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Weddings: Step-Parents & Step-Families: Rules for Success!

Updated on December 14, 2015
When it comes to weddings, include all step-family members!
When it comes to weddings, include all step-family members!

Step-Parents & Step-Families: What You Need to Know!

The "blended" family has replaced the traditional family in America, meaning that the majority of us have step-parents, step-grandparents and step-siblings. The question is: What role do they play in weddings?

The first rule to remember is: Weddings are times of inclusion, not exclusion. That means that hard feelings must be avoided at all cost. Keep that in your head.

The second is: Your mother and/or father loved and respected the person that they married after they divorced. While you don't have to love your step-mother or father, you do need to respect them.

If your step-father raised you, he should walk you up the aisle!
If your step-father raised you, he should walk you up the aisle!

Step-Parents, Etc. and Their Role in Your Wedding

Step-parents, step-grandparents and step-siblings should be given the same consideration as members of your "real" families. They are included in all pre-wedding festivities including engagement parties, showers and the rehearsal dinner. Step-siblings, if close to the bride- and groom-to-be, may be invited to the bachelor/bachelorette party. All are invited to the wedding.

If you grew up with your step-siblings, and your "full" brothers and sisters are included in your bridal party, then your step-siblings should be too. If for some reason they can't participate, they should do a reading at the ceremony, for example. (The same for your "full" brothers and sisters.)

If your step-parents are contributing to your wedding, then they are given the same consideration throughout the planning of your wedding as your parents.

All step-parents and step-grandparents receive corsages and/or boutonnières.

If your mom or grandmothers are to receive a rose or flower sometime during the ceremony, then so should your step-mom and step-grandmother.

NOTE: If your step-father raised you, he should be the one who walks you up the aisle--even if your father is contributing to your wedding.


When it comes to weddings and step-families, always remember to be kind!
When it comes to weddings and step-families, always remember to be kind!

A Word of Advice: Kindness!

Step-families are sometimes a thorn in the side of a bride- and groom-to-be, especially if their parents suffered through miserable divorces.

The trick is to get past the nastiness and include everyone. Treat your step-parents, step-grandparents and step-siblings the way you'd like to treated and everything will go wonderfully, better than you ever expected!

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