Wedding Etiquette Forum

Father that will have passed away before wedding?

. My wedding is a yr from this October. Our church has a living garden, which is a place where your ashes can be buried. so he will be there at the church :) I am very close to my dad, the thought of an empty space in the pew/reception sounds like it would be very painful. I love the idea of a favorite flower, also the piece of his shirt sewn into your gown as well as the charm. I want to do all. My dad loves bow ties and in his honor the my Fiance wants to ask all the men invited to the wedding to wear a bow tie. As well as the best man and groomsmen and the RB. My Fiance and my son,brother, brother-in-law, nephews, great nephew and my dads nephews i will have them wear one of his bow ties. I have asked my brother in law(like an older brother) to walk me down the aisle. My other brother-in-law is in the Living garden. Don't know how to remember him,he also was like a older brother. Any Ideas? Gosh this is so hard and painful...... The hospice social worker want to have the chaplain come up with some ideas to acknowledge this before my dad passes as well.

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  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Accepted Answer
    First things first, OP: I'm sorry, this sucks, and cry. A lot. You will want to, and don't hold it back if you need to. I'll say that it will get worse before it gets better. My dad passed away 2 years ago and it still hurts as if it was last month. We even made a video tape of our Father/Daughter dance before he passed; I had 2 weeks to find a wedding dress and he dressed up in a tux and we had our dance. 

    That being said, I was thinking the same things you are. Even to show the dance on a projector screen. Give it time and let things sink in. I realized that even having a photo of him would be too painful for some of my family members, especially my aunt (his sister) and my grandmother (his mom). The last thing I want is my family sitting in the corner crying. Honestly, they probably will be doing that already, and I've already told my sister/MOH and BMs that if anyone mentions my dad not being there to my face the day of the wedding, I will go bridezilla on their ass. I decided to keep it simple: my FI will wear his bowtie (GMs want to wear regular ties and we were going to push it), I will add a charm to my brooch bouquet, and our last song will be the last song he played at his wedding (New York, New York). I'll also wear the same dress I wore for the dance. 

    Everyone knows they will not physically be there, but I know my dad will be at my wedding in spirit, and I know yours will be at your wedding. The last 2 weeks of when my dad was alive was some of the best memories I have of him, so enjoy your time with him, and laugh as often as you can. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family




  • A wedding is supposed to be a happy occasion.  Don't do anything that will make you more sad than you will be since your loved ones just won't be there.  Any rememberance should be personal for you and not public to make the entire wedding sad.  If you want to have a personal prayer time in the garden before the ceremony with your mom or brother, that's fine, but don't do anything too "in your face".  You're having a wedding, not a memorial.
  • Agree, I wouldn't do the empty chair thing as to me that would to painful. Or anything else like that. He would want everyone to be having fun.
  • Then maybe do a fun rememberance at the reception.  Does he have a favorite fast song you can play and have everyone dance to? 

    Also, while I like the idea of wearing bowties, I'd steer away from asking all male guests wear them, as you can't dictate what other people wear.  You can have your groomsmen wear bowties, and you can suggest that family members might want to wear bowties, but you can't require or even request that adult guests wear anything in particular.
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I know you said he has ashes, but does he have a headstone of any kind? I've seen some beautiful, moving photos of a bride at her father's burial site. Saying that, if you do have photos done, I would keep them private and not show them off at the wedding, etc.
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I'm so sorry, OP.  Waiting for a loved one to pass is such a difficult and painful thing.  Big hugs.

  • Absolutely not expect every male guest to wear a bow tie, but to mention it. But all groomsmen. I over the idea of the song for everyone to dance to
  • Yes, he will have a stone, where have you seen those photo's? We want everyone to have fun. The only photo I would be showing is 1 of him in a frame next to a remember candle. He would want everyone to be having fun. The social worker from Hospice wants to have the chaplain there do something for him and I and my fiancé, before he passes. But anything like that would not be displayed.
  • My dad passed away 20 years ago so its been awhile for me. I'm planning on having a charm on my bouquet. I'm debating stopping to the graveyard on the way to the church and leaving a flower from my bouquet on his grave. The graveyard is on the way. My mom is walking me down the aisle. I will definitely not be having an empty seat as it seems morbid to me. I will have him, my grandparents and my FI;s grandparents prayed for at church s well. I won't be having a father/daughter dance with anyone else (like an uncle). My dad loved the chicken dance (I know lol!) so I'll dedicate that to him during the dance.
  • I am so very sorry you are having to walk this road.  I lost my parents when I was a child so I understand those thoughts and feelings of how to include them, how to remember them, how to keep things happy, etc.

    I lost the aunt and uncle who raised me, one of my brothers, and my uber awesome mother-in-law to cancer and Hospice was there every time.  They are the best people on the planet (or at least they sure were for us).  I am glad you have that support right now.

    A thought or two that I would gently like to share with you:  whatever way you might choose to remember him at your wedding needs to be ran by the rest of the family members.  What might work as a remembrance for you might send one of your siblings or a grandparent or one of your father's siblings into a sobbing pile of tears.  Make sure it works for everyone and think about the big picture and not just you, your mom, and siblings.  His loss will deeply affect others and when we are dealing with our own grief we may not be as keenly aware of others' grief at the time.

    I lost 2 brothers in 2006, 6 months apart.  You think that losing  your g'parents is a natural progression, that losing your parents, one day wayyy in the future, is part of life's progression, but not usually your siblings.  We don't really think about that part of the circle of life and when it happened to me I was blown of my chair.  It was far more intense than losing my parents, g'parents, guardians, or even my MIL whom I adored.  Please don't underestimate how this will affect your Dad's siblings.

    I would also, very gently, ask you to keep the bow ties to your wedding party and not ask your guests to partake in that for a variety of reasons.  To be honest, I think having the wedding party in bow ties makes your statement in an awesome way.  Please don't ask your guests to dress a certain way.

    I am so very sorry for your situation and hope I have not offended you. 
  • I agree, that is morbid! Where did you get the charm? The living garden at our church is right there by the church and I will def be stopping there. Feel your pain!
  • So very sorry for all your losses. My prayers go out to you. My dad is the only one left of his siblings. I have a small family on his side that I am close to, and then my family, but I will def consider their feelings :). Our family likes to have fun at parties and my dad would want it that way. Thank you, and no offense. :)
  • Shannonmaya- thank you, it is so fresh, I love the idea of his favorite song. I know he will be there in spirit and all our hearts. I want to say thank you to everyone's comments.:)
  • edited May 2014
    Sorry for what you're going through. My grandmother died in December and it made me almost not want to have a wedding anymore. I will have a picture of her my room while getting ready. I opted to not do any remembrance candle or anything like that durinv the ceremony or reception because not only would I cry, but my mom, brothers, cousins and most of the room would too! I got a charm to attach my bouqet as well. I got it from a shop on etsy (I used glassrealm but there are several). Edited because the text box on my tablet kept closing before I was done.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    I'm so sorry for your losses. 

    No advice that anyone hasn't already offered, just want to wish you the best and offer <<<hugs and prayers>>>
  • So sorry for your loss super sweet 2014, I will check out etsy to get one
  • slothiegalslothiegal The Sloth Farm member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    Closing zombie thread.

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