When you can’t squeeze everyone who is important to you into the wedding party, you have to get creative. Discover 5 ways to celebrate your friends at your wedding, even if they aren’t the ones standing next to you during the ceremony. With some thoughtful planning, you can make each friend feel special and loved on your big day.
- Select High-Quality Favors
The small gifts that you give to your wedding guests say a lot about what you think of them. Choose high-quality, useful items that represent your genuine appreciation for their presence at your celebration.
Food items like hot cocoa mix in a special mug, a bag of jellybeans or coffee beans, a small bottle of olive oil and herbs, specialty chocolates, or a jar of local jam or honey are typically well-received, and you can attach personal notes if you like. If you’re looking for something special, may we suggest jars of our famous sauce, so you can take the taste of your wedding day feast home!
Sunglasses, bottle openers, wine glasses, engraved keychains, tiny succulent plants, handmade candles, or cocktail kits can also make your friends feel loved and celebrated.
- Plan the Seating Carefully
Think about each one of your friends when you’re crafting the seating chart for your reception. Try to avoid awkward placements, like putting exes next to each other or placing relatives who don’t get along at the same table.
Ideally, everyone should be close to someone familiar, and should have someone with common interests nearby to talk to. At the very least, try to seat your friends where they’ll be comfortable and able to enjoy the festivities.
- Ask for Advice
Even if a friend isn’t part of the wedding party, he or she may want to be involved with your big day. Bring him or her along for wedding-related errands, and ask for advice on wedding decisions. If you’re doing another venue tour or checking out table mock-ups, having a friend along adds a fresh perspective and helps that person feel included and valued.
- Invite Friends to Pre-Wedding Events
Inviting your friends to your bachelorette or bachelor party, adding them to your bridal shower list, making them honored guests at the engagement party— those are all ways to help them feel celebrated throughout the process. You could even host a cake-tasting or wine tasting night that includes friends you love who aren’t in the immediate group of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
- Involve Them in the Wedding Ceremony
Friends who aren’t in the wedding party can serve as greeters or hosts, offering programs to guests. They can help direct other guests from the ceremony space to the reception space. Consider asking some of your friends to do a special reading during the ceremony, to perform a song, or offer a toast at the reception. Some brides and grooms have a non-traditional procession, which might include a group of friends dancing down the aisle in celebration of the big day.
For more ideas on including your friends in your wedding celebration, talk to our fantastic event specialists at Nanina’s in the Park. They can also guide you when it comes to other important decisions, like selecting vendors, planning decor, and choosing a menu. With careful planning, you can ensure that all your guests feel welcome at your wedding.