The day you get married will be filled with moments that you’ll cherish forever. Naturally, you’ll want to share these moments with the people you care about most. But with life’s happiest events comes the realization that special people have passed on and will be absent from the celebrations. Though they are no longer with us in the physical sense, their spirit lives on in our hearts. Having a symbolic representation of them such as a photo or keepsake close by helps fill the empty space they’ve left while offering comfort and bittersweet joy. From your bouquet to decor, here are meaningful ways to honor the memories of loved ones at your wedding.
Carry Their Wedding Band Down The Aisle
For her holiday wedding at New York Botanical Garden, BB Featured Bride Lorenza accessorized with a beautiful bouquet composed of lush, red peonies and freedom roses tied together with antique white silk and pearl ribbon. A gold ring was laced into the arrangement. “The ring was my Grandfather’s who had passed away,” she explains. “He was my only grandparent who couldn’t be there. To honor him by having his wedding band with me at my own wedding was very special.”
Take Comfort In Their Words
For her wedding at Suffolk Theater, BB Featured Bride Melanie carried a striking bouquet of roses, dahlias, ranunculus, cosmos, and astilbe in shades of blush, deep red, white, and soft pink complemented by cascading greenery. Offering comforting memories, a sentimental charm was pinned to the arrangement. “Just a few months before I met Nick in 2015, my step-father passed away from brain cancer. When he and my Dad married in 2012, he wrote me a beautiful note,” she says. “I had part of it engraved onto a little disc in his handwriting and pinned onto the ribbon of my bouquet.”
Hold Their Picture Close
The power that a photo holds in making those who are no longer with us feel closer is remarkable. Honor a loved one who has passed away by turning your favorite portrait of them into a memorial charm, which can be pinned to the ribbon of your bouquet.
Use Objects of Sentiment in Decor
From jewelry to accessories to articles of clothing, we collect objects of sentiment that once belonged to our dearest family and friends. Incorporating these keepsake tokens into ceremony decor gives a sense that they are present during the most important part of your wedding – when the vows and rings are exchanged. “We strung Ben’s grandfather’s tobacco pipe, his grandmother’s handkerchief, my uncle’s pocket watch, and my grandmother’s thread and needle into the chuppah,” BB Featured Bride Caroline says about the couple’s ceremony at Liberty Warehouse. “These heirlooms paid remembrance to our loved ones who had passed on.”
Save A Seat In Their Honor
Reserve a front row seat of honor at your ceremony for someone special who will be missed. For a mother, grandmother, sister, or aunt, consider a bouquet of their favorite flowers or in a color they loved to wear. You can also place a sign with a meaningful saying or line from a poem or song, ribbons, or decorative fixtures on the chair to honor their memory.
A Display Table of Wedding Portraits
If a picture paints a thousand words, imagine all that a wedding portrait has to say. Consider setting up a display table with wedding portraits spanning the generations. You can even include a small sign so guests will know who are in the photos and see how their love and commitment has formed the foundation of your family over the years.
Knowing that a special person will not be there to see you walk down the aisle is heartbreaking. Navigating how to fill their absence during your wedding day is deeply personal and should be handled in a way that brings you solace while best serving their memory. As you can see, making a symbolic expression of remembrance doesn’t have to be grandiose and over-the-top. Rather, in this particular situation, it’s the understated and heartfelt gestures that carry the most meaning.