How To Include All Loved Ones In Your Wedding

By Lorna Urwin

A wedding is typically a celebration in the presence of everyone you hold dear. While of course, you want every guest to feel special, it’s only natural to want to set aside specific roles at the heart of the festivities for your very closest friends and relatives.

​Though the bridal party goes some way towards this, it can be a little limiting – there’s usually only a small group, the roles entail large time and financial commitments and involve being in the spotlight for much of the day. Here we look beyond bridesmaids and groomsmen at some alternative but appropriately special wedding roles for all of your VIPs.

1/ Behind the scenes

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Images by Simply Lace Photography and Leila Brewster

If your wedding will involve some DIY or you want the chance to bounce ideas with others, enlist trusted, creative confidantes to support you through decision-making and execution of the wedding’s stylistic elements. Make sure you outline what you think you’ll need help with, though, so friends know what they’re signing up for! If the role will involve some less-than-glamorous tasks (sticking stamps, packing welcome bags), try to make the atmosphere convivial by having some of your favourite music or movies on in the background. 

Since this is by nature an unseen role, be sure to give plenty of credit and a heartfelt thank you to your behind-the-scenes heroes on the wedding day too, whether in a toast or in the programme (or both!).

2/ Something blue

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Images by Michele Beckwith and Anna Lui Photography

Your ‘something blue’ is the only part of the rhyme that is easily fulfilled by a person or group of people, in this case, dressed in their preferred shade of blue. This role benefits from being both fun and meaningful – the person get to find a new blue dress or suit and represents good luck and positivity - but without the strain or pressure of other wedding duties. (Naturally, asking someone to be your something old is unlikely to be so well received!)

3/ Toastmaker

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Image by Ruth Eileen Photography

Ask a friend to do you the honour of saying a few words, whether at one of the pre-wedding parties or rehearsal dinner - often time for toasts is tight at the reception itself, but of course you can fit someone in here too if desired!

4/ Greeter or usher

guests, bridal, party, wedding, involved, responsibility, planning, helping out, bar, toasts, reception, speech, toastmaker, excluding, usher, performer, support, colour, dress-code

Image by The Grovers

Appoint your most gregarious and helpful loved ones as the friendly faces who’ll welcome guests to the ceremony and/or reception. They can help answer any guest questions, guide people to their seats and hand out wedding programmes.

5/ Part of the processional

For the ultimate special honour, have your close friend or relative walk down the aisle as part of the processional. This is an especially lovely way to honour older relatives like grandparents and is an established tradition in Jewish weddings, where grandparents are the first to follow the rabbi down the aisle as the ceremony begins. 

6/ Reader or performer

guests, bridal, party, wedding, involved, responsibility, planning, helping out, bar, toasts, reception, speech, toastmaker, excluding, usher, performer, support, colour, dress-code

Image by Patina Photography

If your loved one is confident enough to deliver a reading or musical performance, inviting them to contribute one or the other might be the perfect way of including them in the emotional spirit of the day. If you have specific music or reading selections in mind by all means guide your chosen performer, but giving them the freedom to suggest some ideas to you (giving you an alternative or two) is yet another way to ensure they feel fully included.

7/ Witness

Though it’s traditionally the best man and maid of honour who sign the marriage certificate as witnesses of the wedding, you have the option of choosing another special guest or two for this all-important task.

8/ Reception support or attendant

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Images by Mint Photography and Kylee Yee

The reception usually features either an activity or an item that requires supervision of some sort. Examples include attending to the gifts or guest book, wrangling people for photos or distributing favours.



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