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No room in the bridal party? Other ways to honor your loved ones

Some people run in terror at the thought of being in a wedding party. But for many, it's the ultimate honor, and a way to prove their closeness to the bride and groom. Unfortunately, there's only so much room in your wedding party, and your photos can only accommodate so many people. This doesn't mean you have to ignore the people you love the most, though. There are more ways to honor someone than you might imagine.

Toast them

Your rehearsal dinner and wedding-day toasts are the perfect opportunities to thank people who have been there for you, quietly contributing in the background. Don't be shy about honoring the people you love the most with some legitimate gratitude and maybe even a joke or two. When you toast a loved one, make sure your guests all raise their glasses to that person. This personal touch can make a toast particularly moving and special. 

Give them another wedding role

If there's not enough room in your wedding party, consider creating another role for your loved one. Some ideas include:

  • If your flower girls or ring bearers are too little to walk by themselves, ask a loved one to walk them down the aisle.
  • Have them sing or play an instrument.
  • Ask them to read something at your ceremony.
  • Have them light the memorial candle.
  • Invite them to give a toast at your reception.
  • Put them at or near the head table with you and your bridal party.
  • Take five or 10 minutes to spend just with them either before your ceremony or at your wedding reception.

Thank them in your program

If your wedding is small and there aren't many roles to fill, you're still not out of luck. Take a moment to thank the people you love the most in your wedding program. Be sure to mention what they've done for you and give them credit for any work they've contributed to your big day.

Introduce them to other people

It can be intimidating walking into a wedding where you know no one. If you really want to honor someone who's been there for you your entire life, make sure they feel included. Introduce them to anyone you think they might like, and be sure to emphasize the important role they've played in your life. There's no one in the world who dislikes being complimented!

Give them a corsage or boutonniere

If you want to mark someone as particularly special, consider giving them a flower to wear. Godmothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older relatives whom you love will all relish a corsage or boutonniere. Be sure to make a list before you finish final preparations with your florist, and let your loved one know that they'll be getting something a little special on the big day.


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