How Can I Honor My Mother & Stepmother in My Wedding?

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While weddings can be a time for joyous celebration, they can also present logistical challenges as you try to honor and respect both your mother and stepmother. Whether these women are alive or have passed away, there are several things brides and grooms-to-be can do to honor their loved ones on the big day.

Deceased Mother Figures

It can be difficult to celebrate a wedding when your mother and stepmother cannot attend. In those cases, dedicating one table at your reception to displaying the photos of late family members can be one way to honor their memories. You can also include an "In Memory Of" passage at the end of your wedding programs, according to Inviting Invites. As the big day draws near, you can also ask your officiant to mention your mother and stepmother as part of the ceremony itself, or you can ask anyone giving speeches at the reception to include mention of them.

Defining Roles

While your mother already has a role in your big day, finding a way for your stepmother to also shine can be equally important. Maybe she could be a bridesmaid, helping with the bridal shower and taking on other tasks as assigned before standing beside the bride during the ceremony, according to Bridal Guide magazine. Depending on state and local requirements, your stepmother could also act as the officiant for your wedding. Alternatively, asking her to give a speech during the reception could be another way to recognize her importance in your life.

Providing Tasks

While the mothers of the bride and groom often have designated roles of importance, stepmothers may feel left out. Traditionally, the mother of the bride helps with planning the wedding, helps the bride choose her dress and stands in the receiving line, according to The Knot. Traditionally, mothers of the groom dance with their son at the reception, organize a rehearsal dinner and manage other planning aspects of the wedding. Offering to split up these responsibilities between a mother and stepmother, or including both women in all of these events, can foster a more positive relationship among all of you.

Additional Help

Sometimes, conflicts between your mother and stepmother can make planning your wedding difficult. Let both women know your intentions and plans for the big day ahead of time so that there are no surprises or hurt feelings on the eve of your wedding. In other cases, your well-intentioned gestures -- like seating your parents and stepparents together at the reception -- may be seen as disrespectful or uncomfortable. Talk to your mother and stepmother privately about any responsibilities that they would like to undertake, and what you can do to help them feel more comfortable at your wedding.