Down the Aisle: How to involve loved ones in your wedding

The heart and soul of a wedding is based around love. The love between bride and groom is the center of the event, but the love and support from family, friends, and colleagues come next. It can sometimes be difficult to figure out how to include every friend or family member with a significant role on your special day. Here are a few ideas on how to involve them that gives a personal touch and feel to the day.• Past the bridal party, one way for people to participate is to have them act as a witness or read a poem or passage that means a lot to you. For friends or family members who have a special talent or gift, have them perform or share with your guests. The most prestigious job of walking the bride down the aisle is another special opportunity—maybe break tradition and ask both parents, a grandparent, stepparents, or even a sibling to make the walk with you.• To recognize special people in your life, you can use boutonnières or corsages as a symbolic gift and a nice gesture to recognize those who are not directly part of the wedding party or immediate family. Another way to show appreciation can be with small gifts. While normally given to immediate family and/or the wedding party, gifts of gratitude can be given to anyone you want to appreciate on your wedding day.• For loved ones who can’t physically be there, you can display photos to honor family and friends or set up a videoconference for important guests from far away to give them a personal experience of the day. The use of symbolism, such as flowers in your hair, can represent someone special.• Kids can be given small and simple tasks such as handing out favors or small items like fans, bubbles, or confetti. They can place programs in seats, or of course be the ring bearer or flower girl. Speaking of ring bearers, your pets can even be involved on the special day! If a walk down the aisle is too stressful for Fido to train for, they can sit with you during the ceremony or include them in your wedding photos. Pets are family, too!• You can even have all of your guests involved by receiving a flower as they arrive at the ceremony to be placed in a specific vase. Before the ceremony begins, the flowers can be collected and wrapped into a custom bouquet to show the unified group coming together to support the marriage. This bouquet can become a custom bridal bouquet or later given away at the reception to the couple that has been together the longest.No matter what, let the people you care about know that you love them, and that you are excited to celebrate love together on the wedding day.Are you recently married or engaged? Send us your wedding announcement at weddings@nsjonline.com with a brief description and photo of the couple to be included in an upcoming North State Journal!