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Customs and Traditions

I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.

My fiance and I had wanted to do some thing very special for his father who has been deceased now for a year.  The idea that we had came up with we were both very happy with until we mentioned to his mother and he was extremely upset.  We had wanted to set a chair in line with the grooms men that would have a sports coat in black draped over the back and a memorial candle placed in the seat with his name and photo on it.  When this idea was mentioned to his mother she became very upset and told us that we were not allowed to do this.  I now am stuck!  I know idea what would be appropriate and not hurt anyones feelings. any one with suggestions please help.

Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:bcf2a614-f253-4feb-ad57-c3193f1f2daf">I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]My fiance and I had wanted to do some thing very special for his father who has been deceased now for a year.  The idea that we had came up with we were both very happy with until we mentioned to his mother and he was extremely upset.  We had wanted to set a chair in line with the grooms men that would have a sports coat in black draped over the back and a memorial candle placed in the seat with his name and photo on it.  When this idea was mentioned to his mother she became very upset and told us that we were not allowed to do this.  I now am stuck!  I know idea what would be appropriate and not hurt anyones feelings. any one with suggestions please help.
    Posted by linkous01[/QUOTE]

    Your FMIL's feelings trump your FI's.  I'm sorry but she should not have to endure anything on your wedding day and any reminder of the husband that she lost would be something that she would have to endure.  Think about this.  How would you like it if your FI died tomorrow, you were invited to a wedding and the bride and groom had done some sort of memorial to him where you got to sit there for the duration of the ceremony thinking how the love of your life is not at this wedding with you.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:f1b36fed-f489-408b-8e41-1cd3b1250083">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone. : Your FMIL's feelings trump your FI's.  I'm sorry but she should not have to endure anything on your wedding day and any reminder of the husband that she lost would be something that she would have to endure.  Think about this.  How would you like it if your FI died tomorrow, you were invited to a wedding and the bride and groom had done some sort of memorial to him where you got to sit there for the duration of the ceremony thinking how the love of your life is not at this wedding with you.
    Posted by GoodLuckBear14[/QUOTE]

    This idea was one that my fiance had.  I was going along with it because he was all for it and I assumed that this was ok. I was not aware that this was not something that had been decided between them before approaching me with the idea. I am trying to make the day as enjoyable for everyone as I can. I just need other suggestions that I could look into that would not make this a painful day for her or anyone else.
  • If his mother got upset at the idea of a memorial, drop it.  Don't do anything.  I understand that your FI wants to do something but this is one area where it isn't his call to make.  Has he tried asking her if there is any way that he can do something for his dad?  How about your FI wearing his dad's watch or something?  That way he would know it is there but it would not be in his mom's face.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:33764870-cb4a-405a-84fd-70e39a64e895">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]If his mother got upset at the idea of a memorial, drop it.  Don't do anything.  I understand that your FI wants to do something but this is one area where it isn't his call to make.  Has he tried asking her if there is any way that he can do something for his dad?  How about your FI wearing his dad's watch or something?  That way he would know it is there but it would not be in his mom's face.
    Posted by GoodLuckBear14[/QUOTE]

    That is a good idea! As far as if he has spoke with her about what she would like to do I do not think so.  I dont think it was the memorial so much as it was just the empty chair. She told us that the candle was  sweet and that she didnt mind that at all but I just dont want to "rock the boat" for them. Their relationship has been strained ever since his father's passing.  I have been all for dropping the whiole idea since I found out her reaction. I really do like the idea of the watch or something like that.  Thank you I will tell him.
  • FI and I both are missing a parent (my father, his mother). It will be 3 and 4 plus years since their passing by the time we get married, and we know that it would upset people...hell, it would upset us! I plan on getting a pin for my bouquet with my father's picture in it so he can still walk me down the isle, and I plan on surprising FI a little ways before the wedding with a celtic pocket watch with a pic of his mother. I THINK he will love this, but I also plan to tell him that he does not have to carry it if he does not want to. It is a really touchy subject and I agree that the mom's opinion wins on this subject. Your FI needs to discuss with his mother if anything is acceptable for her or if it's all just too hard. It's a really crappy situation but there are a lot of other peoples feelings to consider when a memorial comes into play. Especially one so recent.

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  • I second wearing something private to remember his dad by (like a watch, or a handkerchief in his pocket).  His mother probably spent most of her sons life believing that she and her husband would someday watch him get married together.  Don't remind her that this is not the case, she'll be thinking about it enough already. 
  • I'm going to be realy blunt. That is freaking morbid.  Good grief.

    Place a simple superscript cross ( or heart if you're not Christian) next to his name in the program. Even that's not enough, a single rose in a nice vase on the altar. PERIOD.

    This is a time of celebration and happiness, not sadness.  Do you really think his father would want that? 

    The picture in the locket is a nice, subtle, TASTEFUL, way to remember - just don't forget it's attached to the bouquet and lose it.
  • I agree that his mothers feelings MUST be taken into thought, but his feelings are important too. Yes, she lost her husband, but he did lose his Dad whom im sure he looked up to and respected so this is probably emotional for him too. I'd suggest letting things blow over and then speaking to his mom. "mom, i want to honor and respect my father at the wedding but i want to keep you comfortable and respected as well, how do you think we should do this" again of course her feelings really do matter, but again his need to be taken into consideration and if he wants to honor and remember his father he should be able to do so, in a way that still keeps mom comfortable.

    I understand this is a touch-ie subject but i lost my mom 5 years ago and so many people have told me that it is morbid, rude, and everything else to bring up a dead person at the wedding but i just cant imagine how honoring her on this day, because i am not the woman that my fiance loves without my moms impact in my life!
  • I'm not big on public displays of memorials. Your FI will be well-aware that his father is not there on his wedding day. No need to bring it to everyone else's attention. He's the one who will care the most.

    But if you need to do something, perhaps you can have a little display with your parents' wedding pictures, so there's a photo of his father at the ceremony/reception. Or you can list the parents in the program:

    Parents of the Groom:
    Sarah and the late Robert Jones

    Alternatively, you can have a small "in memorial" section at the back of the program with his name listed. MAYBE a sentence about how you wish to celebrate with these people in spirit or something.
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  • I'm not trying to start world war 3 here, but as a child of a deceased parent i would be Disgusted if anyone, close family or just friends told me not to remember, honor and respect my mother at my wedding. i get the emotions, and the respect to those still living, but there has to be compromise and understanding. I don't think the deceased should be the center of the show, but you should give the deceased the same honor and respect of the living. i can't even imagine someone.....anyone telling me not to, or how to remember my mother on my wedding day. I'm about to cry just thinking of how upset i would be. You can not just forget about someone because they are not physically present. Not honoroing or mentioning or respecting them is like saying they are gone AND forgotten! RUDE!!!!
  • Lisa50Lisa50 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    Don't do anything that is outwardly visible to anyone, especially your FMIL.  Honestly, if your FI wants to honor his father, he should be able to find a personal and private way to do so -- carry something that belonged to dad, go to Church the evening before and say a prayer, etc.

    This is a wedding, not a funeral or a memorial service.  Please, please, for your FMIL's sake, if no one else's, just drop this.
  • Although I would go with a different approach, possibly a picture and a candle, I think it's equally important for the son to have a way to honor his Father.  I think his Mother would understand as long as the display isn't so stunning.  He lost his Father, and it's obviously important for him to do something for him.  I would be so upset if someone told me I couldn't/shouldn't honor my loved ones at my own wedding.  I don't think it's rude at all.  I am just having a hard time wrapping "rudeness" around my thought process when honoring a loved one who has passed.  Especially a parent.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:de6ae05b-0eee-4950-8bd6-ebdb88a3b64a">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Although I would go with a different approach, possibly a picture and a candle, I think it's equally important for the son to have a way to honor his Father.  I think his Mother would understand as long as the display isn't so stunning.  He lost his Father, and it's obviously important for him to do something for him.  I would be so upset if someone told me I couldn't/shouldn't honor my loved ones at my own wedding.  I don't think it's rude at all.  I am just having a hard time wrapping "rudeness" around my thought process when honoring a loved one who has passed.  Especially a parent.
    Posted by ChristinaJoey2012[/QUOTE]


    Exactly!! So glad I'm not the only one on here who feels this way!!!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:de6ae05b-0eee-4950-8bd6-ebdb88a3b64a">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]Although I would go with a different approach, possibly a picture and a candle, I think it's equally important for the son to have a way to honor his Father.  I think his Mother would understand as long as the display isn't so stunning.  He lost his Father, and it's obviously important for him to do something for him.  I would be so upset if someone told me I couldn't/shouldn't honor my loved ones at my own wedding.  I don't think it's rude at all.  I am just having a hard time wrapping "rudeness" around my thought process when honoring a loved one who has passed.  Especially a parent.
    Posted by ChristinaJoey2012[/QUOTE]

    Not one person said it was rude.  What most people are saying is why would you do something that would upset a widow as is clearly going on here?
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  • Lisa50Lisa50 member
    2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:b9844ca7-9abc-4cc1-bf23-fe93ecda4066">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone. : Not one person said it was rude.  What most people are saying is why would you do something that would upset a widow as is clearly going on here?
    Posted by GoodLuckBear14[/QUOTE]

    Exactly!  As much as your wedding is about you and your FI, his father's death was about her, him (her husband, her lover, her best friend) and so much more.  You <strong>really</strong> need to respect your FMIL's wishes on this.  Don't create a reason for her to feel worse than she might already.  PLEASE!!
  • This is obviously an extremely personal choice, as it should be. Celebrate your marriage on this day, and how you choose to celebrate his father's life, is ultimately up to you. I don't think it's rude, and I don't think it would be rude not to. I think you've been given some good options of how to do it discretely, with hopefully, sparing the heartache of others, in remembering the death. You have to remember, YOU guys wanting to celebrate his life and HONOR him, will definitely remind people of his death and bring some sadness. I too would never do NOTHING to remember my father that day, but it is for ME, not for everyone else to see. But this is my choice and you guys have to make yours. I hope your find a way that satisfies you all. Good luck!
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  • I went to a wedding recently where both the bride and groom had each lost a parent, and also grandparents.  They set up a small table, off to the side, that included their parents' and grandparents' wedding photos and candles.  It was very pretty, wasn't blatantly a "memorial," and wasn't sucking up center stage (the way an empty chair with a jacket on it would).  I thought it was quite tasteful.  Perhaps this would sit better with your FMIL?
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  • I'm actually going to make DIY fan programs (to keep our outdoor wedding guests cool) and I am having his mom's name printed at the bottom of the last fan petal. I figured it acknowledges her, but doesn't have a giant flashing neon sign pointing saying HEY SHE'S NOT HERE!. My fiance thinks this idea is nice. He lost his mom as a young teenager, so thinking about it makes him sad. :-(
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:a5840545-19a6-420b-bf07-22558d7c9edf">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE] Nobody  is saying "don't love your departed loved ones" or "don't 'honor' " them.  Just don't do it in a way that hurts other people.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]



    Exactly what I was thinking. Children of deceased people often want to remember their parents, but the spouses don't want the added pain. You absolutely have to take BOTH sides into account. Do something private that is meaningful to the bride and groom, but that others won't even know about. They don't need to be reminded that the person they married on THEIR wedding day isn't there with them.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_i-need-help-with-a-memorial-idea-that-wont-upset-anyone?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:84fd1d93-4644-448c-bdba-7bb38186484fPost:a5840545-19a6-420b-bf07-22558d7c9edf">Re: I need help with a memorial idea that wont upset anyone.</a>:
    [QUOTE]One Knottie did the empty chair with a rose thing on it, despite the fact that her FMIL pleaded with them not to do it. It was her HUSBAND who had died.  The Knottie bragged that they "compromised" by "only doing it for the ceremony, and not the reception."  Forcing her FUTURE MOTHER-IN-LAW to do something that she said hurt her wasn't "compromising."  It was sadistic and utterly  heartless.  I doubt her FMIL will forget it anytime soon, either.
    Posted by RetreadBride[/QUOTE]
    If I were the FMIL, I'd be tempted to show up in traditional funeral garb, complete with the black veil, since the bride wants to emphasize her FI's father is dead.  I'd compromise by changing into an MOG dress at the reception, after the pictures were taken following the ceremony. 
  • My FMIL wanted to have her mother's wedding dress seated on a chair at the ceremony and reception hall. I tactfully explained that while we miss my FI's grandmother that it is too blatant showing of grief (plus I would have to explain that to over 80 some of my relatives-lol). We are compromising by having a small memorial table of photos/candles off to the side when you first enter the hall, plus mentioning names in the ceremony program, but thats it :)
  • RM1982RM1982 member
    10 Comments 5 Love Its
    It seems like a balance can be struck between what your FI wants for his dad and what your FMIL wants for her husband.

    Can you talk to her about any subtle way that honoring him would work for her?

    I don't have quite this situation with trying to balance different people's feeligns to take into account, but I do plan to honor someone I lost. A dear friend who would have been a bridesmaid died and I will have her picture on a table at the reception with a flower garland over it (a Hindu tradition). I need her with me on that day in some way.
  • My father died in 2010.  I plan to have one rose in my bouquet that is a different color, to honor him.

    Perhaps your fiance could do something similar with his boutenniere?
  • The empty chair with clothes does seem to go a bit too far, but this sounds like a good time to include the in-laws: if that idea upsets her, is there another way to honor him, maybe in the program or a creative way to subsitute him in the procession? 

    My mother passed away unexpectedly about 9 months ago and never met my fiance.  I want to HONOR her, but not necessarily give her a memorial at my wedding, I think there is a major difference there.  Everyone coming to this wedding should already know my mother will not be there and why, so I don't feel the need to give a MEMORIAL and tell everyone she is not there, but I am thinking of creative ways to include something that the MOB would typically do.  My favorite idea so far is leaving an empty chair at the front of the church, where she would have been escorted to and sat in during the ceremony, and having my sister (a bridesmaid) leave a rose there as she passes the chair on her way to the front; or have a groomsman or usher do the same thing, instead of physically escorting her down the aisle.
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