Post # 16
We are going to do a few things. My mother passed away last January, as well as grandparents on both of our sides.
During the ceremony, when the bridemaids walk down the aisle, they will each place a rose on an empty seat in the front row with a picture of her in rememberance. Then, we will have a moment of silence in rememberance of those who have passed. Then at the reception, we will have a “memory table” with pictures all of those who have passed (my mother, grand parents, etc.). It’s a sweet way to feel like they are still there!
Post # 17
Dealing with something similar myself. We plan on having a memorial table at our reception with a photo and candle for each familiar member that has passed that we want to honor. My fiance and I will light the candles at the start of the reception and have someone say a prayer. I saw an idea too where something is put on the pew- reserving that spot in memory of a lost relative.
Post # 18
I lost my mom completely unexpectedly to a heart attack just 10 days before my wedding, so it’s a bit of a different situation, but here’s what worked for us. I figured someone in a similar situation might stumble on to this thread at some point, so here it is.
On the back of the program, we included an in Memory section where we listed her and the grandparents we have both lost.
My brother did our ceremony and he briefly mentioned the loss and how glad we were that everyone was here to celebrate. My Dad, god love him, had been divorced amicably from my mom for 15+years and remarried for almost the same amount of time…talked to me beforehand and let me know he was going to say something during his toast. He did a fantastic job of acknowledging the loss briefly and then talking about how it was a night of celebration. That was perfect. And I’m sure it was really hard for him, but I appreciated that more than he will probably ever know. My biggest worry was that people were going to look at me with sad eyes all night and say pitying things about how sorry they were. I just wanted people to celebrate, my mom was all about that wedding and she would have been so sad to see people moping around.
She was there when i picked my dress and we had a great photo of her with me in my dress. We took that photo and framed it, along with photos from my brother’s wedding of her dancing with him and her dancing with my SIL. We clustered those three photos on a table off to the side at the reception with a memory book in case people wanted to write something in it. The only reason we did that was because it was so fresh and her friends and family were there and I’m sure feeling sort of lost. Quite a few people got that confused for our guestbook, so we have some random messages in there too, but we really did that more for the guests than for us. We weren’t able to do the memorial service until after the wedding, so we just wanted to give people an outlet.
As far as empty seats go….that’s your call. I would feel awkward if I were a guest at a wedding and there was an empty reception seat set up, but I think it would be appropriate for the ceremony if you want. My grandma, trying to be helpful, said “don’t worry, honey, we can have an empty seat for her at the ceremony.” The loss was just too raw for me to feel comfortable with that, so instead I asked my grandma to sit where my mom would have been seated. She was honored, and it worked well for me. There was no way I could look out and see that empty seat, instead she was there beaming with pride. She also stepped in and put in my veil and helped me into my dress. All the bridesmaids fussed over her and she felt like she had contributed in a meaningful way.
YMMV, but this helped us recognize and celebrate!
Post # 19
- Wedding: September 2014 - Sunset Hills Country Club
I hope this helps, this is what we did!
Post # 20
I put a charm on my bouquet with my dad’s photo. That way, he was still able to walk with me down the aisle.
Post # 21
For my ceremony, my brother is going to wear my father’s tie and I am going to wear a bead charm on my bracelet that reminds me of a special time I shared with him. Very subtle yet I will know my Dad is being honored and included on my wedding day.
Post # 23
We have decided to leave a chair open next to my Fiance and I with pictures of our grandfathers who we were close to but passed away. The chair will also have a sign that says something like “For those who couldn’t be with us today,” or “We know you would be here if heaven wasn’t so far away.” I haven’t decided if I want our officiant to say anything as I have read from other threads that that can put a damper on the festivities.
Post # 24
I had a bouquet charm with my dad’s photo (he died when I was 17). I also had his wedding ring resized and wore that.
Post # 25
We did a couple things. My Grandma passed away a couple years before we got married, and her death still effects our family. Besides having a memory table for our deceased grandparents and DH’s aunt – I had one of my Grandma’s necklaces that she wore all the time hanging from my bouquet. You can’t see it well in this pic, but it was a perfect way to incoporate her into our wedding.
We also had our officiant mention the deceased in our ceremony, at the beginning during the welcome.
This was our table:
Post # 26
- Wedding: May 2016 - Cherry Orchard
My Fiance and I live in a Mexican neighborhood in Chicago and after visiting the National Museum of Mexican Art during their Dia de los muertos celebration, we decided we’d add marigolds to my bouquet to honor those that we’ve lost. It’s a personal and simple touch that many won’t notice, which is what i wanted.
+1 to PP suggesting giving flowers to those who have lost their loved one. Love that idea!
Post # 27
My bouquet had different things pinned into them- a pin from my grandma, army medal from grandfather, etc. No one else could really see it but I knew they were there. We also made a note in our program that said something like “On this most special milestone in our lives, we wish to lovingly remember those close to our hearts who are no longer with us, especially:” Lastly, on the table with our guestbook, we had lots of old photos. Guests really loved looking through them. I’ve also seen butterfly releases, though if they don’t ‘cooperate’, it can be a mess. Friends wedding had the MOB relesasing them, but the butterflies didn’t want to move and she was practially whacking the basket to get them to fly out, only for them to fall on the ground and some even died. With birds, you run into the issue of them pooping on guests as a PP mentioned. Think above the ‘grand gestures’ as logistics can really get in the way of the emotional part of it, and just know that they will be with you on that day no matter what. The ceremony will be full of so many emotions as it is, so sometimes jsut saying a few quick words, reading a poem, or something along those lines can be even more meaningful.