Weddings are an exciting time for the bride and the groom as well as their families. If your family includes step-parents, especially step-parents who have played the role of a parent since you were a small child, you likely want to include them in your wedding. Figuring out how your step-parents fit into the wedding planning process can be difficult. Luckily, there are several ways you can include a stepparent in your wedding.

Ask for Their Help

One of the best ways to let a stepparent know that they are appreciated is to ask for their help. If your step-mom is a great seamstress, ask her to sew your dress. Ask your step-dad his opinion on what ring to get for the groom. Seek their advice on honeymoon destinations, great places to get flowers, and other wedding-related topics.

Split or Share the Roles

If you want to involve all your parents in your wedding, you can split or share the roles traditionally performed by a specific parent. For example, the bride could have her stepfather walk her down the aisle and then have the father-daughter dance with her biological father. As an alternative, she could have both fathers walk her down the aisle, with one on each side, and she could have one father do the first father-daughter dance, concluding the night with a father-daughter dance with her other father.

Your mother and stepmother can also split or share roles. These may include wedding dress shopping, helping with makeup, and other wedding planning.

Of course, these are just some of the ways that you can involve one or more of your step-parents in your wedding. Not every family situation is the same, and planning how you will involve a stepparent in your wedding should be a personal decision. One thing to remember is that it is important to discuss your plans with all your parents early on so they know what to expect in the days leading up to your wedding and especially on your wedding day. You do not want a parent showing up to your wedding assuming they will be playing a specific part only to realize you have asked someone else to play that role.

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