Wedding programs serve a couple of purposes. They let your guests know what to expect during the ceremony and enable them to follow along, even during cultural traditions or religious prayers they may not be familiar with. Programs make wonderful keepsakes from your wedding. They also serve to let guests know who's who, which is particularly helpful for a large wedding or when there are unconventional people you would like to include and introduce, such as step parents.
If You're Close
- List step parents in a meaningful way, particularly if they are close to you or your fiance. For example, if the bride's mother remarried when she was young and she's close to her stepfather, he should be mentioned. Likewise, her father's current wife should be listed as well. If you're close to one, but not the other, you should still list them equally to avoid being disrespectful or causing hurt feelings. After all, the day should be about you getting married, not sniveling parents or step parents.
Under the "parents" section of your program, list them like this:
"Parents of the Bride
Judy and John Smith (mom and step dad's name)
Billy and Brenda Brown (dad and step mom's name)"
Avoid using the term "step" if possible because it may hurt someone's feelings. It may also be considered rude, unless you are naming a specific duty along with the title. The wording should ultimately include all parties without making any of them feel slighted.
Another option is to include the step parents in some way. Perhaps your stepfather can be an usher or groomsman, and your stepmother can read a passage or poem. When you list their names alongside their roles, you can include "bride's stepfather" or whatever the proper title may be.
If You Aren't Close
- When it comes to step parents that you aren't close to, or perhaps the groom's dad is on wife number six, you don't have to include them if you don't want to. However, if that would make your parents upset or if you are including one step parent because you are close, or friendly, it's only polite to include them all. For generic wording if you aren't particularly close to either, you could use:
Jenna Baker escorted by her husband Leo Baker
Adam Cobb escorted by his wife Leah Cobb"
- To avoid snubbing the parents, particularly if one parent has remarried while the other hasn't, try alternative ways of including the step parents. Perhaps only the biological parents could be listed under the "parents" section. However, differentiate between parents who are no longer married, even if they still share the same last name. For example:
"Parents of the Bride
Parents of the Groom:
Then, create another section to add step parents, such as a "step parents" section or "other mentions" section. They could be listed as follows:
Groom's Step parents
It is best if you can list the step parents names next to their spouse's names to avoid further confusion. In the case of an irritated parent not wanting the step parent under the "parents" section, use terms such as "bride's family" instead of "parents."
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