(Not trying to be a Debbie Downer with this post—bear with me; it gets better.)

Early in our engagement, Mr. P’s grandmother passed away, followed a year later by his grandfather. Finding a way to honor loved ones who are no longer with us became a priority. I suggested a photo display of portraits and weddings to Mr. P, and he thought it was a lovely idea.

Mrs. Jellyfish’s elegant photo table, one of my favorite examples

A few weeks ago, I had an ah-ha moment. Our photo table will have an extra layer of detail and sentimentality. (We’re determined to make our guests cry…) For each grandmother that has passed, a single bloom of her favorite flower will be interspersed amongst the photos with a tent card explaining the significance.


My great-grandmother, Granny Greene, loved pink peonies (“panhk” with her Southern accent), which grew in abundance around her Arkansas home. When she passed, my mother transplanted a small bush to our West Virginia home. The peony bush is still there, over 15 years later. It blooms in early June. Our wedding is in early June. Huh! Hello, ah-ha moment! In a perfect world, my parents would bring Granny Greene’s peonies to the wedding. In a not-so-perfect world, I’ll ask our florist for a similar pink double peony or simply frame one of my photos.


Mom’s peony bush in July 2001


Peonies represent healing, life, and happy marriage.

My mom’s family has a green thumb that can be traced back to Granny Greene (interesting green/Greene coincidence). All of the women love to garden, and it’s been our common bond as we plow, weed, and harvest together. For our family, I can think of no better way to honor my great-grandmother than with her peonies.


My great-grandparents with me, 1982


Three generations of ladies


I’m fairly certain they’re laughing at my likeness to the Michelin Man.

My father’s parents are no longer with us. To honor Mémère (French for grandmother), we’ll set out a potted pansy. (Pansy is also my Granny Greene’s middle name. Enough with the coincidences!) In the pot, I’d like to hide a tiny elephant with its trunk held up (good luck) as a further nod to her.


Pansies represent thoughtful recollection—rather appropriate. (source)


Dad, his aunt, Mémère, me, and Mom (1983)

And then there’s Mr. P’s grandparents, seen here at their 1941 wedding. She’s carrying a bouquet of calla lilies and baby’s breath.


Calla lilies represent majestic beauty; baby’s breath, happiness. (source)

(all personal photos unless otherwise noted)

How are you honoring your family members?


Mrs. Pain au Chocolat

Wilmington, DE
Wedding Date:
June 2011
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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    Miss Samson, Guest @ 1:05 pm

    I was JUST thinking about this same subject last night. We’re having a dessert table and that got me thinking about how my grandmom had Chips-A-Hoy in the sugar jar, and preztel rods in the flour jar. I was thinking of having them there, with a rose (her name) as a subtle tribute to some of the best memories of my life. I love your idea!

  2. Member
    CapeBride917 94 posts, Worker bee @ 1:05 pm

    How very touching! This is a fabulous idea. We are definitely doing a family photo tribute, but I may have to make it just a little more personal :)

  3. Member
    xtatic1 783 posts, Busy bee @ 1:30 pm

    We are also doing a photo tribute, as well as a place in our program to honor those who can not be with us.

  4. Member
    ittybittypeanut 5 posts, Newbee @ 1:30 pm

    I have a small picture and paragraph on the inside cover of the wedding program (DIY project) honoring my mom. She is actually my biological mother (I’m adopted). She passed away 3 years ago. The reason it is so important to me is because I never had the chance to get to know her, on the level I so desperately wanted to, before she was gone. It’s important to me that people understand how much I loved her (still love her) and that life truly is fleeting. And also that we are celebrating our love on our wedding day, in her honor. <3

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Iuxta, Guest @ 1:51 pm

    What a terrific idea, very sweet! My grandparents are no longer with us, so I want to do something similar with the photo table!

  6. elephant Member
    elephant 6339 posts, Bee Keeper @ 1:56 pm

    I really love the idea of adding their favorite flowers to your picture table.

  7. Member
    ProudPeacockBride 338 posts, Helper bee @ 1:59 pm

    Aww how sweet! We are leaving a bench in the last row of our ceremony seating open, in honor of those who could not be with us in body, but in spirit. We have a picture frame theme going on, and so we will have a framed picture of each loved one, with an object next to it that really symbolizes them. So next to the picture of my grandpa who just passed away a few weeks ago, we will have a little antique motorcycle figurine because he loved to ride. I will try not to look at it during the ceremony, because I will probably break down! But knowing that they will have their own seat in the back row will comfort me in some way I guess.

  8. Member
    SandyToes 400 posts, Helper bee @ 2:07 pm

    super pufffy heart this idea

  9. Member
    mjchexum 485 posts, Helper bee @ 2:19 pm

    aww that’s such a neat idea! it will be beautiful!

  10. Member
    ittybittypeanut 5 posts, Newbee @ 2:36 pm

    @ProudPeacockBride: aww i love the idea of an open row during the ceremony!

  11. Member
    MrsTimber 262 posts, Helper bee @ 2:55 pm

    This is such a beautiful sentiment :) And wow, you look just like your mom! :)

  12. carousel Member
    carousel 590 posts, Busy bee @ 3:18 pm

    Love the photos, the ideas and the love!! We did not yet think of how to honor the loved ones who have passed, but lots of great inspiration here!

  13. Member
    jboltz19 654 posts, Busy bee @ 3:33 pm

    I love these ideas and actually teared up a bit while reading it! I plan to gather all wedding pictures from family, with us and not, as a tribute.

    For me, having my grandparents that have passed on (3 of 4) be a part of my special day was far more of a “personal” thing. So I have asked my parents to help me find something special of theirs to attach to my bouquet. So far my mom came up with a lucky stone (Petoski stone for those Michigander Bees) that my grandpa who passed away a year ago always carried. My father has mentioned my grandparents wedding rings. I also have a locket that my parents gave me when I was young which I plan to also sew to my bouquet – they are still with me but I guess I wanted a piece of them standing up there with me.

    Love the open bench idea too!

  14. tartlet Member
    tartlet 3227 posts, Sugar bee @ 4:24 pm

    What a beautiful way to honor their memory. :) I love all the photos!

  15. Member
    miss.qwerty 206 posts, Helper bee @ 8:01 pm

    These flowers will be a beautiful, thoughtful touch. Great idea!

  16. painauchocolat Member
    painauchocolat 2298 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:03 pm

    @Miss Samson: What a touching tribute. Also love her logic: sweets in the sugar jar and savory in the flour jar.
    @ittybittypeanut: That’s a great way of remembering your biological mom and reminding guests about how powerful love can be.
    @ProudPeacockBride: Another great idea!
    @MrsTimber: My mom and her sister look so much alike our daycare would confuse them and bring out the wrong kids.

  17. meerkat Member
    meerkat 3257 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:32 am

    Love! I like how you are going to explain the significance of each one. We had wanted to do something like this but with a small photo charm hot glued to each vases.

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