PHOTO BY toujours
BY TABI FALCONE
As joyous as your wedding day is sure to be, it can be hard at times to not have loved ones who have passed on to be there to share in your special day. Although many feel as though our loved ones never truly leave us as they live on in our hearts and minds, it can nevertheless be peaceful and healing to find ways to incorporate their memory into your big day.
Hold a Moment of Reflection During the Ceremony
Similar to a church service, it’s a sweet idea to have a moment of silence to remember those loved ones who aren’t able to be with you on your wedding day. This can go many ways, depending on your preferences as well as your officiant, speaking out names of who you are thinking of or leaving open-ended. Leaving open-ended can be a good idea if you have older relatives who may get offended that you forgot to mention your great uncle twice removed.
Incorporate Heirlooms into Your Wedding
Many of us have memories of our grandmothers picking out what clip-on earrings to wear for the day. These clip-ons, if you were lucky enough to inherit some of them, are perfect to clip onto a bridal bouquet wrap. Any heirloom jewelry, handkerchiefs, hair accessories and more can be creatively incorporated into your something old.
Play Their Favorite Songs
Whether it is a classic Frank Sinatra song that your late grandfather loved playing while you walk down the aisle or some of your late aunt’s favorite funky jazz that you break down to on the dance floor, music is a creative and meaningful way to incorporate loved ones. This is a subtle option for people who want to honor their relatives without drawing everybody’s attention to it.
Include One of Their Favorite Foods at the Reception
If one of your favorite memories with your grandmother includes cooking apricot horns alongside her in the kitchen, have a batch or two of them at the reception. If your late brother’s favorite food was stuffed mushrooms, consider adding them to the appetizer list.
Reserve Their Seat
In the case of the passing of loved ones you were incredibly close to such as a sibling, child or parent, many people chose to reserve a seat in the front row for that person. The seat is decorated within the wedding scheme and topped with a photograph of the late loved one. This option means you are able to see them while you are getting married, but be warned that it can be a tear-jerker.
Set Up a Memorial Table
If you have several loved ones you want to honor at your wedding, a memorial table may be for you. Often set up near the guest book, a memorial table will have photographs and sometimes other heirlooms such as letters set up of the members of your family who were not able to be at your wedding. If at all possible, putting up their wedding photos is a great way to incorporate them into your special day.
However you chose to honor loved ones at your wedding, know that what feels right to you is what is best.