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Your wedding is a celebration of love—and that doesn't just mean the feeling you have for each other, but also the bonds you hold with the people who are closest to you. Whether it's showing gratitude to your parents and old friends, remembering absent loved ones, or highlighting the kids who will be a key part of your new family, here are a few thoughtful ways to let your special guests know how truly, well, special they are.
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Seek Their Style
If you like your mom's (or grandma's) veil, track it down to borrow. Or, look for a scent that reminds you of her—either because it's her perfume or because she loves gardenias. Wear while planning and to your wedding to create a sensory memory.
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Use Their Words
That incredible love letter Gramps wrote Nana when he was in the army? Scan it, print it, and turn it into liners for the envelopes of your invitations.
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You're going to give attendants presents. Do it sooner rather than later so you can spend time together before the festivities (treat the MOH to a massage, say). Or, present them with accessories to wear, and they'll know what they don't need to buy for the big day.
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Walk With Them
You carry them in your heart. Carry them down the aisle, too, by wrapping your dear uncle's handkerchief around your bouquet, tying a locket with a photo of someone you miss around the stems, or including your mom's (and mother-in-law's) favorite flowers in the posy itself.
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If you or your fiancé have children, speak vows directly to them at some point in the service, since you're joining your life with theirs, as well. Exchange pieces of jewelry, similar to a double-ring ceremony, and then they, too, can wear a symbol of their new family.
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It's a lovely idea to list people you want to thank, or deceased relatives who will be on your mind, in your program. But you don't have to stop there. Why not let your flower girl make a drawing for the cover? Think how proud and excited she would be to see her artwork!
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There may be important people (or even pets) who can't be there in person. Make sure they're there in spirit(s) by naming your signature cocktails after them. That could mean using their trademark party recipe ("Aunt Mary's Margaritas") or just their moniker (a "Scottie and Soda" for your dog).
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Ask Them to Dance
Consider expanding the first dances beyond the two of you and your parents. Choose the song your grandparents twirled to as yours. If one of you has kids, bring them into the action halfway through. Or, tap beloved couples beforehand to join you after a few verses.
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Give an Heirloom Airtime
If there's a married pair whose relationship you admire, borrow the cake knife they had at their wedding or use two of their Champagne flutes for toasting. Similarly, if an elderly relative can't make it to the party, she may be touched to know her cloth is on the cake table.