- 7 years ago
- Wedding: July 2014
In our case, my FI’s brother died unexpectedly a year and a half ago. It’ll have been two years when our wedding comes around, and the day immediately following the wedding day would have been his 22nd birthday. We discussed doing something to honor him, but especially for his parents the feelings are still much too raw to see an empty seat – they’d break down completely. So, what we decided to do is forgo any bouquet toss and give my bouquet to FI’s brother when we go visit his grave for his birthday that Sunday. It works in everyone’s favor in this case, because FI’s parents are deeply touched and also relieved that we’re doing it (vs. a memorial at the wedding itself, which they could not have handled), and it makes the bouquet itself so much more meaningful – I originally had a lot of doubts about spending so much $$ on a bunch of flowers, but now I don’t mind at all. In the form of the bouquet, he’ll be there with us all day, and then we can dedicate the day after the wedding to remembering him on his birthday.
The lesson here is, though, that these things depend on the person a lot. Having a seat reserved for a passed loved one is a beautiful gesture, and for some people it’s undoubtedly the right choice, but it’s not necessarily for everyone. It’s wonderful that you care so much, but all you can do in the end is give suggestions – it’s up to your Fiance and his family to decide how they want to honor his mother. If it would be meaningful for him to do the dance with a grandmother or sister, or to play the song or have a slideshow, then by all means, do it. Gathering suggestions is good. But you should probably also consult with his dad and siblings, because while your Fiance might be okay with something, it’s not necessarily going to be very good to have his dad or sibling break down at the wedding, either…