Honoring Wedding Guests Who Can’t Be There

There are lots of reasons that some of the special people in your life won’t be able to make it to your wedding ceremony and reception – not the least of which is that certain loved ones may have passed away. Many brides and grooms feel driven to memorialize those relatives and friends who have passed with special rituals and wedding accessories. If you want to pay tribute to someone you cared for deeply on your big day, we have four ideas to help you respectfully honor friends and family who will be at your wedding in spirit.

  • First, consider incorporating something special that belonged to your loved one into your wedding day look. Heirloom wedding jewelry can become the perfect Something Old, or you can tuck an heirloom hanky into your bodice – perfect for catching stray tears.
  • At the wedding ceremony, reserve a chair or two for framed photographs of the people you wish were still alive to see you say your vows. Alternately, you can honor lost loved ones at your reception with a special table of memorial photographs of people special to you and your new spouse.
  • A simple mention in the ceremony program can be a touching reminder that there are people missing from your big day festivities. Brides and grooms will often acknowledge a close relationship with a deceased grandparent or parent in this way.
  • Bouquet jewelry isn’t the only way to dress up the bride’s flowers. Tiny picture frame charms can be incorporated into your bridal bouquet design and these can be filled with photographs of lost loved ones or the names of the relatives you wish were with you on the big day.

Consider, of course, how much attention you want to draw to your memorial. If honoring a deceased relative or friend feels like a personal matter, bouquet charms are a great way to share your day with someone who passed before the wedding. On the other hand, if you know that your entire family is missing someone close to all of your hearts, publicly acknowledging this person can be a beautiful way share your feelings. The object isn’t to make anyone feel uncomfortable – so if you sense to a big display will interfere with your wedding guests’ joy, consider keeping your tribute on the smaller side.