One of the hardest parts of wedding planning is choosing who and how to honor the people closest to you. On the one-hand, there are some great, clearly-defined WIC-approved roles for close friends and family members that can take some of the guesswork out of things, while simultaneously managing the expectations of those closest to you. But once those roles are filled (or if those roles don’t feel authentic to you), well there isn’t much for deviations from the norm. How do you honor a friend who is close, but isn’t in the wedding party? How do you navigate divorced parents who both love you, but don’t care much for each other? More complicated still, how do you tell people they aren’t being honored in the WIC-approved way they were expecting, but that they are still important (see: walking yourself down the aisle).
As children of blended families, choosing how to honor all the special people in our lives during our wedding was one of the more complicated parts of planning. There were so many people we wanted to honor, people we love dearly and equally, but among whom there are perceived hierarchies that we had to pay close attention to so as to avoid any hurt feelings. Like I said, complicated. In the end, I had both my dads walk me down the aisle (though I regret not giving my stepdad a father-daughter dance); my stepmom (who was uncomfortable taking any of the shine off my mom the day of) helped make our flowers; and any cousin under the age of thirteen got to walk down the aisle because that’s the only fun part of a wedding when you’re a tween, right?
But making these decisions wasn’t easy. Part of that can be attributed to sensitive feelings. But mostly, it was because we didn’t have any ideas available to us to draw inspiration from, so a lot of what we were offering felt a little…lackluster. Second rate. When what we really wanted was something that would carry the weight and emotional significance of what we were trying to say to them. So, since APW readers are some of the most creative and thoughtful people on the internet, I want to open up this open thread to your thoughts and ideas on how to make your special people feel special. Who are you honoring and how are you doing it? What has the response been to your alternative honor? Did you have to soothe and hurt feelings after telling someone they weren’t getting the honor they thought they were? If we get enough ideas, we’ll round up some of our favorites into its own post to keep handy for the future.
Photo: Gabriel Harber Photography