Unique Ways To Include Friends & Family In Your Wedding Day

Apart from the obvious roles – think walking the bride down the aisle, being part of the wedding party, or acting as a witness – there are other ways you can include those you hold dear on your big day. When it comes to less traditional ideas, we asked three wedding planners to share some of their favourite, personal experiences…
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Carrie Mitchell, Director & Event Planner From Union Weddings Says… 

Appoint an MC
“Keeping a wedding on schedule might not sound like the most fun job, but if you hand the microphone to one of your funniest friends rather than giving it to your planner or venue manager, things can become far more entertaining. Just make sure you also have someone professional (and sober) to ensure they meet their cues, otherwise things might quickly descend into chaos.”

Call on musical friends
“If you’re blessed with a musical family or friends who can hold a tune, consider asking them to perform at your wedding. One of our brides had her brother sing as she walked down the aisle – his voice momentarily cracked with emotion when she came into view, and it made it all the more meaningful.”

Ask absent friends to send a video
“For those who can’t attend your wedding, ask them to send clips directly to your most tech-savvy friend or family member who can edit them together to be played on the day. Given that continuing restrictions may prevent many guests from being there in person, this is one way to make sure they still feel like an important part of your day.”

Swap readings for recollections
“We’ve seen so many couples struggle to find romantic poems or passages they love, so if the format of your ceremony permits, ask friends or relatives who were there to witness your romance in real life, to share their favourite memories. It’s much more personal and is guaranteed to be totally unique to you.”

Get arty friends to create something bespoke 
“We’ve seen couples ask talented friends and family members to do all sorts of things – from sketching a small drawing of the venue, which was then printed on their invitations, menus and place cards, to others designing a full suite of stationery. Just make sure you credit any serious contributions in the speeches.”

Make your own wedding gallery
“Create a beautiful talking point by collecting wedding pictures from other couples that inspire you and put them on display. From your great grandparents – who may no longer be with you – to your best couple friends who might only have been married a few months or years.”

Give everyone a speech
“If you’re having a micro wedding, let everyone have a say. One of our couples who had to reorganise their wedding three times due to changing Covid regulations eventually decided on a family-only day where all 11 guests stood up and said a few words. It was intimate, emotional and absolutely unforgettable.”

Let foodie friends showcase their skills
“If you have budding chefs in your crew, hit them up for a culinary contribution. You could swap a traditional wedding cake for a dessert table featuring an array of sweet treats, lovingly baked by guests. Or, copy one condiment-obsessed couple we worked with, and place a selection of specially bottled and labelled sauces and pickles on each table.”

Do a group sing-along
“Surprise sing-alongs have become quite the thing with couples looking to inject some fun into their ceremony. You don’t necessarily need anyone who can play a real instrument, just place mini tambourines, kazoos, triangles or maracas upon each chair at the ceremony, along with a copy of the lyrics, and have a backing track ready.”

Visit UnionWeddings.co.uk
 

Fern Godfrey From Fern Godfrey Weddings Says…

Consider an open mic
“Don't feel like you can only involve the wedding party in your speeches – it's your day and so your prerogative on who speaks. I've seen an open mic at a wedding before, which was just lovely and resulted in lots of spontaneous laughter and joyful tears.” 

Call on them for décor help
“If you don't have a wedding planner, stylist, or someone coordinating your wedding day, then assign a trusted friend or family member to set up your décor and details. A few weeks before the wedding, create a list of things that can be handed over to this person on the day. Even if it's just a case of running their eyes over the tables to make sure everything looks perfect, or checking the floral arrangements are in the right place – delegating will give you head space to relax on the morning of.” 

Hold a favour-making evening
“Consider hosting an evening of favour making with those who'd like to help out. You provide the drinks and snacks, and they provide the production line.” 

Appoint confetti distributors
“Whether it's placing a packet on each seat before the ceremony or handing guests a cone as they arrive at the church, this is a lovely job for guests who really want to help with your day but aren't part of your wedding party.” 

Create a playlist 
“We've all got that one friend who curates an awesome playlist, and now is the time to make the most of their skills. Even if you're having live music as part of your wedding day, make sure you have a playlist ready when your musicians are taking a break so there’s never a lull.”

Allocate a guest-book minder 
“If having a guest book full of heartfelt messages is really important to you, then make sure you allocate someone to pass it round during the evening reception.” 

Call on green-fingered friends
“If you have any green-fingered friends or relatives who are keen to help with your wedding day but don't want to upset your florist, consider asking them to help create buttonholes, contribute flowers for guest bedrooms, or help with centrepieces for your pre-wedding dinner. That way, their efforts will be thoroughly enjoyed by guests, without stepping on the toes of your carefully chosen suppliers.” 

Visit FernGodfreyWeddings.com

We’ve seen so many couples struggle to find romantic poems or passages they love, so if the format of your ceremony permits, ask friends or relatives who were there to witness your romance in real life, to share their favourite memories.
Carrie Mitchell

Charlotte Aitken, Director Of Albion Parties Says…  

Try a different approach to wedding-dress shopping
“Rather than just asking a friend to come with you, why not ask two friends to each pick three dresses for you to try on? It’s a fun way to start the search for your dream wedding dress, and you never know, they might just know you better than you know yourself.”

Borrow some jewels
“If you have a friend or family member with an amazing jewellery collection, ask if you can wear something on your wedding day as your ‘something borrowed'.

Involve the children 
“Ask your friends if their children might like to be flower girls or pageboys, and organise a ‘getting to know each other’ afternoon tea for them a week before the wedding so they feel comfortable with each other on the day.”

Get to the wedding in style 
“Ask a motorhead friend to drive you to the ceremony and later on to the reception. Whether they have a classic car or something more conventional, decorate it together to involve them in a fun and unusual way.”

Get help with tasting 
“Ask a knowledgeable foodie friend to come along to your food tasting before your wedding to provide helpful feedback. This can be invaluable if you and your partner feel you need a third opinion. Equally, invite a friend or two to help you choose the wine and cocktails for the day. They could also help you name the cocktails with fun, personalised names.”

Carve it up
“If you are having a laid-back wedding, designate one person as the head of each table, give them a personalised apron, and ask them to be in charge of serving and dishing things out.”

Take to the dance floor
“It’s an idea that’s been around for a while, but getting friends involved in the first dance is still a really fun idea. All the bridesmaids and ushers could do a routine that could be incorporated into your first dance.”

Visit AlbionParties.com

 

For more advice and wedding guidance, visit UnionWeddings.co.uk, FernGodfreyWeddings.com and AlbionParties.com.

 

DISCLAIMER: Government guidance on weddings held in the UK is constantly changing. Always check the latest regulations before making any decisions relating to guests or your venue.

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