How to Honor Your Stepparents at Your Wedding Without Hurting Your Parents' Feelings

Dear Wesleyann

Attempting to please both your parents and stepparents on your wedding day is a tricky business. Both parties have undoubtedly given you unconditional love and support throughout your life, but honoring your stepmother and stepfather might cause some bitterness if you don't take the time to adequately show them your appreciation as well. Our etiquette experts weigh in on how to honor stepparents without stepping on your parents' toes.

Begin by explaining to each set of parents that you wish to celebrate them both in your wedding, and any decisions you making regarding how to do so is because of that. Once you make your intentions known, start with your ceremony. If both parties are amenable, you might consider allowing both your father and stepfather walk you down the aisle. Since this includes favors your father and stepfather equally, neither should feel neglected or hurt.

Your reception also offers a plethora of opportunities to include both sets of parents. Acknowledging your stepparents in your toast or arranging a father-daughter dance with your stepdad in addition to your biological father will feel inclusive. You may also ask your stepparents to give a toast or reading during the reception. Remember, your parents love you! Your wedding is meant to be a time that you celebrate you and your loved ones. You parents and stepparents should support you no matter what arrangements you choose.

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