Image source: Weddbook
Lost loved ones often leave a void in a day that is supposed to be one of the best days of your life. It’s difficult to celebrate your big day with laughter and smiles while thinking of lost loved ones. No need to fear though, as loved ones that have passed on can be included in your wedding even if they aren’t there in a physical sense. Whether you want to honor recent lost loved ones or those that passed decades ago, there are many ways to incorporate them into your wedding.
1. Wedding Dress
Vintage wedding dresses are all the rage. A wedding dress worn by your great grandmother is not only considered cool, but meaningful. Pay homage to a passed woman from your life by wearing her wedding gown. The beautiful lace and embroidery comes to life as you think of the happiness she felt wearing it at her own wedding. If you don’t like the style of the dress, many places will alter it to your liking or even cut pieces of it to sew into your own dress.
The bridal bouquet offers many different ways to incorporate lost loved ones. Use their favorite flowers or just one simple flower in memory. If your mother loved sunflowers, place a single sunflower in your bouquet to represent her presence. You can easily place a grandmother’s brooch, your aunt’s favorite necklace, and/or a swatch of lace from your great grandmother’s dress in your bouquet. Many brides tie a locket with a photo of their loved ones or a rosary to their bouquets.
3. Light a Candle
Candles are an easy, sweet way to pay tribute to loved ones. You can light a candle in the entryway, at the reception, or at the pulpit to surround you with light and love. You can light the candle with your surviving loved ones as a special tribute together.
4. Save a Seat
Save your loved one(s) a seat so that there is a physical reminder during the nuptials. Most people put flowers or a single rose in the chair to honor the loved one. This can be done at the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony, and/or the reception.
5. Incorporate Into the Prayer
Have a moment of silence for your loved ones, or talk about them in a prayer. You can have the officiant say each name specifically in a prayer.
6. Use Their Bibles
Your loved one’s Bible can be used during the ceremony in a few ways. If you have speakers reading scripture, give them a special Bible to carry to the pulpit. The officiant can also read from this Bible for any certain scriptures. Instead of carrying a pillow with the rings, the ringbearer can tie the rings on top of a special Bible.
7. Create an “In Memory” Section in the Program
Set aside a specific area in the wedding program to pay tribute to loved ones. You can write a few words, place a poem, or write a fun story about your lost loved ones in this section.
8. Play Their Favorite Music
Music is a huge way to bring emotion and remembrance to your wedding ceremony and reception. Play a favorite song of your loved ones’ during the reception, or sing their favorite hymns during the ceremony. Maybe they loved to dance, so set aside a fun song to honor them during the reception. Dance with your new spouse to one of your loved one’s favorite songs, and share special memories as you sway to the music.
9. Choose an Escort in Their Honor
Many brides have lost their fathers and worry that no one can walk them down the aisle. Choose someone that will honor your dad. Choose a brother, grandfather, godfather, or good family friend to give you away. Have the escort wear something of your dad’s or carry something in honor of him.
10. Wear or Carry a Family Heirloom
Carrying a family heirloom is a lot like incorporating loved ones in your bouquet. The groom could carry his grandfather’s handkerchief or grandmother’s scarf in his pocket. You can wear your grandmother’s wedding ring on either a finger or on a necklace. A special family purse can be carried to the reception. If Catholic, wearing a loved one’s rosary is a sweet way to pay tribute.
11. Place Their Photos on a Special Table
Many brides and grooms have a place for pictures of family members. Include pictures of your lost loved ones on this table as well with an “In Memory” inscription. You can place their favorite flowers in a vase next to the photo to go an extra step. This is a great way for family and friends to share sweet memories of those that cannot be there in a physical sense.
12. Wear or Carry Their Accessories
Accessories that belonged to your loved ones or were given to you by them are a great way to incorporate them. Your grandmother’s favorite bracelet, your great grandmother’s brooch and your grandfather’s cuff links are just a few examples of this type of tribute. Your late grandmother might have given you a pretty necklace as a child. What a perfect time to tie the necklace around your bouquet.
13. Decorate with Their Favorite Flowers
Place your loved one’s favorite flowers throughout the ceremony and reception venue. If your grandmother loved tulips, make them a part of the centerpieces on each table. You can also put these flowers in the bridal party bouquets. You can also place a large bouquet of these flowers in one location if you don’t want to put them throughout the venue.
14. Include Them in the Toast
The toast is a special time where you can honor those that have helped you get to this amazing day. Share a fun story or a sentimental memory of your loved ones with wedding guests during this toast. You can have a special prayer or a moment of silence following the toast. Your toast doesn’t have to bring tears; you can have fun with it and laugh, sharing the good times as you pay tribute to lost loved ones. Another way to honor them is to give the toast with their favorite drink.
15. Honor Them With Your Wedding Favors
Instead of a physical favor guests can take home, make a donation in your loved ones’ honor to their favorite charity. If you want to keep with the actual favor tradition, give their favorite candy or something that makes you think of them. You can place a note in the favors that explains the significance.