My grandpa passed away just two weeks before my wedding. When that happened, I began to consider how I could honor my grandpa at my wedding in a unique way. After much research and creative thinking, I made this list of unique ways to honor your loved one.
- Leave an open chair. Honor their memory by acknowledging their presence at your special event by marking their seat with a framed picture. I’ve also seen angel wings attached to the back of the chair, or a plaque with your loved one’s name placed on the chair. Even a single rose is a beautiful gesture to make It clear that this seat honors someone who couldn’t be here.
- Memorial shrine or corner. If you’d like your wedding guests to pay their respects to your deceased loved one, reserve some space for honoring them. Frame pictures from their lifetime, light candles in their memory, use wedding flowers to tie it into the decorations. One wedding I attended had a jar of cigars with a sign that encouraged guests to take one as a tribute to the bride’s deceased father. I loved the celebratory mood of this gesture, it really felt like her father was there toasting his daughter’s wedding with us.
- Jewelry and Keepsakes. The most stunning weddings really focus on the details. One way to honor your loved one is to incorporate their memory into your wedding day with a small token of their love. You can wear your grandma’s necklace or your mother’s garter, or you can take a more creative approach. Tie a locket with your loved one’s portrait inside to your bouquet. Create a tie clip or cuff links from your deceased relative’s signature or initials. I’ve seen small charms on boutonnieres, high heels, hair accessories, you name it—with these special touches, your loved one won’t leave your side the whole day.
- Release a balloon or lantern. This is another great way to involve your wedding guests in the honoring of your loved one. I love the idea of starting off the dancing with a few words about the loved one who is missing from this day, and then releasing a balloon full of messages to that person. Another idea is to attach messages to floating lanterns and release those as the bride and groom leave for the night. I’ve also seen a company that makes butterfly cages (they look like large ring boxes) with your deceased’s photo on the front. How amazing would it be to release butterflies in memory of your loved one as you walk down the aisle?
- Forget me not. As a thank you gift to guests, give them seed packets of Forget Me Nots with a photo of your loved one, or a quote to honor them. Encourage guests to plant flowers in their yards and remember your sister or father when they look on them.
No matter what you decide to do to honor your loved one, it will be a beautiful gesture and a meaningful moment to be remembered for the rest of your life.