Weddings can be the happiest day of your life, but even though it’s a joyous occasion, some may find it challenging to celebrate entirely due to the loss of a loved one. You may have lost someone recently, or maybe it’s been decades - whatever the time frame, it’s a valid feeling to be sad and distant from the pure bliss surrounding the day. We’ve come up with 10 simple and memorable ways you can honor your loved ones at both your ceremony and reception so they can be with you in spirit to start your happily ever after.
Ways to Honor a Loved One at Your Ceremony
Include a Note in the Program A simple line stating “In Loving Memory Of” can be an easy way to honor a loved one at your wedding ceremony.
Pin A Photo or Heirloom to Your Outfit or Bouquet Place a photo or a special heirloom of your loved one and pin it somewhere on your outfit - whether it’s in a locket, inside your wedding dress or on the inner pocket of your suit. Or you may decide to pin a photo or heirloom to your bouquet wrap for your walk down the aisle.
Save a Seat Honor your loved one with a front row seat at your ceremony. You can decorate the chair with ribbon, a simple flower, a bouquet or a framed picture of their face. You could even bring their favorite dress or jacket, or hat and dress up the chair as if they are there in person. Moment of Silence
Simply taking a moment of silence to reflect and remember your loved ones can be a special part of your ceremony and it doesn’t take any additional planning.
Light a Candle
Whether you decide to take a moment to light a candle for a loved one or just have a memory candle already lit somewhere at the ceremony can be a beautiful touch.
Ways to Honor a Loved One at Your Reception
Reserve a special place at your reception with a table or shelf (or even a ladder) and fill it with framed photos of family and friends who’ve passed away. You can add some candles to the table or even a memory box where guests can write down their favorite memories of them. If passed grandparents or parents are amongst those who are in spirit, display a picture of them on their wedding day.
Play a Special Song
One song can bring back all the memories & music can be such a touching way to honor and remember those loved ones who can’t be there in person. Considering playing a special song - ask your DJ or emcee to invite guests to the dance floor in honor of your loved ones.
Replicate a Recipe A unique way to honor a loved one at your reception is by incorporating their favorite foods or desserts. If you are able to replicate one of their recipes as a late night snack, or favor or dessert, it’s a special way to include them in your wedding reception.
Take a moment at your reception to remember your loved one - tell a story and toast their memory. Going down memory lane with stories can be a fun and empowering experience to honor and remember the loved ones.
Make a Donation to a Charity In lieu of a normal registry, have your guests donate to a special charity (you can set this up with The Knot Gifts Back charity registry option) in honor of your loved one. Whether it was a charity they were closely involved with, or a charity that is meaningful to their passing. You could also forgo favors and instead, make the donation yourself and place a sign at your reception indicating so.