Both of My Parents Have Remarried. Do I Need to Include My Stepparents in the Wedding?

Ceremony & Vows, Etiquette
Stepparents wedding ceremony etiquette

Photo: Trystan Photography

While a bride and groom's parents have pretty clearly defined roles in the wedding ceremony, the rules for stepparents are much more fuzzy and involve a judgement call on the part of the couple. What should a stepmother or stepfather do during a wedding, if anything? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your wedding ceremony questions in our daily post.

Both of my parents have remarried. Do I need to include my stepparents in the wedding?

This is completely your call, and your decision will depend upon a number of factors. On the one hand, if a parent hasn't been married to a new spouse for very long, or you simply don't have a close relationship with the spouse, you might not feel comfortable giving him or her a big role in your wedding. In that case just make sure to seat the couple together at the ceremony and reception. You can also have a parent's new spouse sport a corsage or boutonniere—it will make him or her feel like part of the inner circle. If you have stepparents who have been a part of your life for several years and you are really close to them, you'll probably want to include them in more special ways. Perhaps your stepmom can do a reading at the church and your stepfather can give a toast at the reception. Or, how about asking your stepmom to be a bridesmaid or your stepdad to be a groomsman? This way, you could walk up the aisle with your parents and then have the whole group standing with you and your fiancé at the altar. Also, don't forget to book a stepfather/daughter dance at the reception, and have your new hubby take your stepmother for a spin around the dance floor. One final note: Make sure to mention your stepparents in the who's-who section of your wedding program.

You Might Also Like:
Browse all mother-of-the-bride dresses
Wedding Etiquette Tips: The Wedding Ceremony
25 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from