Your wedding can be a poignant time if you have deceased loved ones. You can find ways to honor the deceased at your wedding while still maintaining the festive nature of the occasion. Ultimately, how you choose to do that is up to you. Some people prefer a subtle approach that perhaps only the bride and bridegroom are aware of, while others like to share their homage with family and friends attending the wedding.
The following are some good ways to honor the deceased at your wedding:
Choose a meaningful day
Get married on a day that was significant to your loved one, such as their birthday or wedding anniversary.
Use one of their favorite songs
If your loved one had a favorite song, have it played as part of the ceremony or reception music. For a special honor, the newly married couple could choose this song as their first dance.
Include a photo in your bouquet
Attach a small photo of your loved one to your bouquet for a sweet, subtle reminder of them.
Ask the minister to say a prayer
Ask the minister to include a prayer in the ceremony to remember those who aren’t with us, including their name or names if you’d like. This can also include a moment of silence to honor them.
Include a photo table at the reception
A photo table at the reception can include photos of the bride or groom with the deceased, or perhaps their wedding photos. This can be a nice way to remember several deceased loved ones.
Use or wear something they’ve given you
Perhaps you’ve received a special piece of jewelry that you could wear. Brides may have been given a veil or even a wedding dress that they could have updated. Grooms could use a pocket square or handkerchief.
Save them a seat
Some brides and grooms like to remember loved ones by leaving a chair open at the ceremony in their honor. Include a floral display, candle, or framed photo of them, and perhaps a small, tasteful sign explaining whom the seat is honoring.
Incorporate one of their favorite flowers
Include your loved one’s favorite flower into your bouquet, or use it in floral displays for the reception or at the altar. After the wedding, you can dry the flower and keep it in your wedding album.
Remember them in the program
Remember your deceased loved one with a poem or a brief remembrance in your wedding program.
Light a candle
Light a candle in honor of your loved one during the ceremony.
Serve their favorite food
Have one of your loved one’s favorite foods or drinks served at the reception.
Take a photo
Ask your photographer to take a photo of you and your spouse-to-be holding a photo of your loved one.
Make your wedding favors unique
In lieu of wedding favors, make a donation to your loved one’s favorite charity. Include a small note at the tables or in the program indicating that this was done. Or choose a favor that reminds you of something they loved.
Whichever ways to honor the deceased at your wedding that you choose, do what feels right to you, knowing that they would want you to enjoy and celebrate your special day.