Reception Ideas

Honoring deceased sister

My sister died 14 years ago when she was 6 years old. I would give anything to have her there for my wedding day, so I can't imagine not honoring her in some way. I was thinking about, toward the end of the reception, having a dance with my dad in my sisters place to a song I know he would have picked for her. I've read other posts about how to avoid sad moments at a wedding but I really want to honor my sister and my parents. My question is, would this memorial be too devastating for family? How would you react if you saw this at a wedding? Thank you all for any input. 

Re: Honoring deceased sister

  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
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    To be honest, watching that dance would be rough for me, and it might be really rough on your family. 
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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    PrettyGirlLostsparklepants41STARMOON44
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
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    If you know it wouldn't be devastating for your father, you could do this but not make it a spotlight dance. You and your Dad would just dance and the significance would be known only to you and your closest family. I would not make it a spotlight dance, i.e. make an announcement about it and have only you and your Dad on the dance floor.
    SP29OliveOilsMomOurWildKingdomsparklepants41
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    My sister died 14 years ago when she was 6 years old. I would give anything to have her there for my wedding day, so I can't imagine not honoring her in some way. I was thinking about, toward the end of the reception, having a dance with my dad in my sisters place to a song I know he would have picked for her. I've read other posts about how to avoid sad moments at a wedding but I really want to honor my sister and my parents. My question is, would this memorial be too devastating for family? How would you react if you saw this at a wedding? Thank you all for any input. 
    In addition to what @AddieCake ; mentioned, it seems that the timing of your idea is far from ideal.  Would you want a happy day to end on a sad and somber note?

    I think you should ask your parents how they feel about this.  Posters often suggest subtle inclusions, such as a mention in the wedding program about all guests unable to be with you whether physically or spiritually.  If you or your folks can remember a favorite food of your sister's, you could include it at the reception, or incorporate a favorite color of hers into your flowers or decor. 
    AddieCakeOliveOilsMomPrettyGirlLost
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    This is a slightly different situation but here's my experience with this type thing:

    My best friend got married 2 years ago to a man whose wife passed away 5 months prior (I won't go into my feelings on this). I gave my toast first about how she had worked so hard and been alone so long that I was happy that she had finally found a safe place in her new husband. The Best Man then stands up to give his toast in which he discussed the groom's late wife in detail. The room got silent, everyone was looking at each other like wtf did I just hear. The inclusion of the late wife brought the mood way down and 3/4 of the guests left after that before the cake was even cut. 

    Same wedding...the bride's father had passed several years prior and to honor him, I had an enamel cardinal charm sewn into her dress and no one knew it was there but us. 
    OurWildKingdomPrettyGirlLostsparklepants41
  • SP29SP29
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    I think it would be fine to dance with your dad to a song that would be special to your family, but I agree that I wouldn't make this a spotlight dance. Just have the DJ play the song, anyone can dance, but you and your family will know what it means to you.

    I love the idea of making a charm with her photo that is either sewn into your dress or is attached to your bouquet. I've seen them a bunch on Pinterest, and you can probably find them on Etsy.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Agree with PPs.  I think you and your parents are both comfortable with this idea, there's no harm in having a quite tribute/recognition of your sister.  I also would not make it public, nor would I make it a spotlight dance.

    I'm generally a fan of memorials and recognition being personal because grief and grieving are personal.  You don't want to turn your celebration into a memorial. 

    You might also consider another way to incorporate your sister.  Could you walk down the aisle to the song you are considering?  If a bouquet or dress charm isn't your style, would you want to wear a locket with her picture?  Or maybe you could incorporate a favorite candy into your favors or her favorite snack into your appetizers. 

    I think balance is important.  Chosen carefully, those who knew your sister will recognize a tribute fondly without being overwhelmed.
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    DrillSergeantCatfloridabride44OurWildKingdom
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
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    I agree with PPs that any "memorial" for your sister needs to be private and inconspicuous. For example, you might serve a favorite dish or dessert, wear a dress in her favorite color, carry one of her favorite toys or have it attached to your dress or bouquet, or something like that. And if your ceremony is religious, you can have appropriate prayers said then. 

    But don't announce that anything is in memory of your sister, because it will evoke grief, pain, and loss and make people uncomfortable and/or unhappy. You don't want that to happen at a wedding.
    OurWildKingdom
  • My SIL just got married, her H lost his brother less than 6 months ago. The GM carried a vase with a single candle during the ceremony that the family, as a whole decided on (he was intended to be a GM as well). Those of us who knew what it symbolized understood the significance, but it was conspicuous and not overt. IMO this was a meaningful, but respectful way to remember him without "surprising" people with a tribute. 
    OurWildKingdomdonethat
  • Just a couple thoughts.  Weddings are significant life changing moments, and that makes us think of other life changing moments.  

    The wedding ceremony is by name and nature ceremonial, and would be an appropriate time for a short and heartfelt moment remembering your sister (or anyone who you are missing and wish you could share this day with) with a few words from the officiant ... or a prayer, or single flower ... momento or photo.  

    The wedding reception is a celebration and party of the ceremony just witnessed.    

    I am a fan of keeping the reception celebratory in words, actions and music.  

    Of course you are thinking of and missing your sister, and heartbroken for what will never be, but please use your reception to celebrate your spouse, your (married!) self ... your dear family and friends ... and really kick off your married future with happiness and joy!    
    OurWildKingdom
  • This is a slightly different situation but here's my experience with this type thing:

    My best friend got married 2 years ago to a man whose wife passed away 5 months prior (I won't go into my feelings on this). I gave my toast first about how she had worked so hard and been alone so long that I was happy that she had finally found a safe place in her new husband. The Best Man then stands up to give his toast in which he discussed the groom's late wife in detail. The room got silent, everyone was looking at each other like wtf did I just hear. The inclusion of the late wife brought the mood way down and 3/4 of the guests left after that before the cake was even cut. 
    Wow and OMG ... and 2nd WOW!  this story.....   :-(     
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