Weddings are a day when we celebrate the journey of our lives.  This can include remembering all the people we love who are gone from our lives too soon.  There are beautiful and creative ways to honor lost loved ones at your wedding.

I know it’s emotional to talk about this subject, (I got emotional going through all these pictures) but I believe if you want to do something to honor your loved ones at your wedding it’s very important.  I’ll listen to you.  There are options for honoring people that fit every wedding.  Many couples find ways to honor lost loved ones bring comfort to them during their wedding day.

Examples of ways to honor lost loved ones at your wedding.

Wear their jewelry.  My grandmother was present at my wedding, but when my sister got married a few years later she had passed away from cancer.  She was a big part of our life.  We spent many summers with her at her home in our childhood.

Our grandmother loved collecting jewelry.  She left us tons of vintage costume pieces, including pearls and sparkling earrings perfect for a wedding.  My sister found things from grandma’s collection that matched her dress.  It was comforting to my parents and everyone at the wedding who knew grandma to have this remembrance of her with us.

Add an heirloom to your dress or suit.

You can have a small item from your loved one sewn into the lining of your wedding clothes or tucked into a pocket so it’s with you all day.  At her wedding, Mackenzie had this sewing kit from her grandmother sewn into the tulle of her dress.  The weight and materials of the item will determine if this will work, so ask your alterations specialist about it before you attempt any DIY sewing.

Incorporate Charms Into Your Bouquet

Use charms with tiny photographs in your bouquet wrap.  I’ve seen couples do this for all relatives, including parents and their own children.  You’ll hold your bouquet a lot during your wedding, so it’s a good way to keep pictures close to your heart.  Also, you can usually fit more than one charm on your bouquet.  This makes an ideal way to honor lost loved ones at your wedding if you have multiple people you want to remember.

a wedding bouquet with a remembrance charm for a lost loved one

Use flowers in your bouquet to remember your lost loved ones.

When I photographed Ta and Paul’s reception celebration they were grieving the loss of Ta’s father.  They wed in his hospital room a few months before he passed.  They decided to have their celebration as planned later on that year since they had everything booked.

Ta planned to DIY her flowers but changed her mind at the last minute.  Her florist crafted the bridal bouquet with calla lilies and placed a tiny sparkling charm in one of them to represent Ta’s dad.  Every time I look at the pictures of the bouquet it makes me tear up because it was beautiful and fitting for Ta.

 (Etsy is a great source for bouquet charm kits.)

Play a special song that reminds you of them.

Coordinate with your DJ to find the right time for this song.  Some couples will include it in their ceremony as the recessional.  Others save it for a special dance with all their guests during the reception.  Your DJ will be able to figure out where the song fits best with your other music.

Dedicate part of your reception toast to sharing memories of your loved ones.

At the reception, you can incorporate honoring your lost loved ones at your wedding into the toast.  Talk about them and share your favorite memories.  If these are people your guests were also close with you can encourage them to share memories.  After everyone speaks give a toast to your loved ones.

Make a remembrance table with a photograph to honor your loved one at your wedding.

This is one of the easiest ways to honor lost loved ones at your wedding.  All you need is a small table, a framed print, and you can add a bouquet if you want to.  I’ll gladly make a print for you and help you find a frame to complement it.  You can seek out a unique table to match your decor or ask your venue for a cocktail table.  Brian and Michael were married on a riverboat and had their remembrance table set up on the main deck.  It was easily visible to their guests and right next to the ceremony spot.

a groom places flowers at a remembrance table before his wedding
Remembrance table on at a riverboat wedding in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Light candles during your ceremony in honor of all lost loved ones on both sides of your family.

Your officiant can work with you to include a candle lighting in your ceremony.  This option can evoke strong emotions for couples and their guests because it’s done in front of everyone during the ceremony.  It’s also a good choice if you want to honor multiple people in a meaningful way.  If you’re eloping this is one of the best ways to honor lost loved ones since the ceremony will be the main part of your wedding day.

remembering deceased loved ones at your wedding
A  candle and flowers for a parent at Rubies and Rust barn in Belle Plaine.

These are a few ways you can honor deceased loved ones at your wedding.  There are many more options.  If you need help thinking of ideas while we’re planning your wedding photography I’m happy to do research and help you find something that’s personal and meaningful for you.

I’m a Minnesota wedding photographer located in Belle Plaine, traveling throughout the Twin Cities and the United States.

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