Post # 1
Alright so my fiance and I talked last night about the memorial table we want to have either at the ceremony or reception. To me a memorial table is for remembering those who should be at the wedding and would be a part of it if they were there.
So, when he and I originally talked about it he was fine with it being my dad and his best friend. But as of our discussion last night he feels pretty strongly about having everyone in his family who has died, grandparents and his uncles. Now, don’t get me wrong here, I do believe those were important people in his life and he loved them BUT my fiance is 40. His grandparents and his uncle that died, died of old age. My dad and his best friend died of unnatual causes.
My fiance thinks we should have a table dedicated to everyone that died, a table full of pictures of our deceased. Which to me, seems a bit morbid for a wedding. A wedding isn’t about remembering your family that died, it’s about a union of the two in love. My suggestion was having everyone listed in our program but only have my dad and his best friend on the table. He didn’t like that idea. He says his family would be upset because we would be saying those two are more important than everyone else (and I won’t lie, I think they are).
I guess I am asking for some help with other ideas or suggestions. Or if I’m wrong in my thinking?
Post # 3
This might be out there, but this is something he might be ok with…
During the ceremony, when/if you light a unity candle, light another smaller candle and have a blurb in the program that you are lighting a candle in loving memory of those who could not be there on your day (list the names if you like) and skip the memorial table if he can’t agree to keep it current and relevant.
Post # 4
Honestly, I don’t see the harm – yes, his grandparents and uncle died naturally, but they’re still people he misses and wishes could be at the wedding. I don’t find it morbid at all. I think it will be a nice touch and appreciated by family as well as guests who see it as you showing how important all of your family is, even those who can no longer be with you on earth.
Post # 5
@DaneLady: Great idea, I really like that!
Post # 6
@MissCalifornia: I re-read my post and it came off a little, I dunno, rude-ish to the FI? No, I don’t think it’s morbid to have a few photos on a table, and it does show how important family is, but if we did something like this we’d have a table FULL of a bunch of photos. It would be almost a little distracting for us. We have had several losses lately (in the past few years) to the point where a memorial table would look almost cluttered. I would say though if one of our parents passed away we would definitely have a photo of them.
Lighting a candle is just a little more streamlined. It lets the couple and their families recognize that there are people who weren’t able to be there in person, but will always be there in spirit, and then they can move on with the rest of the ceremony.
Post # 7
@DaneLady: That would be our problem, I don’t care about having my dead grandparents and uncles at the table but if we were to put his on there I would have to put mine and then we would have around 20 pictures on a table. It would be a little full and busy for my very simple wedding.
Post # 8
We are including all our relatives who have passed on our memorial table.
I don’t think that it’s right for two people to be more important than others. I don’t think it’s morbid to have all of them. You’re honoring their memory because they are not there to celebrate with you in person, it doesn’t matter how, when or why they passed. I think you should include all of them or not do one at all, it’s not something that’s a big enough issue to fight over or cause hurt feelings over.
IMO if they were all in the program, but only two on the memorial table I would find that very odd and wonder why they were being given special treatment. But that’s just my two cents.
Post # 9
We are doing exactly what your Fiance is describing. We have one giant candle with a poem explaining what the lit candle means, and photos of those that are important to us that have passed with a name plate saying who they are. It is going to be right as you enter, so it’s not super distacting all night. Also, if you have a lot of people that have passed, use smaller pictures and it won’t be quite as big and distracting. Our table is going to have about 9 photos, and we are using 5×7 photos.
Good luck with your decision!
Post # 10
I second the suggestion by @DaneLady. If the table would be overcrowded, then that’s a simple way to handle the list.
I’ll be completely honest about my own feelings, if the loss isn’t recent and someone extremely close to the couple, it would creep me out a bit to see a large or busy memorial. It would feel morbid to me and many folks I know. It’s not that I don’t know loss, as my own father passed when I was a teenager. It’s the same for my guy who lost his mother at 20. We’ve dealt with the losses and have moved on. It doesn’t mean we love them any less, but we don’t feel the need to ask others to share in grief or reflection. Now, that’s just us (and our families), and we get that. But, I think subtle is generally better with things along these lines.
Obviously, every family is different, so don’t make it a hard and fast rule. But, if you’re looking for a compromise, I do think the simplicity of the program note and candle is a really good balance.
Post # 10
I know I am like 5 years too late, but we too have been struggling. Honestly, we decided to do this because my sister passed away. It was 7 years ago, but she was 20 and we are raising her son. If she had not passed away, she would obviously be at our wedding. Then we started talking about everyone in our family who have passed away and it gets to be a sticky situation. Both of our grandparents passed, but mine I was very close too, he never knew his. I don’t feel right including mine but not his. He has several aunts and uncles who have passed, some from old age, some not. But he was very very close to one. I have 3 Aunts who passed, but was only close to one. My Aunts were sisters, so do I include the one I was close to and would’ve been part of our day and leave out the other two? Same with his Aunts and Uncles, they were siblings. I think we’ve just decided to include those, that we knew and would be invited if they were still here. (Not all of our current aunts, uncles and cousins are invited, we would have 15 Aunts & Uncles, plus their spouses if that was the case, and well over 120 cousins) Both of our fathers died in last 5 years. And while neither of us were close with them, I would have invited my father, and he would not have. So I think just honoring those who, if they were alive would be invited is acceptable. You could put a blurb about “And the rest not able to join us” or something. That is what we are doing.
Post # 11
Birdee106 : I get where you’re coming from. My brother was killed by a drunk driver, and all my grandparents are passed. While I’m sure my grandparents would be at my wedding if they were alive, it’s a different thing from not having my brother there. You EXPECT grandparents to die; you don’t expect your 27 year old brother to be killed. It’s a different kind of loss, and it makes sense to differentiate between them.