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The More the MARRY-er: 7 Ways to Include Friends and Family in Wedding Planning

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The More the MARRY-er: 7 Ways to Include Friends and Family in Wedding Planning

Disney Bride Bianca is planning a Disneyland wedding at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel for 2019.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village” which usually refers to raising children, but I think it can be used in the wedding planning world, too.

It takes a lot to plan a wedding and sometimes it can be overwhelming, tiring, and stressful. It’s definitely more than one or two people can do alone. If you and your partner are the can-do types that want to do it all, I envy you! However, many couples want to include family and friends in the planning process for moral support and to make things a little more manageable.

If you have a bridal party, you might already have tasks in mind for them. Of course those special people are most likely aware and willing to help. But what about your extended family and friends who have offered to lend a helping hand? How can they be included in planning or even on your big day? There are all kinds of ways to include friends and family in wedding planning and get more celebratory bang for your buck.

7 Ways to Include Friends and Family in Wedding Planning

DIY Party – If you have lots of do-it-yourself decor, you can ask your ‘maids and groomsmen as well as close friends and family to help you.

You can make it as chill (order pizza and get to work) or as involved as you want (potluck or catered). In the end, the point is to have a little help with projects and have some fun doing it.

Invitation Assembly – Do you have a friend or family member that has beautiful handwriting? If they are open to it, perhaps they can help you address your invites. I was actually involved in an invite assembly “party”, where my family helped assemble and address invites for a wedding and it was low key, lots of fun, and very helpful to the bride and groom.

Dress Shopping – While I’m not a big fan of huge entourages at dress shopping, I think a great way to help family feel included is by inviting them to help you find your dress, especially family members on your partner’s side, like your mother-in-law, sisters, step daughters, or other female family members. If you have family that isn’t going to be in the wedding party, make them feel included by inviting them to other events that are important, like dress shopping.

Menu and Cake Tasting – If a family member is helping you financially with your wedding, a nice gesture would be to ask them to the menu tasting. This might be an added cost, depending on where you’re tying the knot, so check first. A lower cost option would be the cake tasting (if different from the meal caterer). Who doesn’t love cake?! Aside from being a “sweet” way to reach out, it might be a good way to get perspective on what foods guests would prefer.

Readings and Toasts – In some situations there are folks who can’t be in the wedding for one reason or another. A great way to include those people you love is by asking them to do a reading at your ceremony. This can be anything from scripture to poetry to excerpts from books, movies, or plays that are important to you and your significant other.

If you have someone in your life that is a great public speaker, asking them to prepare a toast at your reception is a really beautiful way to incorporate them into your wedding day.

One of the biggest honors would be asking a family member or friend to officiate your wedding. This would obviously be something that would need to be well thought out and planned in advance. Anyone can become ordained to officiate a wedding (depending on the laws in your state), but you do have to make it official. If you have someone who knows you and your fiancé well, has the charisma to be a public speaker, and feels like they can fit the bill, this might be the way to go if you don’t already have an officiant, priest or rabbi. What a beautiful and meaningful way to start your marriage! Click here for more tips on having a friend officiate your wedding.

Ushers, Petal Patrol, and Ring Security – For our wedding day, male members of the family not in the wedding party will be ushers. It’s a small but sweet way to include people you love. Ushers can hand out programs or escort guests to their designated seats, as well as keep things running on time before the bridal party comes down the aisle.

When you think of ring bearers or flower girls you might immediately think of children. If you don’t have many youngsters in your families or are having a child-free wedding, ask a friend to fill the role! I’ve seen many social media posts about adults being flower girls or ring bearers. If you are having a ring warming ceremony, have someone important to you be in charge of overseeing that the rings are where they need to be.

Designated Decorators and Go-betweens – For your wedding day, ask someone you trust (someone very organized and level headed) to help you with things like putting out last minute or small decorations, programs, flower arrangements, or favors. This person can also be someone you ask to hold your purse or phone and handle any small hiccups that might arise. If it’s a big problem they can come to you, but if you trust them to put out small fires, so to speak, it will be less stressful on you. You might also ask a trustworthy family member to be in charge of timelines and to distribute tips to your vendors.

There are so many ways to bring your loved ones into your big day; it doesn’t stop here. You might have a friend or family member who is great with graphic design who can help you make programs or even invitations. Maybe you know someone who has the charisma to be a master of ceremonies. Have a great musician buddy? They might be really excited to play music your first dance or sing a song as a highlight at your reception.

In the end, the possibilities are really endless and you can include anyone you want if you think it will enhance your day. In my experience, most people love weddings and want to help if they can, especially if it will make your day a little easier and more meaningful.

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