Celebrating those who can’t be with you on your wedding day

Weddings aren’t just a way to celebrate your union as husband and wife. These special occasions unite entire families and friendship groups to make your declaration of love extra special. One of the biggest challenges couples face when wedding planning is honouring the very special individuals who can’t be there to celebrate with them in person. It could be a private acknowledgement or a public tribute, but there are a number of heartfelt ways you can honour lost loved ones on your wedding day.

Celebrate lost loved ones

Read on to discover how you can include the loved ones that played such a vital part in your life without dampening the celebratory spirit of your big day.

Save them a seat

Reserve a front row seat for your lost loved one at your wedding ceremony and reception. You can mark their seat with a picture of them, flowers or simply a sign. Making your own wedding day wreath to adorn the empty chair is another special touch that will everyone remember your special someone.

Keep them close to you

Pinning a picture of your lost loved one to your bouquet wrap or, for grooms, having some personalised cufflinks made is an excellent way to keep a deceased relative or friend close. You can take a subtler approach to paying tribute by wearing something that reminds you of them, as Wed Magazine details:

“Some brides may wish to wear their mother’s wedding dress, or be led by their auntie’s love of colourful shoes. Your grandfather’s cufflinks might help give you a sense of his presence or even wrapping a section of his favourite ties around the stems of the bouquets. Jewellery woven into hems, on chains and tied around bouquets – perhaps a locket or charm with a photo of your loved one – are a lovely way to privately keep them close. You might incorporate their favourite flowers into your colour scheme, or even have old rings or earrings melted to form your new wedding bands.”

Sewing a handwritten note or card into your dress or suit, like this bride, is another private way to honour a parent, grandparent, close friend or family member that can’t be present at your wedding.

Set up a memory table

Memory tables are excellent options for those who have one or a multitude of lost loved ones to remember on their wedding day. Fill a table at your wedding reception with framed photos of the loved ones who can’t be there. A single candle lit and placed at your reception is another simple yet beautiful way to pay tribute. Elements like balloon releases, toasts and moments of silence get every wedding guest involved before carrying on the celebrations.

Dedicating your wedding ceremony program to a family member or friend who has passed away with an “in loving memory of” note is a lovely touch. Personalised flower arrangements placed at the altar are another great way to go. These arrangements can include your loved one’s favourite blooms or be made up of flowers that symbolise remembrance like rosemary and pansies.

Personalise your favours

Is there a special item that you and your wedding guests associate with a lost loved one? Giving them out as favours in their honour is not only a great token but the perfect opportunity to share memories of your loved one.

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