7 Brilliant Ways to Include Your Brothers in the Wedding

Here’s how to give your bros a part in your big day

Updated 10/18/17

Elizabeth Cooney

When you’re a bride, including your sisters is easy. They’re built-in bridesmaids and trusted fashion advisors at your fittings, and they could probably plan your perfect bachelorette party with their eyes closed. But what about your brothers? We’ve asked our experts to share a few of their favorite ways to include your brothers in your big day.

As Bridesmen

Can’t imagine standing up at the altar without your brothers? Well, there’s no rule saying bridesmaids actually have to be women! Instead, nominate your brothers as bridesmen and include them in the processional. Deck them out in suits that coordinate with the groomsmen, whether that’s in matching tuxedos or light-gray suits that complement the dark gray the other gents are wearing. Tie them into the bridal party with ties that match the bridesmaids’ dresses and boutonnieres that match your bouquet, and send them down the aisle ahead of you.

As Ushers

If you want to keep the bridal party women only, you can still include your brothers in the ceremony processional as ushers. They can escort guests to their seats and hand out programs before the processional, then can jump in line and walk your grandmother or mom to her seat. Brothers who are kids at heart also make great escorts for nervous flower girls! They can either wear attire that matches the groomsmen or opt for something distinct but coordinated.

In a Family Processional

For a family that’s really close, it might be hard to imagine heading down the aisle without them by your side. After all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen have processed, honor your parents and siblings with a family processional. Have your siblings walk down the aisle ahead of you together, then follow them as you process with both your mom and dad on your arms.

At the Altar

Take a cue from Jewish wedding traditions and, instead of having your wedding party at the altar, have your families join you there instead. Reserve the front rows for your bridesmaids and groomsmen (and your siblings’ dates!) and ask them to take a seat after their big walk. Then have both your parents and siblings stand at the altar with you as you exchange your vows, symbolizing their support and the merging of your families. You could add a family unity ritual, like a unity candle, to really bring the point home.

As Readers

Right before it’s time to exchange vows, ask your brothers to stand up and share a few words with your guests. Skip the serious words, and instead ask them to read sections from your favorite children’s books. Look for selections from books like Oh! The Places You’ll Go, Winnie the Pooh, or The Velveteen Rabbit.

As Toast Givers

Toasts are usually reserved for the maid of honor and best man, but if you and your siblings are extra close (whether they’re brothers or sisters), there’s nothing stopping you from asking them to make a toast as well. They could speak after your parents’ welcome toast or hop in line behind the best man and maid of honor. You could also have them speak during the rehearsal dinner, or treat their toasts as the main event at your morning-after brunch.

With a Sibling Dance

It seems like every set of siblings has some sort of family dance, whether it’s moves they choreographed as kids or a song you love to rock out to in the kitchen when you’re all home for Thanksgiving. Make sure your tune of choice gets played during the reception, and ask your brothers to join you in the middle of the dance floor to bust a move.

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