Not sure how to honor cousins at your wedding? You can always find a spot for them at the table during the holidays. But when it comes to your wedding, sometimes the “top” honors are already taken. When siblings and besties take bridesmaid and groomsmen roles, there are other ways to incorporate your cousins. In honor of Cousins’ Day, we’ve got suggestions on how to honor these relatives on your wedding day.
HOW TO HONOR YOUR COUSINS DURING THE CEREMONY
If you feel the bridesmaid and groomsmen’s roles have all been taken, you can make cousins ushers or usherettes. They can guide people to their seats for the ceremony, and/or hand out programs. They can also be available to answer guests’ questions, guide them to the bathroom, or help them out with whatever they need before the ceremony begins.
Depending on their age, a female cousin can be a junior bridesmaid. Usually too old to be a flower girl and too young to be a bridesmaid, the junior bridesmaid is a wonderful honor for the tween (or girl that’s between 8-14) in your life. She will feel grown up and special wearing a dress chosen by the bride. She’ll love being included in the rehearsal dinner, just like the bridesmaids. You can also have her stand with the bridal party during the ceremony if you would like.
(Wedding Guys Wisdom: talk to the parents to determine how comfortable she is standing in front of a crowd before offering that she stand up in front of everyone with the bridesmaids. For some, this might be intimidating.)
You can also honor a cousin by assigning them a reading or having them choose a poem to read at the ceremony. If you have a bond with them that might come across through a poem or a special reading, this could be more meaningful to them than being in the bridal party. And yet another way to honor a cousin is if you ask them to walk someone special down the aisle. If there is a grandparent or other special person in your lives that will be walking down the aisle without a spouse, having your cousin walk them down is a very helpful and special honor.
HOW TO HONOR THEM AT THE RECEPTION
If the ceremony is jam-packed with people, rituals, and delegated responsibilities, there is always the reception to consider. If a cousin is very special to you, perhaps you ask if they would like to make a toast during the reception. Of course, this depends on the type of person. Not everyone feels comfortable getting up in front of a lot of people and taking the mic. But if you know they would love this honor, it might be the perfect way to acknowledge them. You don’t want to have too many toasts during the reception, but it’s your day and if you feel this is the way to honor a cousin, go for it!
Images courtesy of Ivy Christina Photography & Alison Lea Photography
For related stories, check out clever ways to ask your bridesmaids to be in the wedding or great gifts to give your flower girls and ring bearers.