Left out of the Wedding? Here is How to Heal Hurt Feelings

As the trend toward smaller weddings continues, engaged couples need to get creative on how they create special roles in their weddings for cherished family and friends. Here are our suggestions!

blond siblings

Hey, Christie!

Help! Family drama overload!

My fiancé, Charlie, and I are both in our early 30’s and so excited to be getting married at Ainsworth House & Gardens this September!

Here is the potential family drama overload that we are facing:

Charlie would like to ask his two best buds from college to be best man and groomsman but this leaves out his younger brother, Tyler, who is 14.


I have a younger half-sister, Madison, who is 12 and has talked of nothing else than my wedding since Charlie and I announced our engagement.

She’s too young to fit in with my two bff’s but she’s completely oblivious to that.

What do we do?????

Thanks in advance for your guidance!

–Willow Worried in Wilsonville, Oregon


Hey, Willow!

I am here to help! This family drama—or even friend/sorority/fraternity drama—happens all the time. People build up expectations of how they will participate in your wedding as an honored member of the wedding party and then their expectations are dashed when they aren’t invited. Don’t fret! There are solutions! Here are my suggestions::

bride and maid of honor
blond teen girl
  1. If you have NOT announced who is in your bridal party, great! This gives you the opportunity to plan for additional roles at your wedding.

    Think about this person and consider the list of other possible wedding positions which is coming up here. Match the person to the “job.”

    a. Have a conversation with this person on how you would like to honor your familial bond or your friendship by inviting this person to do an incredibly special “job” at your wedding. Let them understand how valuable they are to them. Then explain what you want them to do. Anyone can be a bridesmaid or groomsman; it is a special honor for this person to be asked by you to sing a song, perform a reading during the wedding, give a toast, or anything else on this list.

2. If you have announced the members of your wedding party and someone who is not included has hurt feelings, then you need to sit down with them, apologize authentically, explain how special this person is to you, and offer them the incredibly extraordinary task of _____ during your wedding.

3. There are many roles at a wedding which could be performed by a sibling, a family member, or a friend. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, it will get you started. Possible roles for those not in the wedding party:

a. Traditionally, a younger sibling or cousin was in charge of the guestbook. You can still do that. Whether your guestbook is a gorgeously bound volume or its modern digital equivalent, you can ask someone to monitor it.

bridesmaid in pink dress
Black man in blue suit

b. Usher (not the singer) or Greeter: Greet guests as they enter the venue. Usher guests to their seats before the wedding.

c. Since you don’t need the same number of female attendants as you have male attendants, this person could stand up with you during the wedding as a “junior groomsman” or “bride’s dude.”

d. “Flower Guy” or “Ring Gal”—Instead of having young children in these roles, why not as a teen or adult to just go out there and have fun! On YouTube, there are numerous “Flower Guy” videos of full grown men throwing rose petals out of a fanny pack while parading up the aisle. Just a thought!

e. Ask the person to read a Bible passage, a sonnet from Shakespeare, or other reading during the wedding.

f. Ask the person to sing a song during the wedding or reception.

g. Read a blessing over you two at the end (e.g., an Irish, a Native American or other wedding blessing).

h. Give a toast during your reception.  Toastmasters, a club which teaches public speaking, is an option to hone the toast. (Heads up: The trend this year is to have only 1 or 2 toasts AND that each toast is no longer than 3 minutes.)

bride holds his arm

I hope this gets you started. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Your friend in the wedding business,

Christie Shyne


Images courtesy of Poxabay.com. Last two images are at Ainsworth House & Gardens.

© 2023-2024. Come Rain or Shyne, LLC. All rights reserved worldwide.


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