Planning a wedding is full of emotional ups and downs, but no bigger disappointment than the realization that an important person in your life will not be there to share your special day. Whether that symbolic person has passed away, is absent due to health restrictions, or maybe is away serving our country, its important to feel that they are with you as you walk down the aisle and begin the next chapter in your life. There are endless ways to pay tribute to absent loved ones, from lighting candles or reserving an empty seat at the ceremony, to a memorial table filled with pictures. Here are five of my favorite (and not so obvious) ways from some recent weddings:
Carry a picture with you down the isle
This one is seems like a no brainer, but I have it listed first because there is just something tangible about carrying a picture attached to a bouquet, or in a jacket pocket. Photographs allow us to be transported to a specific time and place, and we feel a specific emotion. Whether we choose a picture of a deceased parent or grandparent, or a favorite picture of your best friend who is deployed, make sure you choose an image that brings you joy and reflects the feelings that person would have if her or she were actually there. Securing your photo in a locket or pocket watch is a clever way to carry it close to you.
Set Your Table in Memory of Her
For me, dinner with my grandmother was always a big deal. And I think this is true for a lot of brides and grooms to be. After all, for most of us, meal time is what brings family and friends together, and so many good memories are made around the table. Why not set your sweet heart table in honor of those jovial suppers prepared with love from the woman who you adore by setting your table using items from her china cabinet?
Create a Sweet Memory… Literally
For so many, the highlight of the day (after the “I Dos” of course) is the cake! I was at a wedding recently where both the bride and groom’s mothers had past. I was important to them to incorporate their mothers in someway into each aspect of the wedding day. My favorite was how they paid tribute to their mothers by having their cake baker use their mother’s recipes on the cake. I thought this was such a unique way of incorporating the love for their mother’s baking into their wedding day.
How every you decide to incorporate that absent loved on into your wedding day, its important that you do it in a way that honor them and makes you feel as if they are as close to you in that moment as they can possibly be. What creative ways have you seen or heard of to incorporate an absent love one into a wedding day? I would love to hear your idea!