How to Include Loved Ones Who Aren't in the Wedding Party

Brett Heidebrecht

If you and your groom have friends and relatives that you'd like to honor during the ceremony, but you're unable to squeeze everyone into the wedding party, here are few other prominent roles you can give to those who aren't bridesmaids or groomsmen:

1. Ceremony reader

If your friend or relative is comfortable with public speaking, have him or her read a meaningful Bible passage or poem during the ceremony.

2. Musician or singer

Obviously, this only applies if they're musically inclined, but if you're lucky enough to have talented musician friends or family members, you can ask them to perform a song during the ceremony.

3. Candle lighter

If you're having candles at the altar or will be lighting a unity candle during the ceremony, ask two friends to be candle lighters: Just before the ceremony begins (when guests are seated and music is playing), they ceremonially light the candles using long matches.

4. Ring bearer

Who says the bearer of the rings has to be a kid? Ask a close friend to hold your wedding bands during the ceremony and then come up to the altar when the officiant is about to conduct the vows and rings exchange.

5. Usher

Enlist a couple of close friends to help welcome guests as they arrive to the ceremony and show them to their seats.

6. Chuppah holder

If you're having a Jewish ceremony, ask four friends to each hold a chuppah (wedding canopy) pole (such a nice idea for non-Jewish ceremonies, too!). Also, enlist another loved one to be the glass bearer (to carry the glass that will be shattered at the ceremony's conclusion).

7. Processional escort

For special family members you would like to include in the processional, ask them to escort your grandparents or other more elderly relatives down the aisle.

8. Marriage license witness

Lastly, you might ask an honored friend or relative to be the witness to your signing of your marriage license or your ketubah.

Related Stories