Meaningful Roles for Parents

Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2006

As you took your first steps, they held your hand, kept you from falling, and guided the way; now, as you walk down the aisle, your parents are by your side once again, as sources of strength, love, and support. No one could exude more pride and happiness on the day of your wedding than the people who raised you. So they'll naturally want to play an active part from the time you get engaged until you say "I do." These days, both the bride's and groom's parents may have important responsibilities to carry out during the planning period and on the actual day of the wedding. There are many traditional roles, such as the bride's parents acting as the official hosts for the celebration, and newer ones that serve the needs of blended families -- a bride sharing a special dance with her stepfather, for instance. If a parent has passed away, you might ask another close relative to assume all or some of these duties, or alter the customs in a way that honors both them and you.

Honoring Your Parents
Whether they're there for you in person or in spirit, your parents are an important part of your wedding day and you should acknowledge them in a special way. Here are some ideas:

Give the mothers corsages and the fathers special boutonnieres.

Have them light a unity candle during the ceremony.

Use a page in your wedding program to express your gratitude.

Say a few words of thanks in a toast during the reception.

Display photographs from their weddings on the seating-card table.

Ask your officiant to mention them in the sermon, or pay tribute to a deceased parent with a moment of silence during the ceremony.

For more on meaningful roles of parents, click on the following links:

Mother of the Bride
Father of the Bride
Parents of the Groom


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