A wedding or vow renewal offers the perfect time to celebrate your relationship so far. It’s also a chance to spend time with the friends and family members who have supported you over the years. As such, many of us feel the absence of those loved ones who are no longer around. While nothing can compensate for an absence of the dearly departed, a wedding can be the chance to honour deceased friends or relatives.
Reserve a chair
Your ceremony is arguably when you’ll feel an absence the most. There are a number of ways to honour them even if they can’t be there to witness your union in person.
Adding an ‘in memory of’ plaques, floral wreath, single flower, reserved sign or picture of a departed relative to one of your chairs provides a touching tribute. Couples with a few loved ones to remember may want to position a memorial table complete with framed photos of their missing relatives or friends at their wedding ceremony or reception.
Keep them with you
Want your lost loved ones a little closer to your heart and the action? Opting for an in memory of bridal bouquet keeps those who have passed away close as you take that walk down the aisle. For grooms, photo cufflinks are the perfect accessory and an equally poignant tribute.
Take a hint from Prince Harry’s moving tribute and personalise your bouquets, buttonholes and wedding décor with your lost loved ones’ favourite blooms. Eagle-eyed fans of the royals spotted that the Prince and Meghan Markle included Diana, Princess of Wales’ favourite flowers, forget-me-nots, in the bridal bouquet.
Release balloons or lanterns
Balloon or lantern releases at your wedding ceremony or reception give you and your guests the opportunity to turn your thoughts and attention to missing loved ones. To personalise the release further, add personalised notes to each balloon or lantern. This is a great way to recount and share the memories you have of your loved ones with your fellow wedding guests. Many couples also release butterflies to mark a moment of silence in respect for individuals who couldn’t be there but are sorely missed. In a similar vein, lighting a candle is a beautiful and simple route to remembering passed family members and friends, as Confetti describes:
“Light a candle during the ceremony and dedicate it to them, or if you are having a religious ceremony, ask each member of the family to stand in front of the altar, light a separate candle from the church’s eternity candle and hold it whilst the minister offers a short blessing or prayer. Ask your minister or celebrant for more advice on this.”
Use your wedding to not mourn but celebrate lost loved ones and make it a day to remember for all the right reasons.