Wedding Etiquette Forum

Need advice on memory candle etiquette

My grandmother and grandfather raised me, they were my entire world, and they both passed away a couple years ago.  I'm going to have an engraved memory candle with their names lit during the ceremony and reception (near the guestbook table) and have pictures of them.

FI has two grandmothers who will be at the wedding, a grandfather with Alzheimer's that has had it for a while now in the nursing home (can't come to the wedding), and a grandfather who passed away when he was 8.  I assume you don't do a candle for someone with Alzheimer's?  He's not close to his grandfather that passed and isn't that interested in having a memorial thing for him since he didn't really know him.

My question is...is it rude to have a memory candle and picture for my deceased grandparents and not have anything for his grandfather(s)?  I do plan on having some sort of a rose ceremony where roses are laid in empty seats in the front for my grandparents and his two grandfathers.

I just don't want it to look rude or to hurt the grandmothers??  Help!


First Date: March 10, 2007
Engaged: August 21, 2010
Wedding: June 4, 2011

Re: Need advice on memory candle etiquette

  • I would just put a candle/flower arrangement (no engraving) and then put in the program that it is "In honor of family members unable to celebrate with us" or something...
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  • I agree with Jennifer - I'd just have the flowers or candle out and mention it in the program. My cousin did it a little differently - her mom died when she was 13, and she had a candle put near the altar that was lit by her and her dad before he gave her away, but nothing was said about it. I can't remember if there was a mention of it in the program or not. 
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  • edited December 2010
    Is it rude to honor your granparents and not mention his? Yes. I think this is an all or nothing deal.

    I was very close to my granmother. My husband was not close to his grandparents. He didn't want to do anything and I agreed that we wouldn't. You need to talk to him about it and see if he wants to do this. If he's not thrilled with the idea but it's important to you, you should still include his grandparents.
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  • I am in the all or nothing camp.  My dad's passing was pretty recent so when I married in July '10, I knew I was going to do something in memory.  H's dad passed away right after we started dating (7 yrs ago) and I had never met him, but I knew I couldn't honor my dad without honoring his.  So we had a small pub table set up with pics of both men and a sentiment that expressed how much we missed them. 
  • I'm gonna go against the grain here.  While I think a plain candle would be lovely if you want to explicitly honor them I say go for it.  They raised you; it's not the same as a grandparent that passed when he was 8.  I think the most important part of your post is that your FI isn't interested in doing a memorial for his grandfather(s)...
  • It's not rude, no matter what you do.  Whether or not his family will feel slighted is the issue.

    From a personal perspective, we did a memory candle for my brother, and no one else.  Not even my grandmother who passed less than a year before we got married.  To me, my brother was the only person who we really felt the need to honor.  

    To me, this is a personal decision.  You and your FI should discuss this, and reach a decision you are both comfortable with.  As long as you are both ok with it, everyone else can sit and spin.  
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