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Honoring Loved Ones Who Have Passed Away on Your Wedding Day

It is a comfort to honor loved ones who have passed away so their memory is with you on your wedding day. There are a number of ways this is done traditionally, with photo charms on your bouquet or a table with photographs or candles. But I have been to so many weddings where this table is overlooked and there is no mention of the significance of missing loved ones to the couple. Personally, I would feel bad if a memory table looked like an after thought. For this reason, I’ve come up with a few ideas to make your loved one’s memory more memorable on your wedding day.

Using an Heirloom or "Something Borrowed" on Your Wedding Day
Why limit your loved one’s memory to a piece of jewelry? For example, did you inherit your Grandma’s china or a dessert tray, or a serving pitcher? Instead of keeping these items in a box, take them out and use them as a special feature on your wedding day. Did your Aunt Betty collect cats? Perfect! Incorporate knick-nacks into the table centerpieces-they will sure get people asking questions and reliving all those happy memories. Did your grandma knit? Feature a sofa at cocktail hour with her cozy creations. Be creative and think outside the box, likely what you remember most about your loved one is apparent in the heirlooms you or other family members saved and will be a source of joy when used in your wedding celebration.

A Memorable Bouquet
It may be meaningful to just select your loved one’s favorite kind of flower or to carry a tiny photo charm attached to your bouquet, but why stop there? Have a keepsake bouquet made featuring a loved one’s favorite brooch or jewelry piece made into a flower or some of Grandpa’s silk ties made into flowers for a bouquet you can treasure and share even after the wedding is through. Or really shake up tradition by accepting flowers as you walk down the aisle with a photo of your loved one attached to it. If you have several loved ones to remember this would work beautifully. Or if you had a parent pass, maybe feature images of the two of you together or accept flowers with a small memento or object to symbolize when they taught you to ride a bike for example. This symbolizes all the loved ones who walked beside you through life-helping you grow into the woman you are today. Ask your officiant to explain the significance before the procession begins.What a lovely and memorable way to honor their memory. If your memorial bouquet is to be kept, be sure to have an alternate for the bouquet toss :)

A Special Dance
Did your mom or dad pass? Were your Aunts super close to you growing up? Dedicate a dance or song to their memory by dancing with their surviving spouse/relative who is also likely feeling their absence and wishing they were there. Choose a song that they liked to keep the moment celebratory of their memory or a song that makes you think of them. You can even choreograph a group dance with your siblings or other significant relatives and have an explanation/intro prepared for the DJ to announce before the dance begins. If a screen is available (projector or TV) think about displaying a photo slide show of your loved ones in the background as you dance,. This would work especially well if you are planning on a slow dance.

Take Home Treat

This one is great if you have a loved one known for their cooking! Make your loved one’s famous cookies and include the recipe to hand out as wedding favors. Or feature a variety of their creations at a dessert buffet table labeled as “Aunt Betty’s Famous Apple Fritters” for example. You could use a wooden spoon attached to a recipe card too. Just get creative!   


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