would like their extended family recognized and honoured during their wedding. But we all know that sometimes any decisions made can cause hurt feelings, even if they’re not intended. Here are some suggestions that will hopefully be acceptable to everyone.

Normal roles for birth parents

In some cases, a bride’s or groom’s parents may still be on good terms, while any step-parents may be kind enough to allow the day to belong to the bride, the groom, and the four people who brought them into the world. If this is the case, the step-parents should be gracious enough to appear as spectators, or at the very least, allowed to be escorted in during the processional as a member of the immediate family.

Also remember for this and all cases that step-parents (or step-grandparents) should be mentioned in the program. This is a common courtesy, and should not be avoided.

Giving a step-parent a traditional role

If it is a well-established fact that a step-parent was the one who helped rear the bride or groom as a child, it is not a faux-pas to allow that step-parent to have the traditional role.

Step-parents performing wedding traditions

There are many wedding traditions that happen in a ceremony that can be performed by almost anyone. Having a step-parent perform these tasks can help them feel included without them having the high honour usually bestowed upon a bride or groom’s father. These include:

  • Giving a reading
  • Performing a song
  • Ushering
  • Being a hostess
  • Light a unity candle

Even if the wedding isn’t a traditional church service wedding, a unity candle is an excellent way for all parents to show that they are united, if only for this special day. Have all parents light one large candle in unison to represent their full support of the ceremony. Even if there’s some animosity outside of the wedding, this open display of conciliation can put aside tensions and awkward feelings for parents and guests alike.

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