Your wedding is an amazing celebration between your family and friends. In addition to participating and supporting your marriage, the weekend is a happy time for family, hometown or college friends to reunite. Yet, when you bring everyone you love together, it is natural to also reflect on those you will be missing that day.
One of the more difficult decisions of wedding planning can be how to honor those who are missed. You can acknowledge their absence either privately or publicly, and there is no wrong approach. One thing we recommend considering is how long it has been since the loved one has passed away. If needed, it is a good idea to mention your tribute to close family members ahead of time.
Here are a few ways to honor those in your family who will not be present at your nuptials.
1. Heritage Photo Table
Photos are a beautiful insight into people’s lives. You see a piece of them through images of their youth, family and important milestones. Dedicate a table to display photos of your loved ones honoring their lifetime. You can also expand the photos to include living family members to honor your heritage. It can serve as an appreciation for your upbringing which shaped you into the people you are today.
If you have special memorabilia from your loved ones, incorporate it into your attire. This is a more private way to acknowledge their absence and keep them close. For example, ladies can wear their grandmother’s jewelry or attach a piece of her wedding dress to their bridal bouquet. This covers your something old and something borrowed and represents a deeper connection. Heirlooms are also a beautiful addition to your reception. Use their cake cutting set to cut your own cake, or toast using their champagne flutes.
3. Programs and In Memory Candle
At the ceremony, a single pillar candle can be present at the front of the altar or near the program display. The light represents their legacy and love is not forgotten. In the program, add an “in loving memory” section recognizing those who have passed and their relation to you.
4. Save a Seat
By keeping an empty seat of honor in the front row with the family, the space serves as a physical reminder of those you’re missing that day. You can also place a single stem or small bouquet to honor them before or during the ceremony.
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