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Wedding Planning Q&A: How to Involve Important People
How can I involve important people in my wedding besides making them a bridesmaid or groomsman?
One of the best ways to involve important guests is by having them contribute something creative that is part of the wedding day *before* the wedding–the possibilities are endless, and the family member or friend gets to make an important contribution without playing a starring role in the actual event:
- addressing, stuffing and mailing save the date cards or wedding invitations
- embroidering a handkerchief, making a ring-pillow
- advising on seating assignments (even if it's just for folks in their circle / generation)
- assembling wedding programs
- making aisle-markers
- baking cookies, making jams, sweets, boxes of tea etc. to give out as favours
- if the person has children, have their kids contribute drawings about the meaning of love or marriage to display at the guest reception table or even in the program
There is no shortage of work that needs to be done, and people generally will feel honored to be involved, no matter how tedious the task. It just (!) requires planning and coordination on your part. Wedding blogs and our book Handmade Weddings are full of simple DIY ideas that can be used to both add a personal touch to your day and involve family and friends in a meaningful way.
The welcome reception or rehearsal dinner are also great places to involve people who aren't part of the bridal party–have them co-host, give a toast, perform a song, teach a dance, recite a poem, present a special gift to the bride and groom, etc. You can also involve non-bridal party members in throwing or participating in showers or engagement parties.
Another easy way to make people feel appreciated is to thank them or mention them in a toast you make at the reception (just make sure it's not too long-winded!)
Specific jobs you can assign on the day-of:
Before the ceremony & reception
- Welcome bag coordinator: assemble welcome bags and distribute to guest hotels
- Shuttle coordinator (if you're providing shuttles): take role call and perhaps provide ice-breakers (perfect for the former camp counselors!)
- Seating coordinator: may be something your caterer or wedding planner is doing, but it doesn't hurt to have an insider make sure that everyone's seat is assigned correctly and that they indeed have a seat!
At the ceremony
- Usher: greet guests and hand out programs
- Reader, singer, musician
- Photographer / videographer (even if you have a professional, which hopefully you do, it's great to have back-up folks taking candid shots!)
At the reception
- Contribute to a display of family photos at the guest sign-in table
- Give a toast or speech
- Deejay (if you're using an iPod)
- Coordinate activities / supervise a children's table