Post # 16
Please don’t do the empty chair. Your dad has… in a way… moved on. This is not going to do any good for him to have an empty chair next to him (past life) and his gf on the other side (future life.) It’s almost as if you are deliberately fixating him in to some sort of purgatorial hell that how dare he try to move on? I understand that your mom is not here anymore (God rest her soul). However, yoru dad is still very much alive! Try to honour HIM as much as possible as a single parent that he has been both your dad AND mom.
Your subtle gestures are just fine to incorporate your mom. She was the most important part of your life and no one, not even your DH can take that away from you. And you already know that! There is no need to make a show of your personal feelings, no matter how strong they are. They are yours. They are personal. Keep them within yourself and share with the world briefly and succintly with small mementos.
Post # 17
I think this is a really personal decision, but I would not do the empty chair. Your mother is in your Dad’s heart forever, and he will think of her often on your wedding day, but the empty chair has the potential to make him quite sad- on your wedding day. Emotions are often heightened at important events like this. Seeing an empty chair at the ceremony may inadvertently cause people who loved her to feel very badly.
My husband and I both married a little older. I lost my mother as a child and my father in my thirties. My grandparents- who died shortly before our wedding- were the most solid, stablizing influence in my whole life. My husband lost both his parents in his thirties as well. He very much wanted a memorial to his parents at the wedding. He gathered some pictures of them through the years and I found an antique cut glass bowl, put gardenias and floating candles in it, and they were put on a table with a poem about loved ones always being in our hearts. I absolutely wanted no memorial at the wedding for the people I’ve lost- it would have made the day very sad to me to have a visual reminder of those I’d lost- I already know I’ve lost them. We did have a favorite hymn of my grandparents sung and a poem my grandmother had written about weddings read.
I think my point is that even people who have had the same loss (in this case, both of our parents), wanted very different things for our wedding. A visual memorial of some sort was very important to my husband- and, I absolutely wanted nothing of the sort.
This is your wedding, so you have to honor your mother in the way that feels comfortable to you, but I would also try to take into account other people’s feelings, as well. She will always be in your heart.
Post # 18
I am very sorry for your loss. I lost my dad at 4 years old and know all too well the feelings that come with missing him always and wondering how to honor him during my wedding. I also remember how hard it was when my mom started dating again and then remarried. I can absolutely see where you are coming from with the empty chair idea. Perhaps instead of placing it next to your dad (and rather than having it empty) having it in a different special place, with one of your favorite photos of the two of you on it? Or with a beautiful poem or song lyrics that is meaningful? Or something along those lines. In my opinion, how you chose to honor her is a personal choice and do it in whatever way you would like.
Another idea I love and may incorporate into my wedding is (if you are having alcohol), have a signature drink named in her honor and have everyone toast to her and do a cheers for her at the reception.
Wishing you thoughts of peace, comfort, and continued healing during this bittersweet time.
Post # 19
One of my friends had a single rose on a chair to honor his mom at his wedding, and I thought it was incredibly sweet! I don’t agree with the comments saying that a wedding is supposed to be happy and that this would make it sad-everyone that knew your mom is going to be thinking about her anyway, it seems more weird to me to not acknowledge her in some way. You could also put something in your vows that mentions parents names…like, ‘We are gathered here today to celebrate the marriage of Jane, daughter of Robert and Eve, to Joe, son of..’ or whatever. I’ve heard things like that done, which aren’t intended to honor someone who has died, but is a nice way to include parents in the ceremony.
Post # 20
I am not a fan of the relatively recent trend of memorial tables. An empty chair comes across as even more morbid and IMO reflects mourning, not a happy occasion. I think the best way to remember your mother publicly if you must do it would be in a mention in the officiant or dad speech. Not everyone would be able to hold themselves together to do that, though.
But when you call it the elephant in the room, I don’t think that’s fair. Chair or no chair, nothing can or will prevent you or anyone else from remembering your mother on your wedding day.