Wedding Etiquette Forum

Loss of family members/ceremony and give away etiquette

This past June, we lost my brother and my mother. My sister is getting married in less than two days, and this has certainly created a bit of a hole in her heart.  I've been trying to help where I can when it comes to the loss, but of course there is only so much I can do to try and make things "right".  There will be a memorial set up in their honor, but there was something she mentioned to me this evening that I had not yet thought about.  When I was given away at my wedding in March, my father replied with "her mother and I".  Is there any wording that anyone can think of or has heard that would incorporate my late mother without completely changing the tone of the ceremony to something depressing?  This detail had not yet crossed my mind and she revealed to me tonight that it's been bothering her.  Please help!

Re: Loss of family members/ceremony and give away etiquette

  • Unfortunately, I don't think there is any polite and non-lugubrious way to mention a deceased person during the "giving away."  It is just too in-your-face.

    There are subtle ways that your mother's memory can be appropriately incorporated into the event.  You can wear or carry something she owned or is associated with her, like a piece of jewelry or a handkerchief or her favorite flowers in your bouquet; you can provide food, drinks, decorations, and/or entertainment, like a favorite song or dish of your mother, that is associated with her, you can mention her in speeches (again, subtly) and you can give her a nice tribute in your program if you are doing one.

    What should be avoided is non-subtle "memorials," like mentioning her during the "giving away," empty chairs, or really large or otherwise conspicuous photos of her.   Your wedding should be a happy occasion, so even though you're feeling sad by her absence, you don't want to evoke grief and loss, which these things have the tendency to do.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Or the answer could be "her family and I" if you insist on having the question at all.
    cafarrie[Deleted User]PrettyGirlLostshort+sassy
  • Or the answer could be "her family and I" if you insist on having the question at all.

    It's an answer to the "who gives" question, yes.  The OP wanted to know how she could specifically incorporate her late mother in the response though, and I don't think there's any way she can directly do so.
  • Dont know the answer, but sorry for your loss
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