Post # 1
I don’t want to be a huge downer, but I need some advice. My parents are both deceased. My mother died when I was nine, and my father when I was 22 (I’m now 27). I loved them both very much and want to remember and honor them at my wedding, without making things sad or super depressing.
Thing is, my parents didn’t have the happiest of marriages. My dad was an alcoholic, and allegedly acted questionably when my mother was dying of cancer (found this out later in life from family members). He was never very approachable person, hard-working but distant. However, before he died he did apologize for his mistakes to my sister and I.
Like I said, I still love them both despite past mistakes. I know my mothers side of the family dislikes my father to this day, so I am looking for a gentle way to honor them both. I still have pictures of them together from their wedding, which I love. Do you think it would be okay to have them at the recepition? Where should I place the pictures? Any other suggestions?
Post # 3
Our family generally says something like “flowers in memory of those gone before us” or something like that. I just put a passage in the back of our programs to “those who couldn’t be with us”.
You could always integrate a prayer, or have candles lit for both of them, so that they could be “involved” in the ceremony in some way..
Post # 4
We are having a candle lit in the church for each deceased grandparent, and we will put that in our program. We are also having a table next to our cake table at the reception with wedding portraits through the generations (4 sets of grandparents and 2 sets of parents). Most of our family is still living, but the same idea might work well in your situation.
Post # 5
We had a b&w photo of each set of parents flanking our e-shot on the guestbook table. My parents are deceased and his alive, but since there weren’t a billion pics, people stopped to look and remember my parents if they knew them.
Post # 6
This is such a difficult and personal aspect to have to deal with in your wedding planning and I am sending you empathetic and supportive vibes through the internet! I am working through a very similar situation, my Dad died when I was 7 and my mom when I was 21 (I’m 26 now). I have been trying to figure out the best way to honor them without it turning into me sobbing in tears at the ceremony or reception.
I nixed doing an “honor all those who have passed” area in the program or having candles lit, because in my family, there are just too many dead folks to list, and I think that would be depressing! Plus, I feel that honoring parents is a very different thing than grandparents or other family members (at least I feel differently about it) and I wanted to do something specifically for my parents. I chose to do a line in the program where we list my FI’s parents, it says “In Loving Memory of the Parents of the Bride, Mr & Mrs. My Parents.” My wedding officiant asked if I wanted to include a spoken tribute or moment of silence into the wedding ceremony, but I think I would start crying so I said no.
I am also carrying tokens of my parents on my bouquet– my moms wedding band and my Dad’s St. Christopher medal on ribbons from my bouquet.
I am also setting up a photo display on the table leading into our main dining area with my parents wedding photo, some flowers, candles and a few other pieces that are very memorable for me.
One piece of advice I got from a similar post I put on the boards was to keep any memorials or rememberance things in the ceremony, when everyone is already emotional. Doing moments of silence or playing a favorite song during the reception apparently can really damper the festive mood.
Post # 7
Thanks for the supportive vibes, @MsTerrapin! I feel for what you are going through. I agree with you about parents vs grandparents.
One problem is that we are cutting out programs for our wedding. Also, our ceremony is going to be prayer free since both Fiance and I are spiritual but not religious. I also agree that if their names were brought up during the ceremony I would start crying, so I want to avoid that.
I like the idea of setting up a table with their picture on it and some flowers. I have my mothers wedding ring, and was planning on borrowing my fathers from my sister, since she has it. Then I was going to put it on my bouquet. Glad someone elase is doing the same 🙂
Post # 8
The picture table idea is great! I like that. 🙂
My dad passed 7 yrs ago and when I get married, I plan to put it in the program as well as have a picture of us together on the bouquet. I found that idea from an esty seller.
Post # 9
I would make a collage with lots of different pictures of family/friends, including your parent’s wedding photo and place it somewhere in the hall. It is somewhat subtle if you’re trying to avoid stirring anything up with your mother’s side of the family.
If you are having dancing at your wedding, you could honor then by playing the song they danced to at their wedding, or a song that was a favorite of one or both of your parents.
Post # 10
I am honoring my mom by having the harpist and flutist play the Gone with the Wind song as we exit. Gone with the wind was one of her favorite movies and it will be a special remembrance without everyone having to be involved. Those that knew her will remember her and those that don’t won’t be the wiser. I am also thinking of having one of her wedding pictures and a small vase with a yellow rose (her favorite) somewhere near our guest book area.
Post # 11
My dad passed away about 3 years before my wedding. We had a brief comment on the program about those who couldn’t be with us that day, and also had a small table at the reception with a photo of him and a few flowers. I had my mom’s and dad’s wedding bands tied to ribbon on my bouquet, but that was more from recognizing their marriage than his passing. It was hard, but I got through the day. I had a few people who told me how proud he would have been of everything that day, and in some ways it made it harder.