Honoring Loved Ones Lost
A wedding ceremony is a joyous occasion. Families come together and rejoice in the union of the newlyweds but these reunions can often leave families with a bit of an emptiness when loved ones who have passed on can not be in attendance. Honoring their memory and expressing their love, many couples find ways to incorporate them into their special day. Here are some of my favorites that I’ve seen over the years at our wedding venue, A Place in the Vineyard.
1) Reserving a seat for them during the ceremony
This bride’s “Momma” had passed away from a terminal illness. No mother would ever choose to miss her daughter’s wedding ceremony so this simple touch added sweet sentiment to the day. Some couples choose to simply leave the seat empty while others adorn it with ribbon, flowers or a photograph.
2) Wearing a piece of their jewelry
Brides, see if she had a necklace that was near and dear to her or a ring that had special meaning. Grooms, perhaps he had custom cuff links or a handkerchief. Wearing this during your wedding ceremony will be such a sweet touch and although this may not be something that is all that visible to your guests (unless pointed out), it will surely mean something to you!
3) Wearing her bridal gown
I know, I know, gowns become outdated. But did you know that there are shops dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind dresses from bits and pieces of your family’s retired gowns? This can be a great use of gowns that would have otherwise just collected dust.
4) Recreating an old family photo
This one is something I’d never seen before but really liked. Her mother passed away when she was young. To honor her memory, she wore a dress very similar to that of her mother’s in a treasured picture from the past. The photos taken from this moment are just priceless.
5) Carrying a locket
No, not in your pocket! Unless you’re the groom of course! Have your florist integrate it into your bridal bouquet. Carry your loved one with you down the aisle. What could be more special?!
6) Creating a memory table
This one is very common and is seen at many receptions. This is where you find your favorite pictures of late loved ones and arrange them on a table for guests to admire throughout the course of the evening. Simple yet impactful.
7) Handing out roses during the wedding ceremony
This is so special and really makes the remaining family feel included and loved.
8) Making note of them in the program
This is a very solemn way to honor their memory. Writing things on paper can be hard for people depending on the freshness of the wound.
9) Toasting to their memory
. This one is easy and brings everyone together for a unified cause if only for a moment. I have seen this many times and it always brings a tear to your eye.
10) Considering the favors you give out
Did your loved one battle cancer? A donation to the appropriate cancer foundation can be a very meaningful favor. Did they love a certain bakery or type of cookie? Giving those away as favors is a tasty memory too.
No matter what your choice, your family will appreciate the warm gesture and your loved ones in Heaven will smile from above.