One of the joys on your wedding day is being surrounded by all your family and friends. But sometimes someone is absent. Perhaps they passed away recently, or even years ago, but it is important to you to keep their memory alive.
Recognizing a departed loved one has become an important component in today’s weddings.
Wedding planners, however, advise that tributes be subtle and meaningful but avoid interrupting the joy of the day or cause discomfort for the wedding party or guests.
At the Ceremony
- Leave a designated seat empty for the loved one and place a rose on the seat to represent them. The officiant can refer to this during the ceremony.
- During a Roman Catholic ceremony, place flowers or a single rose at statues of Mary or Jesus and say a little prayer.
- Light a memorial candle at the altar. The officiant can relay the purpose of the short ceremony.
- Have a special prayer said during the Petitions. (Lutheran, Anglican and Roman Catholic denominations are similar in the wording of these petitions.)
- Have a poem or short story about the person printed on your wedding program.
- Release a balloon if you are having a garden wedding. Put a note inside.
At the Reception
- Have a memory table. Arrange candles, flowers, photos and personal possessions of the person being honoured.
- Invite wedding guests to consider giving a donation to a favourite charity of the departed one.
- Create a photo album and place it on a special table so guests can browse through it.
- Release butterflies to represent the circle of life.
- Ask the DJ to play your loved one’s favourite song and announce why it is being played.
Your wedding day is a happy occasion, so honour the departed briefly with warm, even funny, recollections. Don’t bring the day to a grinding halt by introducing an element of sadness.