12 Unique Ways to Honor Deceased Loved Ones at Your Wedding
My grandfather passed away just six months before our wedding. Like many brides and grooms, I searched for a fitting way to remember and honor my grandfather (and other loved ones) on our wedding day.
We settled on displaying my grandparents’ wedding photos on our cocktail tables, and including a special mention in our opening toast. However, you have endless possibilities when it comes to creative ways to incorporate those who have passed!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Use one of their ‘favorites’ as part of your wedding planning: Incorporate one of your loved one’s favorite recipes in your menu, use a favorite flower in your décor, or send everyone home with a favorite sentimental token as a favor.
- Wear something that reminds you of that person: Photo charms can easily be strung on your shoes, jewelry or bouquet. Or, wrap a bouquet with a favorite tie or piece of a blue dress shirt as your “something blue.”
- Sew a memento into your gown: Transfer photos and even handwritten notes or letters onto fabric to sew inside your dress. Or, if your loved one passed away from a certain type of illness, you can incorporate that corresponding color into your ensemble for awareness (i.e. pink for breast cancer, red for heart disease).
- Use their wedding ring: You can re-purpose their ring into wedding day jewelry as a bracelet or necklace, or simply wear their ring on a different finger.
- Recognize them on your program: Include a special mention to loved ones who passed on your ceremony program, or wrap programs with a memorial ribbon or tag.
- Display their photo: Find an area to display photos of loved ones who’ve passed (like on stage or at the entrance to your ceremony, on cocktail tables or at your reception).
- Incorporate them into your ceremony: You can do this in many ways, such as lighting a candle, including one of their favorite verses or sayings, allowing a moment of silence, or using their bible in your service.
- Save a seat: Reserve an empty chair or pew spot at your ceremony or reception to symbolize your loved one’s presence. Include a photo, flower, or prized possession from your loved one to further celebrate their life.
- Mention them in a toast: Save a special mention in your toast, or provide a “toasting station” with their photo and favorite drink or cocktail.
- Play a favorite song: Have your DJ or band play a song that reminds you of your loved one at your reception (or save a special dance with their surviving spouse).
- Donate to a charity on their behalf: Contribute to a charity or foundation that your loved one supported or simply reminds you of their life in place of favors, or ask that guests donate in lieu of wedding gifts.
- Reserve a special ‘release’ ceremony at the end of the night: Have a Chinese lantern lighting ceremony, or balloon or butterfly release as a beautiful way to honor your loved ones. Or, have a sparkler or candle lighting exit dedicated to their memory.
with love & style from: Sandy (our editorial staff member extraordinaire)