In Memoriam: Honoring Lost Loved Ones At Your Wedding

Weddings are a time for friends and family to gather together and celebrate. Nothing could be as wonderful as having each and every loved one standing beside you during this time. Unfortunately, sometimes loved ones can only be present in spirit due to death or distance. One of our own Marisa Nicole Events team members just lost someone very dear to her, so our passed loved ones are close to our hearts right now. There are so many options in how you can pay a special homage to those who are no longer with us on your wedding day. Today we’re sharing ideas with you on how to do just that.

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Initial Thoughts

The first thing to consider when working out how to best give a nod to your loved one at your wedding is to think about are how much attention you want to draw, how long it has been since the passing, and what the person would truly appreciate in a special, personal way if he or she was there to see it. There are more visible and more subtle ways to include passed loved ones, and in order to do right by these special people, keep in mind whether they liked to be the center of attention, or they prefered to stay more low key.

resized-for-blog_-4Left: Studio EMP, Right: Andie Freeman Photography

Program Mention

The simplest and probably most traditional way to include a loved one is to mention them in your wedding program. Guests will be able to see the name on paper, as a formal visual memorial. And, if you have multiple people to mention, this can be a perfectly orderly way to honor them all.

cocktails-detailsPhoto Credit: Cocktails & Details

The Photo Table

An eye catching and quite aesthetically pleasing way to give a visual display of lost loved ones is to curate a photo table to honor them at the reception. This has so much room for creativity and personalization, not to mention it’s beautifully decorative! You could put a framed photo (or photos) with a lit candle, some of their personal items, or a flower arrangement to tie this in with the rest of your decor. The key with the photo table is to make sure it is unique, but doesn’t look out of place.

resized-for-blog_-3Left: Storymix Media, Right: Michelle Lindsay Photography

Wear Something He or She Owned

If you happen to have a memento from the lost loved one, such as a necklace, a handkerchief, wedding ring, or a piece of their clothing, you can incorporate that into your ensemble. This comes in handy when you’re looking for something old, borrowed, or blue! You can string grandma’s pearls to your bouquet, wear dad’s tie, or sew a piece of mom’s dress inside yours. When you have that special piece from your loved one on your person, you can feel connected in a special way for the entire wedding.

resized-for-blog_-2Left: Something Turquoise, Right: Fawn Christiansen Photography

The Empty Chair

This gesture is not necessarily for everyone, especially if the wound is still fresh. However, if you have had plenty of time to grieve and are certain sad feelings won’t be triggered, “saving a seat” for this person can be a very sweet and special way to include them in the ceremony. You can put their name or a bouquet of their favorite flowers on a chair to mark their spot. In light of keeping the balance between celebration and memorial, this does tend to be a bit more on the melancholy side. But if you are looking to create a visual representation of their memorial, this is a great way to do it.

resized-for-blog_Left: Magnolia Adams Photography, Right: Caroline Joy Photography

A Song in The Loved One’s Honor

A way you can honor someone in an either a big or more low key way is to select a song in their memory. You can use a favorite song of the loved one in the ceremony, have a formal dance dedicated to them, or simply play a dance party jam that reminds you of special times with the special person. But as they say, music is the language of the heart, so know that tears could sneak up on you. This is similar to the empty chair, in that you might want to be sure the wound has properly healed. Also, keep in mind that we’re trying to keep things joyful at the reception, so an emotionally charged song might be better suited for the ceremony.

resized-for-blog_-5Left: D’Royal Music, Right: Bridal Musings

Honoring a lost loved one doesn’t necessarily have to be a grand gesture. In fact, that’s the most special part about it! You can do this as something shared with the whole attendance, or just something between the two of you, it just depends on how you choose to execute it. We hope that these ideas have sparked sweet memories of those passed on and inspirations on how to make them a part of your special day!

shoot-the-moon-photoPhoto Credit: Shoot the Moon Photography

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