One of the most regular topics which come up when I’m working with couples is often their desire to have an element in their ceremony which acknowledges those loved ones who can’t be with them on their special day. This is a deeply personal gesture and for everyone will look, sound and feel different and there is no ‘wrong’ way to acknowledge your missing loved ones.
Here are some ideas of ways to acknowledge passed loved ones during your wedding;
Lighting Candles – whether it’s lighting one candle to represent all those not present or several individual candles this is a simple way to acknowledge those missing.
Tip – if you plan to light the candles during the ceremony have a long lighter/match discretely placed nearby and if your ceremony is outside consider high sided jars to place them in to protect them from the wind.
Moment of silence – taking a minute during the ceremony or reception to reflect on your memories is one of the most simple ways of making mention of missing loved ones.
Simple Sign – a simple plaque which acknowledges those ‘forever in hearts and minds’. This can be placed somewhere in the reception, near the entrance way to the ceremony or somewhere in between. Decorate with flowers or add a layer by placing the lit candles nearby.
A little part of you – integrating a piece of clothing, jewellery or something else of sentimental value into your outfits on the day allows you to carry a little part of your loved one with you through the day. Ideas include sewing a patch of fabric into dress, jacket, wearing a piece of jewellery, or adding fabric or an sentimental item to your bouquet.
Also using favourite flowers, scents or tastes throughout the day can also be a subtle and personal reminder.
Tip – items can also assist if you’re going traditional with the something old, borrowed, blue etc.
Visual Display – a photo display is a lovely way of having those you miss looking down on you on big day. Its also nice to include other happy memories as a reminder of those special moments you did get to share with them. Add a quote, saying or personal message to the display if you wish or just a simple framed photo on a table located somewhere on the day can add that feeling of inclusion to your day.
Here’s to you – a toast is another popular choice for acknowledging absent loved ones. Options could include serving a small glass of their favourite drink or a simple toast as part of the speeches.
Saved you a seat – reserving a seat can be a lovely way to acknowledge those not present. Whether its one seat representing them all or individual seats for each person. Other ideas include having a photo of each person on the seats, decorating the chair with ribbon or organza or laying flowers on the seats.
What I would say is, remember however you choose to acknowledge those who aren’t with you, it should be something you feel suits your loved ones memories best. Make it something that is truely personal and that doesn’t always mean it has to be readily visible to everyone else, just whatever works for your situation and will honour your loved one in the best way for you. And while this can be a key component of the day remember they would wish nothing by happiness for you so make sure you enjoy your day for them.
Your presence we miss,
your memory we treasure,
loving you always,
forgetting you never
If you have any ideas of your own that you’d like to share, please feel free to add them to the comments below.
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