A wedding is a beautiful ceremony celebrating the union of two people, but it’s also so much more than that. A marriage brings together two families. This is why it is so important to honor your deceased family members in some way to celebrate the part they've played in bringing you to this moment.
Recently, couples have set aside a small part of their ceremony to light a candle. Typically, this candle has the names of the departed persons and a short verse. While this brief memorial service is beautiful and appreciated, it is also a solemn break from what is otherwise a joyous day. Your guests who are not family or who did not know the people you are remembering can often feel interrupted or confused, simply because they don’t feel the same way about your family members as you do.
Other Memorial Options
There are many other ways to remember these special people without causing any kind of break in your ceremony or reception.
- Place a single rose in the bride’s bouquet that is a different color from the rest. This is more
- Attach a picture of the deceased to the bride’s bouquet in the form of a memorial buckle. If other bridesmaids are related, they can each have a picture of someone.
- Write a short statement in the wedding program (typically seen placed on the back or at the end of program):“Today we would like to remember our lost loved ones who cannot be here with us to celebrate.First name, relationship to bride/groomGone but not forgotten”
- Reserve a seat for each deceased family member by placing a single rose and a name card on the chair.
- At the reception, set up a small table with pictures of each person you want to remember, a short poem, and a candle. In this situation, a battery-operated candle may be better than a wax candle, since you won’t be able to watch the open flame during your reception.
If you are having a small wedding with family members making up the majority of the guest list, you might want to stick to the memorial candle tradition, since it will mean more to the guests. If you decide you want some sort of memorial service at your wedding, choose to do something that will be meaningful to you, your partner, and the loved ones you are honoring. Your guests, whether they know the deceased or not, will appreciate a small but significant memorial display more than an extravagant presentation. For other ways to incorporate memorials into your wedding, come check us out here.
Image Credits: Memorial candle holder, Memory bouquet charms, Memorial table setting, Memorial ladder
Elizabeth is an undergraduate at Ohio Northern University with a double major in professional writing and creative writing and a minor in psychology. Liz writes for My Wedding Reception Ideas as well as creates multi-modal writing projects for Re:Media, an Ohio Northern University online publication.