It’s such a gift to have all the important people present during your wedding planning, as well as during the big day. Sadly, some of our most influential loved ones don’t make it. With several clients over the last few years asking me as a photographer how to incorporate the memory of loved ones into their special day, here are a few ideas that previous couples have used to honor past loved ones: 

– A table with photos of loved ones, both at the ceremony (some put photos on chairs) and the reception. Adding special tokens (a pin, a tie, military metals, etc.) are a great way to show they are still present in your heart. You can also include wedding photos from previous generations. 

– Leaving a chair open with a sash or blanket or flowers to save them a seat. 

– Sharing family photo albums on a table – or if you want to get really advanced, having old home videos planning during dinner or cocktail hour. Slide shows of uploaded family photos is great too.

– Memorial dance (This is a major tear jerker and will cause the photography team to be blubbering) having guests step in for parents who have passed or other guests. 

– For bridal or suite options, wearing a token or jewelry of loved ones helps accomplish the “Something old and something borrowed” tradition. 

– Serving their favorite meal or recipe during the rehearsal dinner. 

– As parting gifts for guests, consider pre-assembling mason jars full of ingredients for bars, cookies or snacks that they had loved to make for Hollidays – maybe even adding instructions/recipes for further baking projects. 

– Incorporating a memory into a speech – telling a funny joke about them or a moving moment in time. 

– Wearing clothing from their wedding day – or having a small part incorporated into your outfit. 

– Having their favorite song play during dinner or for specific dances. 

– Reading a poem during the ceremony in remembrance

– Toasting to loved ones during speeches 

– Writing a message into the program about their love for you as a couple

Hopefully some of these tips help create some ways of honoring your loved ones. I am sorry that these question does come up, because in the end, we all wish the people who have stood by us in life are able to attend such a special day. 

keep a look out for cardinals, glowing light orbs and dimes on the day – they are always with us. 

love to you,