Ceremony and Vow Ideas

My parents passed away.. How should I honor them?

About 5 years ago, I lost my mother... And then 2 months ago, I lost my father. I want to do something special to honor them at my wedding! They both meant the world to me and losing them was very hard. I really want to include them in some special way but I have no idea how to do it. Does anyone have any creative, beautiful ideas as to what to do?
«134

Re: My parents passed away.. How should I honor them?

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited July 2013
    Well, you can give them a tribute in a wedding program if you are going to have one, wear or carry items that belonged to or are associated with them, and have food, drinks, decorations, and entertainment that they would have enjoyed and/or that had special meaning for them.  You can also mention (albeit carefully, so as not to evoke grief and sadness) them in speeches.  There are many creative and beautiful things you can do within these guidelines.

    But, keep in mind that your wedding should still be a happy occasion and not evoke tears or grief, so I'd avoid the following as too funereal: Empty chairs with flowers or photos, empty place settings, lit candle "memorials" or moments of silence.  If you are marrying in a religion that has prayers for the faithful or deceased, you can do this, but I'd be careful to avoid lugubriousness.

    If you want to donate to charities in their memories, that would be wonderful, but do it privately as any "hard-hitting" speeches or announcements about that may not be seen as the beautiful gesture you might intend it to be, but rather as preachy exhortations to a captive audience.
  • Be subtle.  You don't want a happy occasion to turn into a mournful one.  
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    [Deleted User]
  • Very true! I definitely don't want to take away from the joyful mood of the wedding 
  • I love the donation idea
    alyssa531
  • I lost my parents before I was ever married too.  Keep it quiet, personal, and very subtle.  Keep in mind that you have aunts, uncles, siblings, grandparents, and good family friends who will be very sensitive to their absence too and you don't want to send those poor people into a ball of tears when they see some memorial.  Someone posted some great ideas a few days ago but I don't remember where.

    Use one of your dad's neckties to wrap your bouquet
    Use a piece of mom's jewelry
    Tie a piece of dad's jewelry to your bouquet
    Play their favorite song when people are dancing

    Hope that helps a bit.
    MValdez 0407
  • I'm wearing my grandmother'spearl earrings at our wedding - I can't think of a better way to honor and remember her than to wear one of her most prized possessions as I get married.

    image
    Sep06b2b
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I love the donation idea
    If you do that, don't announce at your wedding that you're making any donations in their memory.  Your guests might feel like you're "nudging" them to donate as well, and they may not want to for any number of reasons.
  • Is there special piece of jewlry of your mom's that you can wear? Is your dad one of those old school men that carried around real handkerchiefs  (sp?) maybe you can give that to your FI to carry in case either of you have any tears that need to be cleared up.

  • @jackieo954 Leaving a note like that is the exact thing we advise against doing. You should never brag about taking something away from a guest, telling them you put that money elsewhere. Either take the money from a different part of your budget, or don't brag about it to your guests.
    Furthermore, cake pops ARE a traditional favor, so your note makes zero sense. No sense at all.

    image
    Dreamergirl8812southernbelle0915
  • I saw not too long ago a picture on yahoos front page of a woman who took a photo at one of her parents gravesite. I loved that idea and its what I plan on doing since my mom won't be at my wedding
    jackieo954
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Well Simply Fated, EXCUSE ME.  You know, this is why I hate these boards.  No one can give constructive criticism in a tactful manner.  I'M NOT bragging, and I have seen this done before.  I appologize for not reading YOUR etiquette book.  And because I don't want to be rude on such a sensitive post, I won't say exactly what I want to say to you...but I'm sure you can get the point.
    Just because you've seen it done before doesn't make it polite.

    There's no reason why you can't contribute to charity in someone's memory.  But your wedding is not a fundraiser or a shill, and announcing to your guests that you're making a contribution just doesn't come off as selfless and altruistic-it comes off more like "See what a generous, wonderful person I am for not giving you a gift because I think others are more 'in need' than you are!" even if that's not the message you intend to send. 

    Comparing people's "needs" just isn't gracious-especially if the people who are right in front of you are the ones who aren't benefiting from your donation.
    Pyrialle
  • Well Simply Fated, EXCUSE ME.  You know, this is why I hate these boards.  No one can give constructive criticism in a tactful manner.  I'M NOT bragging, and I have seen this done before.  I appologize for not reading YOUR etiquette book.  And because I don't want to be rude on such a sensitive post, I won't say exactly what I want to say to you...but I'm sure you can get the point.

    Sorry, I'm not getting the point.
    Why announce to all of your guests that you donated money, then? Donate the money. Leave the note off the cake pops. Easy.
    image
    southernbelle0915
  • I'm not sure that you're still checking this post, but I am having a remembrance table at my reception.  It will have pictures of my grandfather, FI's grandparents, and my cousin as well as a candle with the quote "We know that you'd be here today if Heaven weren't so far away" on the candle.  It is tasteful without being overbearing; the table will be tucked away so that it isn't in everyone's face but it is a powerful thing for the family members that will be present.
    bethanynicole14lovealwayslauren
  • OP - I've been struggling with something similar, and I'm sorry for your loss. My dad passed away after a short, intense illness a little over 2 years ago, and I've been trying to find ways to include him without making everyone sad! I got some good advice over on the Reception board, so you may find some additional recommendations there.

    I will also be adding some touches to my bouquet so he can still walk with me down the aisle - I found an old note I saved from the one time I went to sleepaway camp and he signed it "Love, Dad" which I'm going to have embroidered onto a handkerchief and wrap my bouquet with it - and some other subtle things that he would have liked throughout the day (pretty sure I'm going to insist on having The Twist played at the reception - he was an expert twister!).

    I'm also planning to have space on either the guest book or gift table (there must be a better word for it than that, but I'm blanking) for photos of my FI and I with our families and each other, and include one of those digital picture frames with a bunch of photos of my dad. I was cautioned away from doing any sort of slide show (I felt weird about it anyway, so it wasn't a hard sell), as it too is more memorial-like. My goal is to include and incorporate without making it obvious that he isn't there. It's a tough balance to strike, and I wish you all the best.
    trishnuk8jenniferurs
  • Im honoring my grandma by walking down the aisle to her favorite song and wearing her necklace. Im honoring the rest of the relatives we have lost by places a few roses on the front pews with a note that says its for the relatives who arent with us. 
    Married 11/12/05 ~ Renewed Our Vows 11/9/13. 

    "The LORD will fight for you, you need only be still."


    smash084
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Im honoring my grandma by walking down the aisle to her favorite song and wearing her necklace. Im honoring the rest of the relatives we have lost by places a few roses on the front pews with a note that says its for the relatives who arent with us. 
    Please, please don't do this.  It is too macabre and grief-evoking.  Your wedding isn't a funeral sequel-it should be a happy occasion even without the relatives who aren't with you.  Walking down the aisle to your grandma's favorite song and wearing her necklace is a very beautiful way to honor her memory-and it's subtle.  Those are the best ways to remember deceased loved ones at a wedding.
    [Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    A simple one that I often do is a moment of silence that the bride and groom would like to dedicate to those love ones that have passed.  I usually would mention the names of the loved ones. 

    another idea might be to light a candle to honor them and make them part of the ceremony. (it's like a distant relative of the unity candle ceremony)

    I also had a bride that attached a pendant with a photo of her grandmother on hey bouquet because she was a very special person to her.

    I hope these ideas help.
    I like the third option.  The bolded can be too funereal.
    southernbelle0915
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Im honoring my grandma by walking down the aisle to her favorite song and wearing her necklace. Im honoring the rest of the relatives we have lost by places a few roses on the front pews with a note that says its for the relatives who arent with us. 

    Please don't do the bolded.  FIL had passed 8 years prior to our wedding, but if MIL had to sit next to a rose where her H & the FOG should have been, I don't think she would have stopped crying.  We did subtle  tributes: a floral arrangement - but no card to mention what it was about (but we knew), an arrangment of wedding pictures of our parents and grandparents (which included ILs wedding).  We did two outward mentions, once in the program and once duing the Prayers of the Faithful during our Mass.  Anything else would have been too much for MIL. 
  • iloveu4everiloveu4ever member
    Tenth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its
    edited September 2013
    Leave empty chairs with pictures where they would sit.

     
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Leave empty chairs with pictures where they would sit. I lost 2 daughters as infants.either with flowers or release balloons.
    Don't do this.  See the posts above.
  • I lost my Grandmother last year who meant the world to me throughout my life.  I wanted to put up a picture in the church at my wedding but my dad (her son) talked me out of it saying it's tasteless and a bad idea :(.  So I decided to do something with my bouqet as some people here suggest, too.. but also after the wedding I will bring my bouquet and leave it on her grave.  I am still searching for other ideas too as she had no jewellery i could wear so not quite sure what else can I do. 

    I was thinking about having the tune of her favourite song played when we put on the rings (we will have a violin quartet in the church) but not sure a.) if the priest will allow and b.) if it wont result in both her sons ending up crying.  Then again, its my dad and godfather, so even if they cry a little, they would at my wedding anyhow?

    I want my grandma to be there so much.  To feel that she's there. 
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    EMT22 said:
    I lost my Grandmother last year who meant the world to me throughout my life.  I wanted to put up a picture in the church at my wedding but my dad (her son) talked me out of it saying it's tasteless and a bad idea :(.  So I decided to do something with my bouqet as some people here suggest, too.. but also after the wedding I will bring my bouquet and leave it on her grave.  I am still searching for other ideas too as she had no jewellery i could wear so not quite sure what else can I do. 

    I was thinking about having the tune of her favourite song played when we put on the rings (we will have a violin quartet in the church) but not sure a.) if the priest will allow and b.) if it wont result in both her sons ending up crying.  Then again, its my dad and godfather, so even if they cry a little, they would at my wedding anyhow?

    I want my grandma to be there so much.  To feel that she's there. 
    These are both beautiful ideas.
  • edited September 2013
    That's such a good question. We have been struggling with the same thing. I love some of the ideas you ladies have posted. I also found this helpful: http://weddings.gatheringguide.com/ac/all-about-you/ways-to-acknowledge-your-loved-ones (in the "Honoring Those Who Can't Be There") section.
  • Why can't I do that?

     
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited September 2013
    Why can't I do that?
    Assuming you're talking about photos on empty chairs, it's too morbid. 

    Weddings are not supposed to be sad occasions, even if loved ones are absent.  Blatant reminders that they are gone, especially with emphasis on the reason for their absence, are out of place at a wedding because they evoke grief and sadness, especially among the deceased's other survivors.  I myself would probably choke up if I saw a photo of a deceased loved one on an empty chair at a wedding in my family.

    This is not to say that deceased loved ones should not be remembered at all-just that it needs to be done with subtlety and sensitivity, and not as a sequel to their funerals.  There are beautiful acceptable ways to do it, like wearing or carrying something associated with the deceased, providing food, drink, decorations, or entertainment they would have enjoyed, and giving them tributes in a wedding program.
  • No I am talking about releasing balloons or bouquet of flowers for rememberance of my 2 infant daughters that died.

     
  • To honor the memory of loved ones not with us, we did a few different things. One of my best friends died about 5 years prior (otherwise she would have been in my WP) so we had the WP processional to a song that was special to her and me. We used my grandparents' toasting flutes (they were both deceased), and I wore a necklace and bracelet that I inherited from my other grandmother. Finally (and this was unbeknownst to me until the day of), several of my male cousins wore neck ties of my late grandfather's in remembrance of him.

    These were all things that a few people -- my immediate family, mainly -- knew about, but it wasn't an in-your-face memorial at all. The guests who knew the deceased got the subtle references, and those who didn't know them were not put in the uncomfortable position of watching other people see unexpected reminders of their grief.

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
    smash084
  • arrippaarrippa Sam Adams Craft Commonwealth member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    No I am talking about releasing balloons or bouquet of flowers for rememberance of my 2 infant daughters that died.

    A wedding is suppose to be a joyous day. Empty chairs with flowers could cause grief for everyone. As for a balloon release, that's just terrible for the environment. I have heard of animals dying after eating the balloons that had drifted down.

    I have lost some members of my family that I would like to remember on my wedding day. I am making a broach bouquet and using the broaches from my grandmother and other women I lost who were close to me.


    southernbelle0915
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards