How to pay respects to loved ones who have passed
Getting married is one of the most precious, joyful and celebrated times of a person’s life. It is a day filled with gleeful festivities and dreams of the future, but what about remembering the past? Even more so, what about remembering a person or people that have passed away, however recently?
Remembering those who have passed away at your wedding can be one of the most emotional and fitting ways to link together the past, present and future on your special day. It is something that needs to be approached with a level of caution and sensitivity. Whether you are thinking of having a whole table filled with memorabilia of those who have passed away. Or simply an open locket on your bouquet. This is something that will most likely stir up lots of feelings of emotion with your family members. So try to make sure that you treat it with sensitivity and respect. And it will be something wonderful to share memories with your family and friends. Here are some wonderful ways to remember loved ones on your wedding day.
Have a memory table
As far as wedding memorials go, the memory table seems to be the most popular way of doing things. The idea is simple: just gather some photographs of those who have passed away and place them on a table. Many couples tend to also include special objects on the table too.
An empty chair
The whole idea behind this gesture is to create a presence in the room during the ceremony. Not in a creepy ghost type way, but by using an empty chair to represent those who have passed away. This is an incredibly emotional and personal way to include loved ones in your ceremony.
Include them in your wedding program or mention them in a speech
If you would like to include your loved ones who have passed away in your big day but would like to keep it subtle, then it is a good idea to mention them in your wedding program or in a speech.
Have a little photo of them connected to your bouquet / cufflinks
A nice way to remember someone, whilst still keeping it subtle and personal to you, is to fashion a small photograph of your loved one and connect it to your bouquet or even your cufflinks if you are the groom. This way, your memory of them will accompany you as you walk down the aisle.
Get older generations involved
“My future mother in law made a collage of memories of people who had passed away” says one recent bride, “It actually worked out perfectly because she wanted to be more involved in the planning. And her mother recently passed so it as a good way to honour her. It has all our family members from both sides who have passed and some family pets as well.” Getting older generations involved in creating wedding memorials is a great way to get them more involved in the wedding planning. Plus chances are they will have more old photographs!
Have a bowl of their favourite food/sweets at the ceremony or reception
Often deceased family members can be remembered by involving their favourite foods in the ceremony or reception.
Represent them with flowers
Flowers on your wedding day is pretty much a given, so why not use specific flowers to symbolise your loved ones that have passed away? You could even have a whole bunch of beautiful flowers, one to symbolise each person that has passed away. This way, you can keep the memory of them alive, whilst still keeping it more subtle than the empty chair idea.
Remember that your wedding is a joyous occasion – you don’t want to make anyone feel upset! It is often worth checking with the rest of the family before you decide on how you remember a loved one on your special day. Remember that they will want to remember the relative too so make sure that everyone is comfortable with the way that you have chosen.