By the time a lot of people get married, it is quite likely that they will have lost someone near and dear to them. I’ve had quite a few people email me about this over the past few weeks, so today I wanted to share some simple ways you can include a loved one who has passed away in your wedding day.
While many people might wince at the idea of including a memorial as part of a wedding day (for fear of it being too depressing or overshadowing the celebration), there are many ways that you can honour and include them in a subtle yet special way.
Have a photo of them in a locket, tied on your bouquet
Set up a memory table with photographs of them
Wear something that they wore on their wedding day, or something they gave you
Take some fabric from something they owned and sew it into the inside of your dress or one of your accessories (maybe in the shape of a heart)
Walk down the aisle to their favourite song
Have an empty seat for them at the ceremony
You could leave a photo of them in a nice frame on it, their favourite flower, or simply a ‘reserved’ sign.
Have a moment of reflection for them at the beginning of the ceremony
You can ask your officiant to say a few words about those who aren’t able to be present. Don’t be nervous about this, they’ve probably done it before and can help you with the wording.
Include their signature dish or favourite treat on the menu
Offer a special favour in their memory
Include a sign to explain it, aka “Take a shot for Mike!”
Instead of favours, donate the money you would have spent on them to a charity that helped them, or they supported
Many charities, like Cancer Research, will send you charity pins to give to your guests too. Have a card on the table that states you’ve made a donation to the organisation, in memory of that person.
Toast them at the reception
Release (biodegrateable) lanterns or balloons at the end of the night for them
“We had helium balloons spelling out RIOT as a tribute to a very dear friend. Our friend Colin, singer of Oi band ‘Runnin’ Riot’ passed away just a few weeks before the wedding. We wanted to create a special tribute for him. I know a lot of people there on the day were missing him a lot. Then the day after the wedding, four of us took them outside and released them out to the North Atlantic wind. It was a special moment – like he just floated away to heaven.”
Has anyone else got any other ideas? Please share them!