How Can I Honor My Mother & Stepmother in My Wedding

When you have a complicated family tree, you must find a way to include everyone who's meaningful to you without stepping on anyone's toes. You want to include your stepmother in your wedding, but you don't want to take away any of your mother's important duties. Finding a role for each woman makes them both feel honored and guarantees you a day free from drama. Share your plans with both women long before the ceremony so that everyone knows what to expect on the wedding day.

Include both your mother and your stepmother in the invitation. List your mother first, then your father and stepmother on the line below. It's traditional to only list the names of the parents who are paying for the wedding. If your father and stepmother aren't contributing any money to the event, you may choose to include them anyway as a gesture or leave them out.

Assign your mother a role in the ceremony. If you're not having her walk you down the aisle, ask her to approach the altar and light a candle for you.

Ask your stepmother to give a reading at the ceremony. In this way, not only will she get to participate, but her name will appear in your wedding program.

Give each woman a flower or piece of jewelry to wear to the wedding. For instance, give each a corsage that matches your bouquet. You may want to give your mother a slightly more elaborate arrangement than your stepmother's.

Dance with both mothers at the reception. The groom generally dances a slow dance alone with his mother, but if he's close to his stepmother, he may choose a second song for her as well. He should dance with his biological mother first, regardless of whom he's closer to. The bride may also pull her mother and stepmother up to do a fast dance together in the center of the dance floor as a fun addition.

Include both women in your toast. When you're thanking the guests for coming, say a few words to each woman, thanking her for her contributions to your life and your wedding.