A mother dreams of the day her little girl walks down the aisle to her own Prince Charming. As happy as I was to get engaged, it hurt my heart to know my mother wouldn’t be there in physical form. I wanted to honor her in every way possible so she knew I was okay and our dreams were coming true. I’d love to share with you some of the ways I honored my mother at my own wedding.
Invitations and Programs
I’ve written entire articles about invitations and how to label “the daughter of” if a parent is deceased. We ended up going with the words, “Julie Michelle Adams, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Mark Adams and the late Deanna Adams.” The wording may be confusing to some, but my dad is remarried so we also wanted to include her as she is very special to me. There are a few different ways to word this, but for me I chose something simple and classy. It’s also customary to add a note in the program about deceased loved ones. I wanted my mother to feel included in every aspect as she was right there with me in spirit. We left a special place to give her recognition and honor.
Our guestbook sat on a table as the guests poured in the door of the church. This table held two 8×10 framed photos of our parents on their wedding days. Beneath my parents’ portrait was a smaller framed statement that stated “In Memory of Deanna Adams.” Between the photos sat a vase of sunflowers, which was very important to me as they were my mom’s favorite flowers. This setup was simple and easy, yet it meant the world to me. We wanted to honor both of our parents’ marriages as they were such role models for our own marriage. This also meant that as people signed the guestbook they could look up and see the beaming photo of my mom in her early 20s on one of the best days of her life. They walked into the church thinking of her smile and knowing she was there in spirit.
I mentioned above that my mother’s favorite flowers were sunflowers, however, they didn’t exactly fit into my wedding theme. My wedding was all about bold shades of scarlet paired with white roses. Sunflowers would’ve looked a bit strange stuck in the middle of my roses. Instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, we decided to decorate with the sunflowers in random places. We did the roses on the tables in vases, but placed vases of sunflowers throughout the room in random places. They didn’t overwhelm the look or even change it but they also didn’t fade into the background. They were just there as a gentle reminder of my mom. My bouquet might not have been full of sunflowers, but I wasn’t going to walk down the aisle without something in her memory, so I wrapped one of her special necklaces around my bouquet.
I saw an amazing ringbearer image on Pinterest and jumped right on it to not only honor my mother, but my other deceased loved ones. In the image, the ringbearer is walking down the aisle with the rings tied on top of a Bible. I have the Bibles that my mother, grandmother, and grandfather carried to church each Sunday, so I knew this idea was perfect for us. My mother’s Bible is old and tattered underneath its cover, which just added to the magic of the moment. We used all of the Bibles in photos with the rings, but our ringbearer only carried one down the aisle. It was much more meaningful than having a ring carried down the aisle on a random pillow I would have later thrown in a closet or drawer.
I had no clue that my husband got my mother’s wedding ring from my dad. I never thought my dad would be able to mentally put that ring into another person’s hands, but the reality is that the ring was just sitting in a box. It needed to be somewhere meaningful. My husband designed my ring around her smaller diamond. He worked with a jeweler to perfect every part of it and make it my own while still being hers. This was probably the single most important part of honoring my mother throughout my new marriage and life journey. I will be able to forever look down at my finger and think of my parents’ 27 years of marriage before she passed away.