8 Thoughtful Ways You Can Honor Lost Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day

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.

Save them a seat for the ceremony.

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.

Photographer: Chestknots Studio | Real Wedding: Spot All the Touching Details from Bettinna Carlos’ Intimate Morning Wedding!


Wear something of theirs.

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.

Photographer: Derrick Lim Photography | Real Wedding: This Bride Wore Her Mom’s Wedding Dress, Bridal Robe, and Walked Down the Same Church Aisle!


Pray for them during the ceremony.

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.

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Include photos of them in your wedding accessories.

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.

Photographer: ProudRad | Real Wedding: A French Garden Themed Wedding Filled With Sweet Pastels
Photographer: ProudRad | Real Wedding: A French Garden Themed Wedding Filled With Sweet Pastels


Incorporate details with special meaning to them.

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.

Photographer: Mark Melano Films | Real Wedding: This Couple’s Wedding Date Was a Loving Tribute to the Bride’s Late Parents


Include one of their favorite dishes on the menu.

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.

Photographer: Jaja Samaniego | Real Wedding: This Bride Chose Her Favorite Autumn Colors as Wedding Motif and It Looked Amazing!


Put up a photo wall with your fondest memories.

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.

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Dance to one of their favorite tunes at the reception.

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.

Photographer: JPPhotograph | Real Wedding: A Dried Bouquet and an Igorot Dance: This Wedding is Full of Unique Personal Touches!


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