• Honoring Lost Loved Ones At Your Wedding

    I know when I was planning my own wedding I struggled with how I could honor and remember my dad, who had died ten years before, without dwelling on it or making it a big thing.  I wanted to remember him in a way that was still in keeping with the spirit of the day (as in, a happy day) but more than a program mention.  I couldn’t find many ideas back then, so I tried to round up some in case any of you brides are having the same problem that I did.

    Carry a photo of them with you:

    Anna Rozenblat and Johnny Miller via Martha Stewart Weddings

    For a beach wedding, a lei for those there in spirit, put out to sea:

    Photo by Studio EMP via Found

    {A simple sign}

    Photo by Jessica Lorren via Ruffled
    {A cigar tribute}
    ways to honor loved ones at your wedding from oh lovely day

    Twin Lens Images via Style Me Pretty

    I love that last idea so much.  It is a celebration of that person as well as your day.  If your loved one loved cigars, or wine, or something like that you can incorporate it like this.

    I chose to mention several loved ones who weren’t present at our wedding in our program, but I also had my father’s wedding ring stitched to a hanky that was my grandmother’s and carried it around my bouquet.  That way he was with me as I walked down the aisle.

    If you prefer to do a program mention, I thought this was a lovely way to do it:

    ways to honor loved ones at your wedding from oh lovely day

    Photo by Jeff Wallace via Green Wedding Shoes

    And if you want to display photos of them, but in a more unique way, consider this:

    ways to honor loved ones at your wedding from oh lovely day

    Photo by Jessamyn Harris (seen before here) via Style Me Pretty


    ways to honor loved ones at your wedding from oh lovely day
    Photo by Gabriel Ryan

    Anyone have any ideas to share on how they honored their deceased loved ones at their wedding?

    UPDATE: I’ve done a second post of new ideas that you can find here.

    leave a comment.


    1. Posted Nov 29 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      I absolutely LOVE these ideas Chandra. I lost my sister 7 years ago…luckily we still have her high school prom dress which is blue — so Im hoping to use a piece of that fabric to wrap my bouquet in, attached with a photo of her as well. I definitely want simple, and not sad — but photos will be a big part of the day, for sure.

    2. Posted Nov 29 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Such a great round up!! I love all of these ideas.

    3. Posted Nov 29 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Such lovely ideas! I struggled with how to best honor my Dad at my wedding too. In the end, we dedicated a special flower arrangement to him at the altar & explained its significance in the program. It wasn’t the most original idea but it felt right.

    4. Posted Nov 29 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      great post. we struggled with this on our wedding day. i think the locket is such a sweet touch.

    5. Posted Nov 29 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      So sweet, I lost my mom when I was young, so when I got married I wanted to remember her, but not in a sad way. I ended up having her favorite flower, bearded iris, in arrangements around the reception and ceremony site, as a way to keep her around me. I also had Ice Cream cake instead of a traditional cake, since she always took me to get ice cream every Friday while I was in elementary school. I love your ideas too!

    6. Posted Nov 29 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Such sweet ideas!

    7. Posted Nov 29 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Such wonderful, thoughtful ideas, Chandra.

    8. Posted Nov 29 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      These are such nice ideas! I really like the lockets.

    9. Posted Nov 29 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      Love the ideas especially the mason jar and photos! Such a special way to honor loved ones.

    10. Posted Nov 29 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      these are all such great ideas – thanks for sharing!

    11. Posted Nov 29 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Love these ideas. We displayed photos at our wedding, but I love how creative couples are getting with honoring loved ones these days!

    12. Posted Nov 30 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      such a great round up! love the photos inside the mason jars.

    13. Posted Nov 30 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      This is such a wonderful idea for those of us who will not have one of our loved ones present at that special day… it is indeed very touching

    14. Posted Nov 30 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Such wonderful ideas! We had someone ask us how to pay tribute to their deceased parents not too long ago.

      We gave them some ideas but seeing your visuals would have been great for them.

      We added a link to this post on our site for the next person who comes looking for something similar. Thanks for a great post!

    15. Posted Nov 30 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      So many gorgeous and thoughtful ideas here Chandra!!

    16. Posted Nov 30 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Love all of these! I think having things like this at weddings makes other family members happy to see too. 🙂

    17. Posted Dec 1 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      These are such sweet ideas! I especially love the locket on the bride’s bouquet and the cigar idea!

    18. Posted Dec 1 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      This post is near and dear to me. Great ideas!!

    19. Posted Dec 2 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Such a great post. So many brides and grooms struggle with how to best honor their loved ones. This is a really awesome round up of ideas!

    20. Posted Dec 3 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      All four of my grandparents have passed away, as has one of my husband’s grandfathers. We simply had five small candles on our altar (along with the unity candle and communion elements) and made a note in the program of their significance.

      My husband also wore an American flag lapel pin to represent his brother who (is still alive, and) couldn’t be at the wedding because he’s in the Air Force and couldn’t get the time off.

      What helped it not feel stilted or unintentionally pointed was that we had a few other comments in our program describing meaning behind other parts of the ceremony. (Irish and Swedish traditions we had incorporated, etc.)

    21. Anonymous
      Posted Dec 9 at 4:18 am | Permalink

      At my niece’s wedding we all wore a piece of my mom’s jewelry in honor of her.

    22. Posted Jan 29 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      This has always been something that I think about because my mom passed away when I was 10 years old. I always think about how she won’t be able to go to my wedding, or the birth of my first child.

    23. Anne
      Posted Sep 24 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Thank you very much for this. My father died two years ago, and i still cant get used to the idea of him not being with us on our wedding. I thought of some things because he is not forgotten on our day, but dont want it to be something that makes people (inclusief me) sad, because he was such a happy man who really liked a good party. Good to know that we can remember him in a subtle and lovely way thanks to this article. Thank you!

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