Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Remembrances during ceremony

My fiancé and I both lost our fathers when we were children. Our officiant has suggested saying something along the lines of "let us take a moment to remember those who cannot be with us today, and particularly Bride's and Groom's fathers" (it's nicer than that but mentions them specifically). She also suggested we have a special candle for them.  

My fiancé and I would both like their absence to be mentioned during the ceremony, but we think it's too much to have the statement PLUS the candle. Would guests be uncomfortable with the statement since it mentions our fathers and isn't simply "those who cannot be with us today" (or however she put it)?

Also - the only other thing related to them that guests will see are a few pictures included in the picture display (i.e. there will be no empty chairs, etc…).





Re: Remembrances during ceremony

  • This is your wedding.  Memorials should be kept private.  Do not inflict sad memories on your guests.
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    [Deleted User]
  • I realize that it's important to you to mention your fathers, but I agree that remembrances need to be subtle so as not to turn what should be a happy occasion into a sad one.

    Some nice ways to do it, rather than making statements about their absence, could be to wear or carry something that belonged to or is associated with them; have foods, drinks, decorations, or entertainment they would have enjoyed, to give them tributes in wedding programs if you are having them, to mention them during appropriate prayers during the ceremony if you are marrying in a religion that has them in its liturgy, and to mention them briefly in toasts at the reception.

    So I'd do those things rather than give a memorial statement at your ceremony which might evoke too much sadness at your wedding from those who mourn their losses and make other guests uncomfortable, especially if they didn't know your fathers.
  • My fiancé and I both lost our fathers when we were children. Our officiant has suggested saying something along the lines of "let us take a moment to remember those who cannot be with us today, and particularly Bride's and Groom's fathers" (it's nicer than that but mentions them specifically). She also suggested we have a special candle for them.  

    My fiancé and I would both like their absence to be mentioned during the ceremony, but we think it's too much to have the statement PLUS the candle. Would guests be uncomfortable with the statement since it mentions our fathers and isn't simply "those who cannot be with us today" (or however she put it)?

    Also - the only other thing related to them that guests will see are a few pictures included in the picture display (i.e. there will be no empty chairs, etc…).





    In the Catholic Mass, prayers of the faithful always include prayers for those who have died. Growing up with that, I would never have a problem with a simple intention acknowledging those who are unable to be with us.  At my daughter's mass, she also included prayers for married couples and other special people in their lives.  Here is an example:

    For bride and groom, and all married couples, for their faithfulness to each other, and for their loving service to the Gospel.............

    For the parents and families and bride and groom, for their godparents, and for all who formed them in their faith......

    For the deceased relatives of bride and groom (you can name them if you wish), for the sick, and for all those unable to join us today......
    cafarriecbus13MairePoppypolly212
  • I would find it inappropriate to mention them unless, like MobKaz's Catholic example, your family or faith already has a tradition for doing so.
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  • Personally I would do just the candle & maybe "remember those who aren't with us today" which then not only covers your fathers but everyone else that can't be there for you either due to death or not being able to attend. It also gives the guests a moment to remember their passed loved ones. For me it would be hard to be verbally reminded that my father isn't there with me on one of the most important days of my life.
  • We struggled with this. My DH really, really wanted to do something similar in our ceremony for his late grandmother. But I did not. 

    In the end, I'm glad we didn't because I was smiling like a crazy person throughout the entire ceremony. I was so over the moon, I wouldnt have been able to come down for a serious moment.

    We incorporated our deceased family members in other ways. I tied my great grandmother's pocket watch to my bouquet, we had wedding photos of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents set up on our guestbook table in pretty frames and with pretty little name tag things so people knew who they were looking at. Because they were wedding photos it was more of a family-tree thing than a memorial thing.

  • But I also see the other side of it too. I've been to two weddings where the bride lost a sister very soon before the wedding. It was terrible because the loss was really palpable (in way that the loss of my DH's grandmother was not at our wedding... she passed over a decade ago and I never met her). Your situation is somewhere in between, almost? Your fathers passed when you were children, but they're also your fathers and it's your wedding day.

    Saying a few words acknowledging someone who is really, tangibly missing doesn't come across as akward to me. If everyone is thinking about it anyway, then you might as well acknowledge it, you know? In those cases, it's the silence that's awkward. In the two weddings I mentioned, the sister was mentioned in one, and completely ignored in the second. In the second, it just felt sad. Like the elephant in the room no one was talking about.

    I'm pretty sure no one was thinking about DH's grandmother during our ceremony. I feel like that's the difference. But, I don't think other people think this distinction is reasonable.

  • This depends on your religious background. My family is  Catholic. It's comforting, not sad, to hear the names of our beloved deceased relatives in the prayers of the faithful, which is part of every mass, including nuptial masses. 

    If this is not your religious or cultural practice, you shouldn't feel pressured to do this by your officiant.

                       
  • OP I'm in the same boat as you are, only my father passed only a few years ago and will be a big elephant in the room.

    Not trying to thread-jack, but PPs would it be offensive/inconsiderate to use a revised version of the prayers of the faithful in a non-denomination church? I love the way the prayer is worded, and would feel that prayer could be the "mentioning" of the loss of my father without outwardly saying it. FTR, majority of my family is Catholic, Fi is not.


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    jenijoyk
  • I was raised Catholic, so I don't find it strange to mention during the ceremony that you're remembering the ones that have passed. I do think the candle would be too much though. 
    polly212
  • I was raised Catholic as well, so this wouldn't feel out of place. Nor would a candle, as the churches I grew up in always had "in memory of" candles out. 
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  • @dolewhipper - I would think it's lovely that you remembered to pray for your dad on your wedding day.
                       
    jenijoykMobKaz
  • MairePoppy I think the prayer wording is perfect, I just didn't know if using a Catholic prayer in a non Catholic church would be okay. The wording is just right, as saying anything too in depth or having a candle or anything thing else "in remembrance" would have my grandmother (dads mom) go off the deep end.


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  • I vividly remember my cousin's wedding.  It was held two weeks after my father died, and in the same church where my parents were married.  Mother became hysterical, and made quite a scene, moaning about her "poor, dear husband".  It was uncomfortable for everyone present.
    Catholic prayers are Christian prayers.  They can be used anywhere a Christian prayer is appropriate.
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    MairePoppyMobKazdolewhipper
  • MairePoppy I think the prayer wording is perfect, I just didn't know if using a Catholic prayer in a non Catholic church would be okay. The wording is just right, as saying anything too in depth or having a candle or anything thing else "in remembrance" would have my grandmother (dads mom) go off the deep end.
    You can find many examples of these prayers on line. http://www.saintfrancisatincline.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/saint-francis-tahoe-Prayers-Faithful-Weddings.pdf http://www.mrs2be.ie/wedding-forum/wedding-discussion/topic11302.html
    dolewhipper
  • edited December 2014

    Oh my, CMGragain, your mother must have been a pip (my grandfather's word).

    My former pastor said it's appropriate to pray anywhere, so I think it's fine to use the prayer of the faithful at your non-denominational wedding.






                       
    dolewhipper
  • It is your wedding. I think it is a good thing that you are remembering both of your father's.  I understand that its a wedding, but they were a part of your life. My fiancée and I both have lost our grandparents. Both of my grandmother's recently have passed. We have decided that we are going to have 2 candles to light. His mom will light a candle for his grandparents and my mother will light a candle for my grandparent's. My feeling is there is no problem  honoring loved ones that have passed, especially being that it is both of your father's.
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  • It is your wedding. I think it is a good thing that you are remembering both of your father's.  I understand that its a wedding, but they were a part of your life. My fiancée and I both have lost our grandparents. Both of my grandmother's recently have passed. We have decided that we are going to have 2 candles to light. His mom will light a candle for his grandparents and my mother will light a candle for my grandparent's. My feeling is there is no problem  honoring loved ones that have passed, especially being that it is both of your father's.
    See, I personally don't believe in this. I would never want my mother to light a candle for the loss of her mom and dad during a time that is supposed to be filled with joy like a wedding ceremony. I can only imagine the feelings of sorrow and heart break she might have, wishing they were there celebrating.


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  • @dolewhipper and that is your opinion. My mother and his mother have talked about it. They are perfectly fine with it. They all think it is a nice way of remembering those that can't be with us. Everyone has there own way of wanting to remembering loved ones this is the way we are going to remember ours. The candles are just going to be basic candles no names on them or anything.
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  • Jen4948Jen4948 member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited December 2014

    @dolewhipper and that is your opinion. My mother and his mother have talked about it. They are perfectly fine with it. They all think it is a nice way of remembering those that can't be with us. Everyone has there own way of wanting to remembering loved ones this is the way we are going to remember ours. The candles are just going to be basic candles no names on them or anything.

    It's certainly reasonable that you and your FI want to remember them, but you do need to remember that the occasion in question is supposed to be a happy one, not a sequel to their funerals or memorial services for the deceased.

    So remembrances do need to be subtle and not evoke senses of grief, loss, and pain, both because you don't want yourself, your FI, or your family members to break down and because it will make those guests who are not in mourning or even "remembering" the deceased uncomfortable if too much attention is given to "those who can't be with you." Everyone's needs have to be taken into account-not just yours. That's basic etiquette and consideration for everyone-not "just opinion." There are times and places where heavy mourning and sadness is not appropriate and a wedding is among them.
    dolewhipper
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