Post # 1
30 days until the big day!!! Ahhh!
I need major help with a sensitive topic…
My fiance’s father was murdered 14 years ago. His family was pretty traumatized by this, and his sister especially still has a really hard time. I would like to honor him at our wedding, and my initial plan was to have an empty chair for him, and set a boutounierre, a photo of him, and a sign. My fiance was on board at first, but then said he would rather not have a picture there. I went to pay for the cupcakes today and brought FMIL along for a tasting (because they are so freaking awesome, I just wanted more free cupcakes lol). I told her my plan, and about a sign I saw on etsy – “We know you would be here today if heaven weren’t so far away” – and she started crying.
Sooooo I’m thinking I need to have this be super low key or everyone will be crying sad tears on our happy day. So I’m just going to have the boutounierre for him (the guys’ will be pink and ivory, ivory for FH’s grandfather, and ivory for his father). Any suggesions on what I should do with it???
FYI…our ceremony and reception will all be on a ship in the Niagara River. The captain is marrying us, then we sail for a few hours. There are two levels. Both levels have outside decks, and inside seating. No dance floor or anything.
Post # 3
I would be inclined to leave it up to your FH and fmil. What you have planned sounds wonderful, but it may not how they would prefer to honor him
Post # 4
@MrsBlah: At all my family weddings we do a memorial table. We’re Mexican, so it’s like a Dia de los Muertos altar. We put pictures of family members that have passed along with things that remind us of them (a snickers bar in front of my grandpa’s picture, a chili pepper in front of mom’s, etc) along with some flowers and candles. You could do a small version of that and set it to the side of the reception area. That way, it’s not “in your face” and people can go look at it/reflect on their own.
Post # 5
@Laurenplusalex: I don’t think FH will have good input. I’ll talk more with FMIL. We both dropped it today because we were about to taste cupcakes and it was just really bad timing. I didn’t expect her reaction.
Post # 6
@MexiPino: I wish I could do something like that. Both of our families are really good at holding emotions in until they explode. A table like that wouldn’t go over well.
Post # 7
@MrsBlah: What about just a candle or something with the bout on it… no picture, no words. You could maybe put a small line in the back of the program about it being in honor of his dad… or not. Honestly, if they are having such strong reactions you might want to skip it totally.
Post # 8
@MexiPino: No program. I think I may talk with his sister since she will definitely have the strongest reaction. Not have an empty, just the boutouinerre and maybe a candle, although our centerpieces involve a lot of candles…
Post # 9
Put it with the registry table for the ceremony and with your bouquet (head table? sweetheart table?) for the reception.
Post # 10
I agree with what others have said. I definitely think his family needs to be the ones deciding this. It’s wonderful that you’re taking all of their feelings into account.
Post # 11
@MrsBlah: I would give MIL the bout to wear. Personally, I am forgoing any empty chairs or overt signs to who we will be missing at our wedding. instead, I’m going to have some photo charms on my bouquet and give a duplicate to each of my parents (both parents have lost their mothers, and my mom has lost her father) I’ll give fi a charm with his paternal grandfather on it.
That way, if we want/need a little moment to remember, we can do so without becoming entirely gone for the whole day. I don’t want this to be another memorial service. I barely got through the origional ones.
But I do want to have them with me somehow on my wedding day. 🙁
Post # 12
Of course you should do something only if FH and FIL’s want it and only in a way that is meaningful to them. For me personally, a public memorial would be an inappropriate way to honor my mom. Instead I asked my dad if I could tie their wedding bands to my bouquet. It’s simple, private, symbolizes a strong marriage, and a very meaningful way to have my mom with me. But, thats what I choose to do. I don’t think you can make the decision. Ask FH and his family what they would like to do-or if they want to do anything at all.