Since today is my grandmother’s 80th birthday, I’m feeling especially sentimental about how important grandparents are and what a big part they play in your wedding day.
Including grandparents in your wedding can be tricky, especially if you have multiple sets of parents with multiple sets of grandparents. However, I believe it is truly important to find a way to make them feel special during your big day.
When my husband and I got married, our two maternal grandmothers were the only remaining grandparents in attendance. Here are just a few ways we tried to make sure both grandmothers felt special during our big day.
1. First Look
My grandmother had already seen what my wedding dress looked like during a fitting she was able to attend prior to the wedding, but I knew I wanted to get some photos of her seeing me completely dressed up on my wedding day.
Before I did my first look with my dad, I made a special time for my grandma to come and see me in my bridal suite. It was so special to have a quick moment with her, and we were also able to get some great photos of her with my mom and sisters.
Looking back I’m so glad we were able to capture these moments, because once the wedding day got into full swing, I’m not sure we would have remembered to get a photo like this.
2. Dedicated Photo Time
I also knew I wanted to ensure that my husband and I got some portraits done with each of our grandmothers, as well as together with each other’s grandma too.
Since the day got too crazy, as wedding days usually do, and we ended up not getting family portraits done with our grandmothers (check out this post about my biggest wedding regret), I’m so glad we took the time to get these individual photos with our grandmothers, especially since this was the last big occasion we had with Chase’s grandma before she passed a year later.
I would make sure to tell your photographer ahead of time if you want to do some separate portraits like this so they can make sure to pull you and your groom aside before the ceremony begins. It may be a few extra minutes away from your wedding party or guests, but these photos have quickly become family treasures to us.
3. Surprise Dance
I have to give all the credit for this idea to my husband and my mother-in-law! They came up with the idea of surprising his grandma with a special grandmother-grandson dance after the mother-son dance and it was the sweetest moment ever.
Chase and his grandma dance to the Israel Kamakawiwo’ole version of “Over the Rainbow,” and the smile on her face was nothing but pure joy. They really only danced for 30 seconds or so, but the moment could not have been more perfect and I’m so glad this was something we were able to include in our big day.
I also think it’s important to remember to share a little dance with your grandmas during your reception too! While they may enjoy just watching everyone else have a great time, they also want to get in on the action too.
4. Remembrance Table
For those who have lost their grandparents or any important family members, I think a remembrance table is an amazing way to recognize these individuals at your wedding.
We collected a few photographs of our paternal grandmothers and set them up at a table in our reception area with a sweet sign so guests knew who these people were. It wasn’t a huge gesture, but it certainly meant a lot to many people in our family, and helped us feel like these special people were still with us on our wedding day.
As our family gets older and grows further apart, I’ll always be thankful for the special memories we were able to capture with our grandmothers on our wedding day.
You never know how many big occasions you have left with the important people in your life, so I urge you to take a few extra minutes during your planning process and think of a few ways to recognize these extraordinary family members.