Family dynamics can be COMPLICATED, especially when step-parents are involved!! You want to honor your step-parent because they have been such a big part of your life. However, you don’t want to take anything away from your biological mom or dad.
I’ve had tons of brides ask me, “How can I include my step-dad without over shadowing my real dad on my wedding day?” It’s so important to find the right balance in order to avoid unnecessary drama or hurt feelings. Over the years, I’ve seen brides do so many different things to include their step-dad at their wedding. Here are some things you can do for your wedding:
1. Have your dad walk you down the aisle + step-dad do a reading/something during the ceremony.
2. Do a father daughter dance with both of them. Start with one father/daughter dance, have your husband do his mother/son dance, and then do the other father/daughter dance! This way they’re both included and no one is overshadowed! I would suggest cutting songs to make them shorter because you’d be doing two! Also, you could ask your dad to see which order he would prefer!
3. Have one dad do the welcome/blessing and the other do a toast! This option allows both dads to have a chance to say a few kind words as they address you and your guests at your reception, especially if both are paying for the wedding!
4. Do a separate first look with both dads! I love this one because it gives them their own special time with you on your big day! It’s great, especially if your dad and step-dad don’t get along!
5. Let your dad and step-dad walk you down the aisle. It can be both at the same time or they can switch halfway down the aisle (stepdad first, real dad second so he can hand you away). **Disclaimer: I’m not the biggest fan of this one because it’s sometimes messy to execute but I’ve seen it done before***
6. One of my love languages is handwritten notes so obviously this is going to be included in the list of ideas (lol)! Write your step-dad a letter/get him a special gift and have it waiting on his seat when he arrives for the ceremony! This is a small but potentially impactful way to make him feel special without stepping on anyone’s toes!
It’s important to realize this isn’t a “one size fits all” scenario. Before you choose anything, I’d suggest sitting down with both dads and telling them how you feel about the day. Ask for their feelings about what your decision is and then go from there!