Honoring missing loved ones at weddings and events

I honestly couldn't believe it when my client emailed me asking for help on this particular subject. I couldn't believe it and I was truly devastated for her. All too recently her daughter had passed. Her question to me, "What should I do...is there anything you can recommend to help us get through this?"

We never expect it, especially something like this. I was truly heart broken for her. I wanted to be there for her, to do whatever I could for her. The first question she and her fiance needed to answer was if they wanted to move forward with their wedding. Is she going to be able to truly enjoy it? Inevitably it is going to be a truly bittersweet event because that person is missing. But she had to answer the question, does she want to go forward. 

They decided yes, they are going forward. They discussed it among themselves (bride and groom) and then with friends and family. So we move forward. The next question is do you want to do anything to memorialize the missing person at the wedding? 

There are a lot of options to remember loved ones at weddings and other events. 
  • If your loved one was going to stand in the wedding, you can have flowers resting on a chair for him/her. 
  • You can have his/her picture at the wedding with flowers or a candle. When you walk up the aisle, you can light the candle before the ceremony starts. 
  • Or, when my father in law died a month before my wedding, we decided we just wanted a memorial setting at the reception. We had two candles, one for my father and one for my father in law. My mother in law did not want pictures or too much because she didn't want to be sad or for Marc (my husband) to be sad. We knew what the candles were for, and it was enough for us. We also had our officiant say a quick prayer to acknowledge those lost in our lives, especially my father in law. 
  • Or you can do a table with pictures of happier times of not just your lost loved one but of yourself with others who are both there and those not there. And maybe add a candle. 

  • Another option is for you to carry a photocharm on your bouquet (see attachment). Jewel Kade  makes the charms and they come out very nice. Once the charm is ready, we'd give it to the florist to tie onto the bouquet. Then after the wedding, you have a charm to hold onto and wear on necklaces for the rest of your life of a pic of you and your loved one. 

  • Or make it special to you: loved one's initials hung from a bouquet, a tiny photo of him/her in your pocket, a seat at the ceremony with his/her name (and add a rose if you want) or have the band play a song dedicated to him/her that he/she used to play on an instrument or loved to sing. Or you can wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that is personal to you and that person.
The point is to make it special to you or make it as elaborate and as personal as you want. It's your day. It's what you want. If it's going to make you sad though, keep that in mind....we don't want you sad on your wedding day :)