Families are complicated and evolve. Especially when planning and participating in weddings. Especially if you have step-parents you care about but don’t want to make your parents feel uncomfortable or offended. The number one thing to remember is weddings are about celebrating love. The love you have in your life, all of the love, deserves to be celebrated. Read the following advice to avoid awkwardness on you big day!
There are many ways you can include your step-parents before the big day if that is what you want to do. If your step-parent is helping pay for part of the wedding, include them in the planning! Parents love to feel listened to and appreciated and this is a great way to do this, and get some much needed help! If all your parents are cordial and get along well, invite them to do things together like cake tasting or going to pick out your dress. If they have a little less than a cordial relationship divvy up the tasks! Give dress shopping to mom and shoe and accessory shopping to step mom or the homemade woodworking projects to your dad and the gift bag assembly to your step dad!
You can also give planning items like engagement or bridal parties or the rehearsal dinner. Again, this is a great way to lessen the stress load on yourself and make your step-parents feel included and valued.
Making them feel included in the wedding in general is also important. There are a few easy ways to do this. First, put their names on the wedding invitations and wedding programs. Although traditionally left off, you can do what you wanted. Give them the color pallet of the wedding or the one your parents are wearing so they can match but don’t have to be exact, however you prefer. You also should have them for when you are taking family photos. Let them be in pictures with everyone, but don’t hesitate to ask them to sit out of a few if you want some with just your parents. Also ensure where they are sitting is appropriate and will not make them feel ostracized.
Depending on how close you are, you can have them have important roles in the ceremony. This could include letting them walk you down the isle alone or side by side with your biological parent. You can have a special dance with them during the reception if you choose. After the big day, express your thanks to them. Take them out for a meal or give them a thank you gift.
Most importantly remember it is your day. Feel free to have serious conversations of drama arises. If you see things going in a way that will not be beneficial, reevaluate and move on. Try your best to have everyone feel appreciated and included, but it is YOUR day.