Looking for ways to include your parents in the wedding planning process? Dealing with parent dynamics when planning a wedding can be a bit sticky. You may have divorced parents, remarried parents, or parents who are not financially contributing to the wedding. Every couple’s situation is unique. And long gone are the days of “this side pays for this and that side pays for that”.
Whatever your situation may be, you might be looking for ways to include your parents in the wedding planning process. Ways that don’t include them throwing down in the finance department. But ways that still allow them to feel included in the process and offer their feedback. You might be asking what’s left when asking your parents to be involved in wedding planning. So we’re breaking down a few no-brainer options, in the blog below!
Invite Them to The Cake Tasting
Arguably one of the more fun items on your wedding planning checklist is the cake tasting! It’s important to keep in mind, this appointment needs to be scheduled in advance. Your cake tasting typically takes place once you’ve signed the contract with your baker! When you do schedule your appointment, ask your baker how many people they have room for at your appointment. Many bakers will cap the appointment at a total of 4-6 attendants for a slew of reasons. Those additional 2-4 seats at your cake tasking will allow you & your partner to discuss if you’d like to invite one or two parents along to the appointment with you.
Here’s where it could get a bit sticky. Your wedding cake serves many functions on your wedding day. Cutting the cake is a fun wedding day tradition. After that, it’ll be served to your guests as part of your dessert course. But it’s also a piece of decor! If there is a specific vision in mind for the design of your cake, you may have to walk the line of telling pushy opinions that your vision is non-negotiable. But, while you appreciate their feedback, what you really need help with is pairing flavor profiles for each layer! If you’re going for a multi-layer cake, you have room to make each layer of the cake and its filling an experience all its own. And that’s where you’ll need input from your parents on what their thoughts are about different flavor combinations that will entice & excite your guests!
Input on The Catering Menu
You and your fiance might have some absolutely fabulous ideas for the catering menu at your wedding! Maybe you’re envisioning a fun Asian fusion menu with imported libations & a cocktail hour that includes sushi or a raw bar! But, you have an inkling that not all of your friends and family will be as excited about your outside-the-box wedding day catering menu as you are.
Asking for your parent’s input in this department is a great way to include them in the planning process. It also saves you from the dreaded but inevitable decision fatigue! Decision fatigue is real! Even if you have your Pinterest boards ready to go, and yes, even if you’ve been dreaming of your wedding day your entire life. When planning your wedding you’ll find yourself faced with decision after decision. Leaving you feeling like you’re ready to wave your white flag and call it a day.
When you’re ready to gather your parent’s feedback on the catering menu, you’ll want to ask them once your caterer has been selected and the bulk of your menu is already in place. That way, the big decisions that tie back to your dream wedding have been made and your parents can step in for ways to help you enhance your menu. Maybe even in a way that includes more family-friendly options throughout the day. Let them know what your budget is and ask what their thoughts are about additions to your menu within that remaining allotted budget!
Walking through your venue prior to your wedding day usually happens twice. Once when you first visit the venue to inquire about booking. The second walkthrough typically happens when you are working with a planner or a designer. They may want to meet you at the venue to further discuss planning & the decor layout you went over on your call. Skip inviting your parents along to either of those walkthroughs. The first walkthrough with your venue will largely be about whether or not the venue is for you, along with the total cost for booking that day. Secondly, the walkthrough with your planner or designer will rely heavily on decision making including enhancements, cutbacks, and again, more talks of budget.
However, there will be a final walkthrough, and this presents the opportunity for you to invite your parents. Once it’s time for your final venue walkthrough, all of your final payments will have been made along with all of the major decisions about planning and decor. That takes all of the “big stuff” off the table and out of the way, leaving room for you to invite parents to the walkthrough simply to share in the joy of your upcoming wedding and give them a bird’s eyes view of what will be unfolding in a just a few days! You’ll get to show them the venue, inside and out, and what your plans are for how the venue will be set. It’s a great way to spend the day together ahead of your wedding while also giving them a behind-the-scenes look before the big day arrives!
Asking for Old Photos
Looking for a nostalgia-inducing wedding planning item that will allow you to bring your parents on board? This is it! It’s a wonderful way for your parents to take a walk down memory lane while savoring the moment before their “baby” gets married. Displaying old photos is an amazing way to pull your guests into your story, but you’ll probably need to ask your parents for all the good ones!
Old photos can be used for fun games at your wedding shower, as table decor at your rehearsal dinner, or even displayed at the welcome table, or remembrance table of your wedding reception. We guarantee that your parents have access to all of the amazing photos that you are looking for! Let your parents know what you’re looking for, and exactly how the photos will be used. That way they can easily select photos with the best context and also make copies for you that can easily be displayed and used as needed!
Input on the Seating Chart
One of the admittedly, less fun items on the wedding planning checklist, is putting together the seating chart! It’s a battlefield of reading scrawled RSVPs and deciding who will sit where and who sits next to who. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about seating guests together if they don’t “know” each other, because they’ll have the opportunity to meet one another digitally through your Guestie Event.
However, there is still a certain hierarchy to follow when planning a seating chart. For example, if you are going with the modern tradition of having a sweetheart table, you might want members of your wedding party all seated at the same table. But some of them might have a plus one, and some of them might not. There will be a whole lot of “but if” scenarios when putting together your seating chart. But having an outside perspective is the best way to mitigate stress. While also showing your parents know that you honor and respect their insights in this department!
Ask Them to Host Your Rehearsal Dinner
We said we would help you find ways to include your parents in the wedding planning process that didn’t include finances and we are sticking to that! If you’re torn on shelling out money for a fab local hotspot for your rehearsal dinner, there’s always option B. Asking your parents to host your rehearsal dinner at their home. It’s as simple as that!
Using their home will allow you the flexibility to hire a fabulous caterer! As opposed to paying a rental fee elsewhere, you can instead hire an in-home chef, or grill master to work up a menu so good that your guests will be dying to know what you’re serving at the wedding! With your caterer hired, there will be little left for your parents to do! Outside of the general post-party pick-up that needs to happen once the rehearsal dinner is over!
Attend Your Fitting
Fittings are a great stand-in for actually attending dress or attire shopping! Asking a parent to attend your fitting(s) doesn’t require talks of how they might contribute financially. Your fitting will happen once your attire has been purchased and any alterations have been made. So it will just be a matter of asking your parents along to catch a glimpse while assisting you with any buttons or zippers! This will help avoid any potentially unwanted opinions on your selections that might otherwise sour your shopping experience.