Weddings are a huge milestone in every couple’s life, so it’s only natural to want to share the special day with the people who matter the most, even those who have already passed on. They may not be able to physically witness your union, but there are tons of ways you can pay tribute and celebrate with them in spirit. Maybe display some photos of them at the reception or something more subtle like wearing an heirloom piece of theirs to the wedding? There are a number of possibilities and it is entirely up to you, as a couple, if and how you will be honoring them. If ever you do decide to pay homage to a lost loved one on your big day, we’ve come up with some ideas you can consider. Remember that it’s more important to do what feels right to you rather than replicating what you think you’re supposed to do. Your loved ones will certainly be happy for you no matter what.
One simple way you can include a loved one in the wedding is by saving them a seat at the ceremony. You can mark their chair with a photo, a name card, or even their drink of choice. And if you’re still holding on to a coat, hat, or an article of clothing of theirs, why not place them on the seat too? It will be a heartfelt reminder of their presence when you look back at the seats as you’re standing at the altar.
Whether it’s their actual wedding dress or vintage heirloom jewelry, it’s such a sweet way to pay tribute to them. We’ve seen many brides make changes to original designs to make them more modern, and this is definitely a welcome option to better match your own style.
Talk to your priest or officiating minister about what part of the ceremony you can include a short prayer for those who could not be present. This is usually done during the Prayers of the Faithful or the time when the couple exchange their personal vows. Another option is simply adding a short note in the wedding program.
Keep your loved ones close by placing a photo of theirs in one of your wedding day accessories. Your options include a brooch pinned on the bridal bouquet or groom’s boutonniere, the bride’s locket, or the groom’s cufflinks. You can always opt to wear it inside the suit jacket or tucked under a sleeve for something low-key.
If you’re thinking of ways to honor your late parents, what about sharing a wedding date with them or saying your I Do’s in the same Church they did? This thoughtful gesture is something only a select few will understand, making it one of the more special and intimate ways of honoring them.
Talk to your caterer and explore your options. They probably serve the dish or at least, something very similar to it. If your loved one had some culinary skills, you can also consider including one of their signature recipes as part of your giveaways, if not the menu.
Pick a spot and hang your favorite photos with them for your guests to see. Try and include photos from one of your most enjoyable trips or events, so guests can reminisce fondly when they look at the snaps. Do take note of other guests who are still sensitive to the death when planning out your tribute to prevent any untoward emotions.
It can be the song you remember them always singing when you go on long drives or maybe a song that holds a special place in their hearts. Whatever the tune, whether slow or upbeat, make sure to have fun in the moment and even invite other guests to join you on the dance floor.