Planning a wedding can be bittersweet when you know that some of the most important people in your life cannot be there. On one hand, it’s exciting to plan for the biggest day of your life. A glorious day when you will promise forever to the one that you love, surrounded by friends and family who are there to love and support you.
However, when you have suffered a loss, or multiples losses, this happy day can be a reminder that someone very special will not be there physically. Many brides and grooms feel that their wedding day would not be complete without honoring the memory of these important people and we have complied a list of 20 ways to honor the memory of your loved one.
20 Ways to Honor Loved Ones at Your Wedding
1. Acknowledge them in the wedding program. A simple heartfelt message is perfect.
2. Save them a seat. Place a rose in an empty chair right up front.
3. Set up a memorial table with photos of departed loved ones. Share a poem, favorite scriptures, or words from the loved one to personalize it even more.
4. Carry or wear something that reminds you of your loved one, as you walk the aisle and say your vows.
5. Light a candle in memory of all those who attend your wedding in spirit.
6. Share a toast in their memory.
7. Serve a special dish or drink that your loved one was known for making.
8. Use something that belonged to your loved one in the ceremony.
9. Dedicate part of your ceremony to them. Share special readings, memories, or something in their own words.
10. Observe a moment of silence either during your ceremony or after sharing a few words at the reception.
11. Give away favors that honor your loved one.
12. Release butterflies, doves, or balloons in their honor.
13. Present each guest that enters with a white rose (or other flower) that can be place in a vase to form a beautiful bouquet as a reminder of your loved one.
14. Include photo charms of deceased loved ones on your bouquet or photo cuff links for the groom.
15. Fill mason jars with photos of grandparents/parents on their wedding day. See this neat idea on A Charming Affair blog.
16. Display your loved one’s wedding dress, military uniform, cowboy boots, or anything else that will be a sweet reminder of them.
17. Create a clothesline full of special photos with a sign that says, “Forever in Our Hearts
18. Play a favorite song of your loved one and encourage all your guests to dance to it in honor of their memory.
19. Donate to your favorite charity in memory of your loved one and encourage guests to do the same in lieu of a gift.
20. Visit the cemetery a day or two before the event with your soon-to-be spouse.
Please share with us in the comments something you did to honor a loved one during your wedding — or did you see something someone else did that you thought was very meaningful?