Honoring a deceased loved one at your wedding
Planning your wedding is a joyful and fun time, but when either of the couple have a deceased parent, sibling or loved one; the loss can seem more noticeable. There are many ways of honoring a deceased loved one at your wedding.
Your wedding is a celebration of life, while a missing family member is sad, it should not overshadow the joy of your day. Some couples fear a memorial tribute will make the absence more noticeable; others feel incorporating their memory into the day will be more comforting. It is important that you and your fiancé have an honest discussion about how you both feel. There are plenty of loving ways to honor a lost loved one – there is no right or wrong – decide how you are both most comfortable with remembrances of your deceased relatives. Once you have had your discussion, share your plans with your immediate family.
While it is not appropriate to include a deceased parent on your invitation (ie. the late___) it is fine to add a simple memorium line to your ceremony program such as “Today, Bride and Groom, honor those who could not be with us, especially _______”.
A memorial to a deceased family member, done in a respectful and uplifting manner, can be a very special part of your wedding day. Below are some suggestions you might feel comfortable with.
- Add a Memorial table at your ceremony: place a small table off to the side of the ‘altar’ with a flower arrangement and a card “In memory of ____ (relationship to) the Bride/Groom”.
- Light a memorial candle at the beginning of the ceremony to symbolize the presence of a deceased parent, let the candle burn through out the ceremony. (You can even have a candle engraved with “In memory of ___ who is present in our hearts”.)
- In the case of a deceased parent, you can place a single rose on the seat of honor.
- Incorporate a favorite poem, scripture verse or song of the loved one into your ceremony.
- Wear a piece of jewelry or article of clothing that belonged to your loved one (a mother’s dress, father’s cuff links or ring, grandparent’s handkerchief etc.)
- Speak with your florist about including a photo locket, Rosary beads, a piece of jewelry or charm into your bridal bouquet.
- Display a Memorial Table at your reception with a picture of the Bride and Groom along with a small grouping of pictures including pictures of the loved ones with the bride or groom.
One of the neatest ideas I had heard was a Bride whose deceased father was also her soccer coach – she wore shin guards under her wedding dress.
On your wedding day as with any other special time in your life, find what makes you most comfortable to remember those who meant the most to you.