Some of you who are planning a wedding are doing so with a bit of sadness. Someone who’s dear to you, someone who should be at your wedding, has passed away. It’s a really bittersweet time to be thinking and planning for this really special day knowing that they won’t be there to share it with you.
Unfortunately, I’ve worked with more than a few couples in this situation, so I wanted to share with you guys some of the really meaningful, special ways that they’ve honored and remembered loved ones on their wedding days.
There are a lot of great gestures, both public and personal, to be thinking about our lost loved ones. Here are just a few :
1. Incorporate a picture of them into bouquet charms that hang from your flowers.
2. Wear or carry something that belonged to them such as special jewelry or attire. Think pocket watch, handkerchief, or even a note tucked into your pocket.
3. Light a Memorial Candle at the ceremony, or have one at the reception. This can be done with or without an announcement being made.
4. If there was a verse, poem or book that was meaningful to them, you can incorporate that reading into your ceremony.
5. Place a flower or a picture on their seat at the ceremony.
6. Leave an ‘In Memory of’ note in the ceremony program.
7. Have a moment of silence at the beginning of the ceremony of remember those who could not be with us. You can either mention that person (or people) by name or let it go without saying.
8. Create a memorial table for guests to check out at reception. You can use more recent pictures of that person or even wedding day pictures.
9. Play a song in their memory at the reception. You can ask the DJ to dedicate it in that person’s memory or let it be unsaid.
10. Make a toast in their memory at the reception. In this case, it would be wise to keep it very brief, just a word or two. But, it’s a great way to honor someone who meant a lot to the couple and the family.
Obviously how you choose to remember loved ones will depend a lot on how close you were to them, how recently they passed, and whether or not the loss is shared by your guests. There’s not one right way to do it. Talk to your fiance, talk to your family and find what seems to fit the best for you.
On our wedding day my husband and I had a memorial table for loved ones that went before, and during our ceremony we read his grandfather’s favorite Bible verse. It was low key but I think it meant a lot to our guests who were missing those family members too.
It’s really hard to think about the people we love the most not being there to celebrate every milestone with us, but I hope these ideas were meaningful and helpful to you. If you have done something to remember a loved one on your wedding day that I didn’t think of, I would love to hear about it in the comment section!