Honoring your loved ones who have passed away on your wedding day can be tricky. You don’t want your special day overshadowed by their deaths, but at the same time you want to still feel like they are a part of it. Here’s how we incorporated our family members who had passed away into our wedding:
Memory Table – I’ll admit that at first I was against this idea because it sounded too much like a funeral, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Along with pictures of my and Worsham’s loved ones, we included pictures of us when we were kids and a collage of our engagement pictures. It was decorated with my grandma’s crystal candelabras that I had always loved. We decided not to have an actual sign that said “in memory” or anything like that. The table turned out to be really beautiful and was a nice reminder of everyone who was there in spirit.
Bouquet Accessories – Another thing brides can do is add in family pins/brooches to their bouquet stem. My dad passed away when I was 16 and he had a gold pin with his initials on it. We used that as well as one of my grandma’s gold flower brooches. They were subtle and tied in perfectly with how my bouquet looked. It was nice having a piece of both of them with me while my mom walked me down the aisle.
Family Bible – My mom had my grandma’s Bible rebound for the ceremony since it was falling apart. It was another special yet subtle way to have her there with us all since she’d had that Bible forever!
The Ceremony – Worsham and I wrote part of our ceremony together to make it more meaningful (we’re writers, after all!). Even though my dad had passed away five years before we met, he played a significant role in solidifying our relationship and I wanted to make sure I acknowledged him for that. Here’s part of what we came up with:
Tyler and Kylee met as interns at a publishing company – an internship that Kylee would not have landed had her professor not forced her class to go to OU’s career fair; an internship that Tyler would not have landed had he not failed four classes as a freshman and switched his major from Engineering to English Writing. They could have easily never met each other. They went nearly their entire college experience without crossing paths, but God had other plans. They didn’t have their first date until five months after they met, yet once they did, they both had a suspicion that this was it – this was what they’d been waiting for all their lives. After that night, Tyler told Kylee to just let him know when he could be her boyfriend. After a few more date-filled weeks, they were Facebook official. Although Kylee knew she was starting to fall in love from that first night, she knew it ten times over when Tyler first said, “I love you,” on October 16, 2012. The date he chose to first say those words was nothing short of a sign – it was the date of Kylee’s parents’ wedding anniversary; a date that Tyler had no way of knowing the significance of, yet that was the day he felt that he had to tell her. Of course, Kylee said it back and has always taken it as a sign of her dad’s approval, never doubting that he had a hand in leading them to each other all along.
And that brings them here. It’s a time to pause, look back, and be thankful for all the moments that had to happen to get to this day. Moments that may have seemed insignificant at the time yet had everything to do with making their love story happen. And it’s also a time to look ahead at all the beautiful moments that are still to come.
Slideshow – The final thing we did was a slideshow during dinner. This wasn’t so much for our loved ones as it was just to show us growing up through the years, but of course that includes them as well! It was cool getting to see all of the memories of us growing up with our families and the memories we’ve made together so far.
I hope this gives you brides-to-be some ideas!
Photo cred: Prickly Pair Photography