Tradition…. tradition! It can be a wonderful thing. Without our various cultural wedding traditions, we wouldn’t really know where to start, would we? The problem with tradition, though, is it can leave some people feeling less important than others when that’s just not the case. The father of the bride makes a speech – the mothers don’t get to speak but they do get bouquets and the father of the groom? Nada.
While tradition is a helpful starting point, we like to offer alternatives here at Under the Vintage Veil. So without further ado, here are our…
Five ways to include the groom’s parents and the bride’s mother
I had (as is Jewish tradition) both parents walk me down the aisle. I also had two maids of honour holding my train, which kind of made us look like a little flotilla walking down the aisle!!
If you’re having your ceremony at a venue with more than one entrance, a nice touch could be the groom being walked in by his parents as part of the procession, followed by the bride and her parents from another entrance, so that everyone important to the big day is included.
Images in this post © Satureyes
Traditionally, there are three speeches: the best man, the father of the bride and the groom. This is a throwback to the days where women were not expected (or necessarily allowed) to speak in public, when a bride was seen as a commodity and the father of the bride will have paid for the whole wedding. For personal reasons, I’m very glad that my dad spoke at my wedding – and that we got it all on video, but every family is different.
There are no hard and fast rules any more when it comes to wedding speeches. You could have both sets of parents decide amongst themselves who will be the one to speak, or who is most comfortable expressing themselves. You could have a speech from each of the fathers or each of the mothers so that both the bride and the groom are represented by a parent. Or, if family relationships are good you could have all of the parents deliver a speech together, or perhaps each deliver a wish or a blessing for your marriage.
Another way to include your parents in your speeches is to talk about them in your own speech! For example, you could list the things that each of your parents has taught you about how to make a marriage work, or the qualities you admire in them that you’ll bring to your marriage.
The first dance
If you’re not very confident dancers, one way to include all of your parents is by asking them to join you on the dance floor for your first dance as a married couple. That way you don’t have to dance alone with all eyes on you and your parents are brought into the spotlight too. Ahhh!
One unique and interesting way to include all of your parents is to include their love stories in your stationery. This only really works if your parents are still together (or on good enough terms not to mind) but for those lucky enough to still have their parents as a unit it could work. Or if this isn’t an option (but you love the idea) you could incorporate one (or a few) epic love stories from your family history. It would be a great way to get to know your roots and to bring the past into the present.
Our mothers acted as witnesses to our legal ceremony – our fathers signed our Ketubah (Jewish marriage certificate). That was how we chose to include all of our parents. But there are countless ways to get your folks involved in the ceremony. You can have your parents place your hands together for the moment you are pronounced husband and wife so that they all give you away. Someone (or all of them) can do a reading.
They can give you their advice on a happy marriage as part of the ceremony itself, or they can simply all stand by your side as you say your vows.