Weddings are always such a happy time. The coming together of two families, loves ones near and far, all in one place celebrating love. They say the only other happiest place for large groups of people besides a wedding is the arrivals hall at the airport!
However, as life has it, things aren’t always perfect, and there will be clients who’s loved ones are no longer with us. It’s definitely a painful point knowing they can’t be there to witness such a momentous day, however there are ways we can still honour them and ensure they are there with us in spirit on the day.
Ive put together five suggestions of ways you can include those who couldn’t be there with you on your special day.
Set up a table with photo frames of your loved ones or set up a wall with photos of them on it. This provides a beautiful way to visually represent them on your day, and allows everyone to approach this space, acknowledge them, and feel their presence on the day. You can combine this with adding your registration book or activity station to the same place so that your loved ones feel included and part of your day.
Reserve a seat for them
During the ceremony, often the first couple of rows of seats are reserved for family members. The number of rows reserved obviously depends on how large your family is.
If a family member is no longer with you, you can simply keep that seat reserved, with a sign saying who it is reserved for.
That way you acknowledge the space that will always be reserved for them not only on your special day, but always in your life.
Admittedly having an empty seat so close to you can also be upsetting for some so this option is not for everyone.
Dedicate a song for them
While your First Dance is traditionally a song you and your partner have chosen that you both love and feel represent you both, and the Father-Daughter/Mother-Son dance song is equally symbolic of your relationships with both.
Should one parent not be there, choose your departed parent’s song to dance to with your parent present at your wedding. Alternatively, choose a fun up beat song dedicated to the person no longer with us, and invite the whole wedding to dance in their honour.
Name a drink after them
Many couples love the idea of having personalized drinks at their wedding. A His, Hers and Ours cocktail option on the menu. These don’t have to be made up cocktails, they can be your classics such as martinis or daquiries, but just renamed for your day.
However if you have a dearly departed, you could always add their favourite drink to the bar menu and name it after them, or do as above and take a classic favourite and just rename it after them…that way they’re right there drinking and enjoying the day with you!
Photo of them on your bouquet/boutonniere
Not all of us want to have a showy sign of love for those no longer with us, preferring a much more private way to honour their loved ones.
There is no right or wrong way to honour someone, however this one is great if you’re someone who prefers a more subdued and personal way to have them there on your special day.
For brides, bring a small photo or token of your loved one, and ask your planner to have it embedded in your bouquet so they are with you when you walk down the aisle.
For grooms, take a token of theirs and use it in lieu of a boutonniere, or have your boutonniere’s stem wrapped in a ribbon of your loved one’s favorite colour.
This is obviously a very sensitive topic, and one that may cause you some discomfort or sadness, however I hope I have given some options for ways to remember your loved ones on a day that they should be a part of in a happy heartfelt way.
There are plenty of other ways to honor your loved ones, and your planner should be able to give you a multitude of options that best suit your needs and wants for your day.