Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

how to honor deceased sister

my 16 year old sister died in 2007 in a car crash. We were super close (I wish more than anything that she could be at our wedding), and we had always planned for her to be my maid of honor (I decided not to have a maid of honor- all of my girls are bridesmaids) when my fiance and I got married. I know that a wedding is a happy event, so I don't want to do anything that is depressing. Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can honor my baby sis in a tasteful manner without bringing the mood down? Thanks!

Re: how to honor deceased sister

  • I went to a wedding where the groom's sister had died the month before in a car accident.  They printed at the bottom of their programs "In Loving Memory Of [Name]."  It was very sweet.

    I personally plan to have 2 small framed photos of my great-great uncle and my grandfather on a table next to the guest-plate (not having a guest book).  Neither of them had a chance to walk me down the aisle, but they will both be a part of my wedding.

    Just keep smiling, and know that your sister would want you to be happy.  :-)
  • Carry a charm with her picture in your bouquet
    Use her favorite color/flower either just in your bouquet, or prominently in your decor
    Dance to her favorite song at the reception
    List her as the maid of honor in the programs
    Have a special candle lit at the altar for her

    Subtle memorials are best.  I'm sure your sister wouldn't want anyone to be sad on your wedding day, and if they see some major public display, it might catch your family off-guard.  I think you can find ways to honor her privately, so that you'll still feel she's with you without depressing anyone.
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  • I'm so sorry for your loss. It has to be hard, knowing how close you were.

    The prior poster's ideas are great. My brother died a long time ago. My fiance's dad passed away a few years ago. We will have pictures on a small table at the ceremony & reception sites, with the toss bouquet, or some other flowers near them. (our use of candles is limited by the venue)

    You might also wear a piece of jewelry that belonged to your sister, whether wearing it or wrapping it on your bouquet. You could have a blank seat at your bridal table, maybe put one of her sweaters, jackets or shawls draped on the back of the chair.

    You don't have to make a big deal about any of this. It also does not have to be maudlin. Everyone there will know she is in your heart, and that you miss her. She'd be happy with whatever method you choose to acknowledge that you wish she were there.

    Good luck.
  • Sorry for your loss, losing a loved one is never easy.

    The charm idea is good, but it on your bouquet, so she is close to you :)

    You can have a toast dedicated to her at the reception.

    Or saw a prayer for her at your ceremony.

    whatever you choose to do, she will be with you that day! :)
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited February 2010
    Sorry for your loss.  My brother died in a car accident 5 years ago, and I know how hard it is to reach these milestones without someone who you thought would be around for your whole life.  We honored him by lighting a candle for him on the altar, and by including something in the program about "In Loving Memory.."
  • My daughter and son-in-law had a section in their program thanking everyone for coming and sharing their wedding day with them.  They added a section that read:

    "We would also like to acknowledge those who have departed from us but are present in our memories (and listed the names here.)

    They also had a Memorial Candle at the reception.
  • We had a candle on the altar for my sister who passed away as an infant.

    In the thank you section of our programs, we had the following:

    We also pause to remember all of our family and friends who are no longer with us.  They are here today in spirit,and are always in our hearts. “Celebrate we will, ‘cause life is short but sweet for certain.”


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  • I just teared up reading your post. Sorry for your loss.
    I love the idea of the subtle things - you don't have to acknowledge it repeatedly for everyone to hear but you and your family can know in your hearts that it was her fave song or favorite type of flower. Like a little inside connection that should make you smile. 

    My grandmother is very ill right now and if she should pass within the next year before my day, I am definitely using the charm bouquet idea and my fave photo of her will be displayed at the reception. 
  • I have been to a wedding to were a flower was place where the person was suppose to be, that was very touching. 
    My brother passed away back in 2006 of cancer, so instead of wedding favors, we are donating money a foundation.  It is sorta a little something to remember him at my wedding, without making it overly sad.
    Good luck.
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  • My Mother just passed away this past December of Lung Cancer and I am doing a few things in her honor at my wedding this August.

    1. Memory Candle - I'm having a memory candle lit during the ceremony that has her name on it. I'm also considering moving it to the reception afterwards..

    2. I'm wearing a Tiffany's heart locket with her picture in it during the ceremony & reception.

    3. For wedding favors, I'm making a small donation on behalf of every guest to a foundation supporting the early detection and treatment of Lung Cancer.

    I'm so sorry for your loss btw, I know how hard it is to have such a huge milestone coming up and have to deal with not having a major someone in your life physically there. Try to take comfort in the fact that she will DEFINITELY be there in spirit!
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  • I'm facing a similar problem.  My brother died many years ago of lung cancer (he was just 27).  We were so close in age everyone thought we were twins.  About a month ago I came across a story in the news about a 9 year old twin who lost his brother to cancer.  He was understandably depressed and had a hard time getting through the day.  His mom brought him to his doctor and she decided not to put him on medication.  Instead she asked him what he loved to do.  He said he liked to bake.  She took $20 out of her pocket and told him to start a business.  He did.  He started a business called Doughjangles and a portion of his proceeds goes to the charities that helped his family.  If you go on his website you can read about him - doughjangles.com.

    I'm having a destination wedding and thought I would get cookies for everyone's room.  I thought it would be nice to print something stating that the cookies are in honor of my brother,  about the how the company got started and where to proceeds go.  

    Good luck.  I know how difficult this must be.  I lost my brother years ago and still miss him terribly.  I also know how happy he would be for me.  He reminded me before he passed that we would never truly be separated because he is forever a piece of me and I am forever a piece of him.
  • <div>I really like how this poster said it:</div><div>
    </div>In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_ceremony-ideas_honor-deceased-sister?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:10Discussion:8d0be4ed-627a-468e-a7db-e75f0551d50ePost:47989687-099c-4562-a213-1e037de51a29">Re: how to honor deceased sister</a>:
    [QUOTE]Carry a charm with her picture in your bouquet Use her favorite color/flower either just in your bouquet, or prominently in your decor Dance to her favorite song at the reception List her as the maid of honor in the programs Have a special candle lit at the altar for her. Subtle memorials are best.  I'm sure your sister wouldn't want anyone to be sad on your wedding day, and if they see some major public display, it might catch your family off-guard.  I think you can find ways to honor her privately, so that you'll still feel she's with you without depressing anyone.
    Posted by aerinpegadrak[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>I recently lost my grandmother, and I always imagined her at my wedding.  What I'm planning on doing is having her husband (my grandfather died before i was born) walk down the aisle with a candle and the explanation will be written in the program.  "In loving memory.." or something like that.   I want to make sure I include her in the wedding if only in spirit.  I also really like that idea about leaving a rose where the deceased would have been. 

    </div>
  • Leave a seat open in the first row with a rose or some other token as to save a seat for her?
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