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Lovingly honor a deceased family member at your wedding

Firstly, I am very sorry for your loss and I know whether it was recent or a while ago it makes no difference to how much you miss this family member or close friend. You wanted them to be present for your wedding to witness your happiness and share your joy. It can be devastating when that wish is not granted. It's something many of us take for granted, like so many things and when it's lost to us we don't know what to do.

Many wedding couples have been where you are now and have shared this difficult aspect of their wedding planning journey with us via our Low Budget Wedding Planning Group. You are not alone and there are many sensitive ways you can honor your deceased loved one and include the memory of them in your wedding. It is not the same as having them there with you in person but it will in some small way bring comfort.

Here are some ways wedding couples are honoring their deceased loved ones, parents, grandparents, siblings and other.

Wedding Bouquet Photo Charms

I've seen these for sale but it would be so easy to make your own if you're on a low budget and want to make something more personal and unique. They are small photo frames which are attached (like a charm) to the wedding bouquet, perhaps hanging from the wedding ribbon or a prominent flower stem.

Memorial Photo Cards and Keepsakes - Mother/FatherIf you're making one yourself, you could use a photo key chain holder, decorated with glitter, diamontes or spray painted with metallic gold/silver paint to make it more special and match it with the bouquet.

Wedding Photo Locket

A small photo locket in gold, silver or other metal can be another discreet way to have your loved one close to your heart at that special moment. These are usually delicate enough to be a good match for a wedding dress.

Photo Cuff Links For The Groom 

The groom could have a specially engraved or photo tie clip/pin, cuff links. The photos are small (avatar sized) and may just be enough to ensure this person who has passed away is close (symbolically) at all times throughout the wedding. As an expense, this could be a wedding gift for the groom (pre-wedding).

Enchanting CELEBRATION of LIFE PHOTO Memorial Invitation
Reserved Chairs or decorated table/shelf.

Some wedding couples will reserve a seat for their beloved family member at their wedding top table (or other). The seat will have a photo frame, or it can be placed on the table at their place setting. There can be familiar items attached or on the chair, perhaps a familiar jacket, a pipe, pair of glasses, a favorite book. You can also order personalized (or make one yourself) memorial plaques.

These items can also be arranged on a  table or shelf, with candles. This display will likely make you very emotional on the day, but there is no avoiding it. How much or how little you want to do in regard to creating a tribute chair is your decision. You want to remember and honor your loved one but you also want your wedding to be joyful and not sorrowful. Check in with other relatives if you're unsure as to how much is too much.

Have a few words - moment of silence

Some wedding couples will mention their loved ones in a toast, speech. They may have a moment of silence in their memory.

A Single White Rose in bridal bouquet

This is a simple way to symbolise the acknowledgement of loved ones who have passed away.

Acknowledgement on wedding program

If you're having wedding programs you can include an ' in loving memory' paragraph to remember them.

Charitable contributions instead of gifts

Some wedding couples ask for a contribution to a named charity in memory of their loved one who has passed. They may do this in place of a wedding gift or as a discreet collection perhaps after the ceremony or as a collection box on the 'memorial table'.

Graveside Bouquet - after the wedding

If you happen to live close to where your loved one is buried, after the wedding day you may want to visit the grave site and lay your bridal bouquet or other wedding floral arrangement there and maybe include a wedding photo.

Wedding Photos

Some wedding couples have their loved ones who can't be with them on their special day edited into a couple of wedding photos, perhaps as an opaque overlay. This is a very personal choice and would require the services of a photo editing professional or someone you know who can do a sensitive job.

Please share in comments more ways in which loved ones can be honored and remembered at a wedding.

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