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Hi there! Welcome to the J & J Blog. A place for pretty things and wedding tips.

Hi, I'm Sammy

10 Ways to Include your Loved Ones on Wedding Day

Feb 25, 2019

family wedding

If you’re like me, your family and friends are your biggest treasures. When I think of the happiest moments of life, my loved ones are always involved, so when it came to wedding planning, there was no way I could leave them out. I wanted to honor them in any way I could!

So today I want to give you a few ideas for ways you can incorporate, include, and honor your loved ones on your big day!

loved ones on wedding day

10 Ways to Include your Loved Ones on Wedding Day:

#1: Have a big Wedding Party

This is something that people sometimes turn their noses up to, but I’m here to tell you, big wedding parties are SO fun! I remember being nervous about the numbers- freaking out about having too many people up there with us or that the sides were going to be uneven. Looking back, these were such silly things to worry about! Alex and I both have big families and friends that we treat more like family, so having ALL of them by our side was super important to us.

After I accepted the fact that we were going to have 11 bridesmaids and 9 groomsmen, I realized it was such a perfect choice for us. It gave us a way to honor and celebrate our sisters, cousins, and closest friends. And our photos with them are some of my favorites from the entire weekend!

#2: Have Ushers!

Asking cousins, friends, or in-laws to serve as ushers is a great way to include those that weren’t asked to be in the wedding party or maybe weren’t able to participate in wedding party festivities. And it helps to ensure your guests are sitting in the correct places!

#3: Take Song Requests from your Guests:

Soliciting song requests from your guests on your RSVP cards is such a fun way to include your friends and family in your big day. One of my current brides is doing this and I’m super jealous I didn’t do it for our wedding! All you have to do is include a space for song requests on your RSVP cards, compile a list, and give it to your DJ or band! So fun!

#4: Ask Someone Special to you to Bless the Food:

I know a lot people have the Father of the Bride bless the food, but when we were planning our wedding, I thought that since my dad was already making a speech later in the reception, it would be a great opportunity to include someone else. My Uncle Dale has always been someone I’ve looked up to and is an incredible writer and speaker, so I asked him. He was honored and wrote the most beautiful blessing ever. It was a moment to cherish for sure.

#5: Incorporate Details from past Weddings:

I’ve talked about this one a lot, but it’s something so special to me. Ask your parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, future in-laws, or friends if there are any pieces used/worn in their weddings that you could borrow for yours. We used my grandparent’s 56 year-old cake topper on our cake and used my parent’s cake topper as decoration on a photo table. I’ve worked with brides who wore their mom’s veil or incorporated lace from a grandmother’s dress on their own. I also pinned a brooch from each of my great-grandmother’s on the bottom of my bouquet. I loved having a piece of them right there with me.

For more ideas on how to incorporate a loved one’s wedding dress in your own, click here!

family wedding

#6: Dedicate a Song:

We did this a few times at our wedding. The song we took our first steps to as husband and wife was my grandparent’s favorite song, “Jackson” by Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash (Hence where the name of my business came from). It was a complete surprise for them and I’ve never seen my grandma smile so big!

We also made absolute sure our DJ was going to play Alex’s mom’s favorite song, “Country Girl” by Luke Bryan so that she could have a moment in the spot like to cut a rug. It was so fun!

wedding bar menu

#7: Include a Loved One’s Favorite Food or Drink:

Naming a specialty cocktail after a loved one would be such a cute way to incorporate and honor them in your big day! Did your grandpa love Old Fashions? Maybe name it “Grandpa Joe’s Good Old Fashioned.” Or if your grandma loved chocolate chip cookies, add a tray of cookies to your cake or dessert table with a sign that says “Nana’s Favorite Chocolate Chips.” You can absolutely get creative with little touches like this!

For more ideas for your cake or dessert table, click here!

#8: Ask a Loved One to Witness Signing your Marriage Certificate:

Allot a few private minutes after your ceremony for you and your new hubby/wifey to step away and sign your marriage certificate and invite a few select loved ones. Maybe you have an aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent who would be honored to be your witness. Be sure to ask them ahead of time and that your photographer knows to capture the moment!

#9: Ask a Loved One to do a Reading During the Ceremony:

Ask a friend, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc. to read your favorite bible verse, scripture, poem, or song lyrics during your ceremony. It is so special and will include your loved one in a beautiful way.

#10: Use the Rehearsal Dinner!

If you are ever feeling guilty about not being able to include every single friend and family member into your wedding day, turn to your rehearsal dinner. Invite them to attend and to give a toast! Ask them if they would like to bring a dessert or be in charge of gathering RSVP’s. The rehearsal dinner is the perfect opportunity to involve extended love ones!

mom and daughter wedding day

You’ve Got This!

I totally understand if you are feeling nervous or pressured to include everyone in your big day-I felt the exact same way! But if you just give your people one or two small jobs or shout outs at the wedding, they will be SO honored! And at the end of the day, I promise your loved ones do not want you to feel any extra stress leading up to your wedding day!

Happy Wedding Planning!



Interested in having the Jackson & June team plan, coordinate, or design your big day? Find out more info here!

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