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Sorting through the layers of emotion between a parent and adult child on the child's wedding day can be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. If you and your parents have been through some tough times together over the years, you may be struggling with ideas for how to give them the respect and appreciation they deserve on a day when you're expressing your lifelong commitment to someone else. Read on for some ways to creatively and inexpensively memorialize your parents at your wedding and reception and how to deal with the sometimes conflicting emotions surrounding this transitional time in your life.
How can you incorporate your parents into your wedding day?
If you'd like to add some genealogical touches to your upcoming wedding, your first step should be to sit down with your parents and ask them what they remember most about their own wedding. Learning more about your parents' nuptials can give you a bit of insight on what they viewed as most important before you ever entered the picture and may even give you a few ideas of your own. You'll also be able to ascertain whether any items from your parents' wedding may still be available for your use—like your mother's wedding dress, vintage photographs, dried flower centerpieces, or even a set of toasting flutes.
If your mother still has her wedding dress, you may be able to incorporate a strip of fabric or lace from the dress into your bouquet, fastening it with a brooch or other piece of your mother's jewelry. As a bonus, this bouquet wrap can fulfill both the "something old" and "something borrowed" parts of the traditional bridal rhyme. Depending upon the fabric and style of your mother's dress (and how well the dress has held up over the years), you may also be able to incorporate parts of your mother's dress into the new wedding dress you bought, such as one from Bridal Elegance. A skilled seamstress should be able to provide you with a mock-up of the final product so that you can make an informed decision before making a single cut into either wedding dress.
Another creative way to memorialize your parents is to have your wedding photographer snap a few quick shots of you and your new spouse holding framed photos from your own parents' weddings or even recreating a pose or picture from your parents' wedding. Presenting these custom photos as a surprise to your parents after your wedding is sure to bring both laughter and tears at the shared memories.
What emotions should you expect as you near your big day?
Planning a wedding can be a stressful and chaotic time. You may also find yourself battling a series of conflicting emotions, perhaps even bringing up issues from your past or childhood you thought were long buried. You could find yourself wondering how your relationship with your parents will change once you've gained a spouse.
Your parents may also be nervous as your wedding approaches. It can be difficult to adjust to the thought that the child who was a helpless infant seemingly just a few short years ago is now about to marry and potentially move far away from home. They may worry about the place they'll hold in your new life, particularly if your future in-laws are a bit pushy or overbearing (or if you'll be living much closer to them geographically). Having a frank and kind conversation with your parents about your mutual concerns well before your wedding may be a good idea to help clear the air and make sure that each of you feels reassured and loved as the big day approaches.Share