When you’re a bride, including a sister or someone on the feminine spectrum is easy. They could be built-in Maid or Bridal Party Member of Honor and trusted fashion advisor at your fittings, and may probably be able to plan your perfect bachelorette party with their eyes closed. Including a brother or sibling on the masculine spectrum can be a bit more challenging, but they can still play a vital role on your big day!
We’re sharing a few favorite ways to include your brother in your wedding.
As Bridesmen or Bridal Party Members
Can’t imagine standing up at the altar without your brother or masculine sibling? Well, there’s no rule saying your bridesmaids or bridal party members actually have to be women! Instead, nominate your brothers or siblings who aren't women as bridesmen or bridal party members and include them in the processional. Deck them out in outfits that coordinate, whether that’s in matching tuxedos or light-gray suits that complement the dark gray the others 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.
If you want to keep the bridal party exclusive to women, you can still include your brothers or siblings in the ceremony processional as ushers. They can escort guests to their seats and hand out programs before the processional, then jump in line and walk your grandmother or mom to her seat. Brothers or siblings who are kids at heart also make great escorts for nervous flower bearers! 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 bridal party members and groom party members 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 parents 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 or bridal party and groomsmen or groom party (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.
Right before it’s time to exchange vows, ask your brother or sibling 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/bridal party member of honor and best man/groom party member of honor, but if you and your siblings are extra close (regardless of their gender), 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 maid/bridal party member of honor and best man/groom party member 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 or siblings to join you in the middle of the dance floor to bust a move.