10 Thoughtful Ways to Honour Late Loved Ones at Your Wedding

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Life can be cruel, and even though your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, not everyone will be able to attend. It hurts when you’ve had to say goodbye to a loved one, but you can still pay tribute to them on your wedding day. Here are 10 thoughtful ways you can make them part of the celebrations:

1. Set up an area of remembrance.

Creating a designated area where guests can pay their respects to those who have passed away is a beautiful way of honouring them. One way to do this is to set up a small but special table with pictures of those who have passed away. You can then transfer this table from the ceremony to the reception.

2. Add a charm to your wedding bouquet.

You can remember a special person by tying a locket around the bouquet. Then you can feel as if they’re there with you as you walk down the aisle and when you are posing for photos. You’ll even feel that they’re in the photos themselves.

3. Save a seat for them.

Just because they can’t attend the ceremony in person, it doesn’t mean they won’t be there in spirit. Why not honour them by saving a seat for them? This is a sweet gesture and you can place a framed photo, a treasured note or letter, or even a poem on the seat as a gentle reminder of them.

4. Light a candle.

Candles are a very traditional way of remembering someone and are a simple but effective way to do so. If you’ve recently lost someone, they’re also a pleasant but low key way of including that person in your day.

5. Propose a toast.

Mentioning the deceased in a speech at the wedding is a touching way to include them in the day and will bring back fond memories of that person. Keep the speech lighthearted and tell a funny story or two about that person. There may be one or two tears, but the laughs will restore the balance. At the end of the speech, ask your guests to stand and raise their glasses to your late loved one(s).

6. Play their favourite song.

There’s something about music that stirs emotions, which makes this a powerful way to include your loved one in the day. You can play their favourite song at the reception or while you sign the register. A soothing tune may cause you to recall more poignant moments whereas a more energetic one could remind you of the fun times you had together.

7. Wear something your late loved one gave you.

Perhaps they left behind to you an item of jewellery, such as a necklace or a bracelet. You can wear this during your wedding day. This is a very private way of remembering the person that allows you to pay tribute to them without highlight their absence.

8. Add a note to the wedding programme.

Add a small ‘In Loving Memory of’ tribute to the wedding programme. This is a separate little section just for the deceased and is a simple yet heartfelt way of remembering your loved one on the day.

9. Wear personalised cuff-links.

Grooms may wish to pay tribute to a loved one by personalising their cuff-links. They can customise them with a photo, or maybe even with a favoured word or phrase of their loved one; look at them throughout the day; and feel that the departed is there with them.

10. Place a flower arrangement at the altar.

There’s nothing like saying something with flowers, so why not have a special little flower arrangement at the altar in their honour? You can mix things up with flowers that signify remembrance, such as pansies or rosemary, or make the arrangement with their favourite flowers.

Honour your late loved one(s) in any of these ways on your wedding day and you can enjoy the celebration with them knowing that they’re deeply in your heart. You’ll have a wonderful celebration on this most emotional of days.