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  • Writer's pictureKristina McDonald

5 Ways to Include Your Mum in Your Wedding Ceremony

Weddings are an exciting occasion for all the family, but sometimes mums get a bit of a bum deal! There’s the father-daughter dance, the walking down the aisle, the flower girls and page boys, the speeches – and often, poor mums find they have little to do.

At my wedding, all our parents had a big role to play. Although I’m usually a rebellious, independent person, I really wanted my dad to walk me down the aisle – which he did with great excitement! My father-in-law did a great job at getting the best man to the wedding venue on time, and gave a really lovely – and mostly improvised! – speech to welcome me into their family.

I’m proud to say I come from a line of very strong women, and I’ve married into a family of equally ferocious ladies! Both my mum and mum-in-law gave speeches at our reception, and they’re honestly one of my fondest memories of the day.

The wonderful thing about humanist ceremonies is, there are no rules! So if you’re keen to get the matriarchs in your life involved in your big day, here are some ideas.

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1. Walking Down the Aisle

The tradition of the father walking the daughter down the aisle is an old and patriarchal one. A lot of women are resistant to the idea of being “given” to their husband, as was the tradition. A great way to break with the custom is to have your mum do it! Of course, if your dad would be devastated to miss out on the chance to with their baby well, you can have both parents walk with you. But if you’re from a single parent family, your dad has sadly passed away, or you have an extra special bond with your mum, this break from tradition is a great way to honour her.

2. Symbolic Rituals

If you’re incorporating a symbolic ritual into your wedding ceremony, there is lots of scope to include mums, stepmums and mums-in-law. You could have your mum tie the knot during your handfasting ceremony, or light a candle during your unity candle ritual. They could hand you your shared cup during your wine ceremony, or be in charge of passing the rings during your ring warming. Symbolic rituals offer endless opportunities to get others involved, and you’re bound to find a special role for your mum in whatever ritual you choose.

3. Readings

Asking your mum to read something during your ceremony is a lovely way to involve her in the proceedings. When my sister got married, my mum wrote a blessing, which she spoke over the couple after they had exchanged vows, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house! Of course, if your mum doesn’t want to write something, you can provide her with a poem or piece of prose to read instead.

4. Something Borrowed

If your mum is a bit less willing to “stand out” at your ceremony, wearing a piece of her jewellery is a great compromise. A brooch, bracelet or pair of earrings is a beautiful touch, especially if they happen to be a family heirloom or part of her wedding outfit. Some brides take this a step further, choosing to wear their mum’s veil, or even her wedding dress!

5. Sign the Register

If you’re having a legal wedding, you need two people – one for each partner – to sign the wedding schedule. Why not have both your mums take that honour? This gives you a chance for a little private moment in the middle of the ceremony, and some great photo opportunities as well. Both mums get to feel a little bit special, and putting their names to your marriage license is a lasting memento of their support.

Remember Her

If your mum is no longer with you, there are some way you can remember her at your ceremony, so she still has a place on your special day:

· Light a candle for her

· Mention her during your ceremony or vows

· Wear a piece of her jewellery

· Have a trinket or memento in your bridal bouquet

· Place her photo on the signing table

There are so many ways to honour and celebrate your mum during your wedding day: I hope you think about including some of these ideas in your ceremony!

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