Post # 1
I’ve read through a number of the more traditional threads about how to honor family that has passed at your wedding, but I can’t seem to find anything that would fit the current situtation so I was hoping that if the collective wisdom of the bee could come up with something.
BACKSTORY: My mother died in January and we’re getting married in August. For the last 15+ years she was alive my relationship with her went from bad to worse to ‘please dear god let me get away’. As a result (and I know it makes me sound awful so please no judgement) since she died I’ve actually felt better and more free than I have in several years. There’s a lot of emotional baggage that I’m just not ready to deal with yet.
NOW: I’m close to my dad (they were married, mostly unhappily for 50+ years) and he is far more emotional about my mom’s death. We agree that we should (he wants to, I agree that it’s the proper thing) should honor my mom at the wedding. I’m going to be using some lace from her wedding veil to make a flower for my bouquet, and we’re going to have an empty seat with a picture of her on it.
QUESTION: Is that enough? I really don’t want to do anything further, but does that make me seem like some awful person?
Post # 3
@renwoman: I think it is plenty. I don’t know what else you could do without making the day too much about her, regardless of your relationship with her.
Post # 4
@renwoman: The whole “big display to honor the dead” thing is rather new. I think what you are doing is more than enough, honestly. Most people just put something in the program saying something like “We honor the memory of those who have passed on… name, name, name”. Don’t stress out about it.
And I know how you’re feeling. My mom passed away a few years ago. We never had a good relationship (though it did get tolerable toward the end because she needed me). I know that feeling of the weight being lifted off your shoulders while at the same time that exact feeling makes you feel guilty. Just wanted you to know it’s perfectly normal and you’re totally not the only one who has felt that way!
Post # 5
@renwoman: You could always have a “moment of silence” at the ceremony for “those who can’t be with us today”. I plan on doing that on my day.
Post # 6
Thank you. I feel like I’m trying to navigate an emotional minefield with this.
Post # 7
I say that is plenty! Is your dad happy with that plan?
Post # 8
My FIL died about a year before our wedding. Here are the three things we did to honor him at our wedding:
1. On the back page of our wedding program, we had three short messsages: a thank you to our parents, a thank you to our friends and family, and a “we remember” message acknowledging my FIL specifically as well other guests who could not be with us.
2. I thought it would be nice to have a photo of my FIL, but I didn’t want it to be a memorial. Most etiquette books say that weddings should be happy occasions and should not include sad references. So, we decided to set up a table next to the place cards and gifts with our parents’ wedding photos (8x10s in frames) as well as our parents’ wedding albums. People got a kick out of looking at the old wedding albums, and it was a way to have photos of my FIL but in a happy and wedding-appropriate context.
3. My husband wore his dad’s cufflinks which had his dad’s initials on them.
Post # 9
I think what you are doing in more than enough.
Post # 10
What you currently have planned is more than enough. I’m not a fan of the empty chair myself. What about a wedding pic of her and your dad?
Post # 11
@renwoman: I’m sorry for your loss and the complicated emotions you must be feeling right now. I am not explicitly honoring the dead in any way, but I have collected family wedding pictures that we will be displaying with the guest book, as a way to honor the people who won’t be able to make it, either due to death, distance, or frailty. I’ve collected 17 pictures, going back as much as 4 generations. I liked this idea because family history is very important in my family, and it is a way to show where we come from that’s not particularly heavy. It’s a collection of people on the happiest days of their lives. Since your parents’ marriage wasn’t particularly happy but your dad is more distraught about her death, if you like this idea you might discuss it with him to see how he feels, because I could see it going either way.
Post # 12
We did a little rose ceremony at the end of our ceremony where we thanked our parents for raising us and “teaching us to love etc etc” and gave each one a rose. Since DH’s mother had passed we gave his dad two roses to represent her as well. We also did the picture on the seat, and had a bouquet of her favorite flowers next to her framed picture on a table in the reception room. You could always put a little locket picture of her in your bouquet.