Your wedding day will be one of the greatest days of your life. It is a day full of joy, excitement, love, and celebration. Even with all the happiness of the day, it can also have an element of sadness if you have experienced a death of a significant family member or friend.
You are shaped by the people you interact with and your life experiences. On your wedding day, you are often surrounded by the people who have loved, cared, and supported you throughout every milestone of your life. While those that have passed away cannot physically be present, there are ways to acknowledge them, their contribution and influence in your life on your big day.
It is necessary to remember that death can be a challenging and uncomfortable thing for many people. Though it is you and your groom’s wedding, keeping your guests and their feelings in mind, especially those who are also touched by this loss may be essential to keep them in the joyous spirit of the day. If the person passed away recently, a more subtle tribute might be a better route to take as people may not have had time to grieve fully. When thinking of ways to pay homage it may help to think of the individual who passed away and your relationship with them and use that as the springboard for ideas. There is always the option to surf the web, which is what I did and I found some awesome ideas below to honor those who have died.
- Wear something that belonged to a loved one. A bride could wear her mother’s wedding dress, or have a piece of her father’s favorite shirt sewn into her gown. The bride could wear a piece of her grandmother’s jewelry or wrap her bouquet with an old handkerchief of her grandfather’s. A groom could wear a tie of his father or grandfather, or pin a significant item to his lapel that belonged to his mother or grandmother. If you want the remembrance to be subtle, incorporating some item that belonged to the person can be a meaningful way to go!
- Picture display. Some brides and grooms choose to remember their deceased loved ones through photos which can be done in many creative ways. A bride may attach a locket-sized picture to her bouquet. A couple can hang pictures on a tree outside of the ceremony. They could place a photo of the person on an empty chair with a flower at the ceremony where the person would have sat. Or another option is to arranged photos on a table at the ceremony or reception. The pictures can be just of the person by him or herself, or it can include the bride or groom, which is a cute idea especially if the photo is from when they were younger.
- A tribute. A bride and groom could give recognition to their lost loved ones by putting their names in the ceremony program. The couple could light a candle at the start of the ceremony, or play a song dedicated to the individual at the reception. Another sweet idea is to donate to a philanthropic organization about which your loved one was passionate.
With all of this in mind, I cannot emphasize enough – this is your day, do what you feel is best for the two of you.