Some Bridesmaids are just amazing when it comes to helping you with your big day. They are organised and totally on point with their spreadsheets. But let’s be honest, how many besties are also top wedding planners! And often close family members, especially Mums and Mum-In-Laws really want to be involved and assist. So spread the load and know that all who are planning or creating in some small way, will feel so included and excited about the best day of your life!
1. A shopping spree with Mum
Inviting my Mum to travel 600 kilometers to help me select the fabric and sift through the many styles I had sketched in my wedding planning book was the best thing ever. It was so great to have a second opinion on everything and her opinion was not only valuable but so positive. We had the best fun – spending days just focusing on the dress, veil, jewellery and shoes. And what’s more, Mum spoke about this time we had together for years afterwards.
2. Traditional bits
Many modern weddings blend cultures as well as families. In a multicultural society such as Australia, chances of your forever together person being an immigrant, a visiting relative or tourist is not a unique concept! Traditional wedding rituals are always appreciated by the families and can really impress your guests with their often fun, festive and colourful nature. Even a simple and visually symbolic ‘unity candle’ or ‘sand ceremony’ including parents can be a magical experience.
3. Host a ‘family do’ or two
My niece planned 3 days of family events in the week leading up to her wedding for everyone to get to know her husband-to-be’s international family and friends that were travelling from Europe. Some activities were fairly active (we all love hiking) and some were chilled and laid back like an evening of cocktails at her sister’s home with a beautiful view overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There were picnics and games and each event created a wonderful opportunity to exchange stories, bond and soak up the sense of anticipation.
4. Including Grandparents
So many grandparents are able and active and if they are willing (they never say they are!), then including them as witnesses or grandma girls, dropping petals before the bridal party enters, is a very special gesture. What’s more, they are far better behaved than toddlers!! And the moment will not only be memorable for you and your guests, but they will glow with delight!
5. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue
This age-old tradition is an ideal way to honour several family members. A vintage necklace from Nanna, borrowed pearl earrings from Mum, and a matching pale blue pedicure for you and your mother-in-law are wonderful options.
6. When Dad is super-handy on the tools
I can honestly say that my couples have seriously had the most talented Dads. Absolute Bob the Builders! They have produced the most amazing arbours, welcome boards, pedestals for flowers, photo booth props – and just about anything you can think of! A labour of love, these projects usually span several weekends, involve a few trips to Bunnings, and conclude with a round of beers. Dad’s love the chance to use their creativity and see their handy-work about when they celebrate with their baby girl or top lad!
7. Ask them to walk you down the aisle
With all eyes trained on your every step down the aisle, it’s nice to have a loved one to lean on. And while the idea of being ‘given away’ may seem outrageously outdated, you may change your mind when you see your father’s face on the day. Proud. As. Punch. Alternatively, you could invite both parents to escort you, or a family member who played a significant role in your life.
8. Family strengths
‘Social butterfly’ could be your mother-in-law’s middle name, and as a natural hostess, she would love nothing more than to be stationed at the ceremony or reception entrances to welcome guests and direct them to their seats. Or your niece may shine as a dancer and wow your guests with an item on the dance floor before fetching you to join her for your first dance. Your cousin may be a musician of note and rock the acoustic guitar. Ask him to take care of the music for your reception arrival. These all create such memorable, family moments.
9. Crafting and creating together
Get together for a fun afternoon of bubbles and bunting! … and other creative styling that will add that special, personal touch to your ceremony styling. Stuff and label invitations, write seating cards and if you can squeeze in an afternoon the day before with your nearest and dearest, you can even do the flower arranging, bouquets and boutonnières. Rustic styling has such wonderful DIY options, especially if Grandad is the green thumb of the family and can gift you a few lovingly grown blooms from his garden.