One of the greatest joys of wedding day is being surrounded by your family and friends. Unfortunately, life happens and some of the people most near and dear to your heart pass away. I’ve been there – I was super close to both of my grandpas and both of them passed away before I got married. I’ve seen so many couples struggle with ways to honor lost loved ones at their wedding. Couples want to acknowledge and honor them, but don’t want to take away from the joyous and celebratory mood of the day. I’ve put together a list of ways to honor lost loved ones, some publicly and some privately, whichever way feels more comfortable to you.
Wearing Jewelry or Accessories
Since I’ve gotten married, both of my grandmas have passed away. Luckily, they were able to see me walk down the aisle, but I often think about how I would honor them if they weren’t able to be there. Both of my grandmas had a pretty fabulous taste in jewelry, therefore, I know I would be rocking a pair of earrings, a ring or a bracelet (maybe all three). I know I’m not the only one out there with fashionista lost loved ones, so I absolutely recommend wearing a piece of jewelry to honor them. It also serves as something borrowed!
For the guys out there, I bet some of your lost loved ones had great watches! You can also wear an accessory to honor them.
Incorporating Something Special into Your Bouquet
This is another very personal way to honor a lost loved one. I’ve seen brides incorporate their lost loved one’s favorite brooch, a locket or a photo into their bouquet and it makes my heart melt every time. Your bouquet is yours and yours only, so it is a special way to share the day with you and your lost loved one. And, at the most important moment, when you are walking down the aisle and are nervous, they are there supporting you and loving you.
Guests love seeing wedding pictures and old photos of grandparents and family members. There’s a sense of nostalgia there and what a great way to honor lost loved ones without dampening the celebratory spirit.
A Tribute in the Ceremony Program
What I love about this one, is that a ceremony program honors the most important people in your life. Your parents, best friends, sweet little nieces or nephews are all showcased on a gorgeous piece of paper for all guests to read. It’s the perfect way to honor lost loved ones. It’s subtle, yet prominent.
A Reading or Song during the Ceremony
Okay, this one is public and very personal. If the loss was recent or you are still grieving someone, this might not be the best option. Take some time to think about it and make sure you want to share this moment with everyone. If you are comfortable with it, there is something really cool about honoring lost loved ones this way. You truly get a sense that they are there with you during that moment.
Finding ways to honor lost loved ones at your wedding can always be tough. It brings up good memories, but makes you realize how much you wish you could share your big day with them. When you find the perfect way to honor a lost loved one, you will know it, I promise. I hope this list of ways to honor lost loved ones helped or at least sparked some ideas of your own!