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Everything You Need to Know About Asking Your Parents to Be in the Wedding Party

Yes, Mom and Dad can stand with you, but there are a few things you need to know.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Rachel Thurston

Your parents will always be honored on the wedding day—after all, being the mother or father of the bride or groom is a big deal. But if you have a bond with your mom and dad that extends beyond the typical parent-child relationship, know that it's perfectly normal for you to give them a larger role. More and more couples are opting to include their parents in the actual bridal party. It's a trend that Amy Shack Egan, founder and CEO of alternative event planning company Modern Rebel, and planning duo Alison Szleifer and Jonathan Stamper-Halpin, co-founders of Two Kindred Event Planners, have plenty to say about.

 

If you're on thinking about asking your parents to be bridesmaids and groomsmen, read on for a few key points to consider from all three of these wedding pros.

 

Related: Tips for Choosing Your Bridal Party

 

You don't have to put them to work.

If you'd like your mom or dad to serve as your maid of honor or best man but don't want to bog them down with the traditional workload, there's a simple fix. "We once had a father in the best man role, but we found it was more honorary than practical," explains Szleifer. "Most of the day-of duties fell on the brother of the groom, but it was important to the groom that the father had the title and stood closest to him during the ceremony." It's good advice: While your parents might be honored to stand by your side, Szleifer points out that they are also often hosts with their own responsibilities, so they might feel overwhelmed by too much additional work. Plus, neither of your parents really want to plan your bachelor or bachelorette party—trust us on that.

 

It's a great way to avoid uncomfortable traditions

There are so many heartfelt moments during a wedding, but there are also a few that modern couples don't feel suit their needs. It can be difficult to navigate planning an authentic ceremony without offending more traditional family members—until now. "For many brides and grooms, the 'giving away' notion is outdated," says Shack Egan. "Women are not property. Couples prefer to incorporate and celebrate their parental relationships without the hand-off."

 

Remember that it's not weird. 

There's a lot of pressure to plan a wedding that's original without being too out there and to be sentimental without being over the top. But when it comes to the bridal party, Shack Egan stresses the importance of following your heart. "Celebrate the folks in your life that you feel should be celebrated. If that means mom or dad—or even your golden retriever up next to you, we say go for it."