10 Powerful Ways to Honor your Lost Loved Ones
Your wedding is a time of celebration with your loved ones and your closest friends. But if you’ve lost someone close to you, it may be extremely difficult to imagine your big day without that special person in your life to celebration with.
One of the greatest issues couples struggle with when planning their wedding is how to honor a lost loved one. Whether you choose to acknowledge this person’s absence publicly for your guests to share or privately for you alone, deciding how to do that can be challenging.
A tip: Check in with any close relatives who may be sensitive to the death, and then decide how you want to honor their presence in your life without turning the wedding into a memorial service.
Honor them at your wedding with these unique – yet – tasteful DIY wedding ideas that will keep them close to your heart.
1 Wear something that reminds you of that person.
This is one of the most private ways to honor a lost loved one—no one will even know unless you tell them. This is a great way to keep that person close to your heart without drawing attention to their absence. You can wear a piece of jewelry that was passed along to you, like a pair of earrings or necklace. If you have already chosen specific wedding jewelry items, you can clip an earing, ring or brooch in your bouquet. You can also incorporate a favorite photo, a handkerchief, or another little memento into your bouquet.
2 Incorporate Their Fave Floral into Your Table Setting.
What’s a better tribute than beautiful blooms? Garnish your centerpieces or bouquet with the beloved flowers of your dearest, whether it was always growing in their garden, or simply a variety that reminds you of them.
3. Tribute in the ceremony program.
Include an “In Loving Memory” section in your ceremony program. You can choose to keep in short and simple or include your favorite story or piece of advise your loved one may have passed on to you.
4 Light a candle.
The most common way is to have a single candle at the entryway table or near your cake display. Use a flameless candle to reflect that this person’s memory will live on forever, or light the candle together at the beginning of the ceremony. A picture of the deceased can also be placed next to the candle.
5 Have a photo table.
Another popular option is to set up a small table in the reception hall entrance with photos, flowers and memorable items. Many couples opt to feature family wedding photos, both of the living and of the deceased. It’s a nice way for your guests to take a trip down memory lane.
6 Dedicate a part of the ceremony to that person.
For one of your readings, choose your loved one’s favorite poem or story. Play their favorite song as you walk down the aisle. Before the vows have the minister say, before we continue, the Bride and Groom would like us all to take a moment to remember those family members who can be with them today solely in spirit. Then have a moment of silence if you like.
7 Consider your favors.
Did your loved one battle Cancer, MS or suffer from a stroke? A donation in his or her honor to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society makes a wonderful and meaningful wedding favor. Or, consider her favorite treat—a small box of fudge from her favorite candy shop will bring back great memories for those who knew them well. Did he love playing the lottery? Give each guest a scratch-off lottery ticket. You can either include a note to inform guests that it’s in someone’s memory, or you can keep that fact private.
8 Save them a seat.
A physical reminder of the person you’re missing, perhaps an empty seat in their honor, is a strong way to recognize a lost loved one. Place a single rose, photo or small bouquet on the chair either before the ceremony starts or as a part of the ceremony. It can remain unmentioned or the minister can refer to it at a certain point in the ceremony. Keep in mind, that looking out and seeing an empty seat while you’re exchanging your vows may trigger sad feelings.
9 Sew a Note into Your Gown or Suit Jacket.
Keep them close to your heart throughout the day by sewing a meaningful handwritten letter or card into your dress. You can copy the note onto softer fabric so it lays nicely underneath.
10 Make a special Toast in their memory.
A very special time to commemorate late family or friends is at the reception. While giving a toast to the bride and groom, consider having your father share a sentimental story or words of wisdom from a loved one who is no longer with you. Having a moment of silence for a recently deceased family member is another option, or incorporating a song in their honor during the reception is another idea, if you don’t want lengthy or teary speeches.
Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life. Celebrate You.