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Etiquette

Recent Death Overshadowing Wedding

My wedding is coming up on 01/01/2017. On December 3rd (2 weeks ago) my older brother passed away tragically in a motorcycle accident. He was only 24 and he was supposed to be one of the groomsmen. We have already decided against postponing the wedding due to how close it is and everything (flights, venue, honeymoon) being booked. All of my family is having a great attitude and really encouraging me but I am having a very hard time. I miss my brother so much that I feel like I won't even enjoy my own wedding.

Has anyone dealt with a close sibling dying right before their wedding? I know this is a long shot but I was hoping someone may have some advice for me on how to not let this terrible grief overwhelm my wedding day.

Re: Recent Death Overshadowing Wedding

  • I have not gone through this but wanted to tell you how terribly sorry I am for your loss. Hopefully everyone will welcome a break from grieving and enjoy themselves at the wedding. Including yourself. ((Hugs))
  • I'm so sorry for your loss.  I can't imagine the pain of losing a sibling or the shock of it.  It sounds as though your family is close and supportive- it may be nice for everyone to celebrate something.  I imagine this will be one of the first big events without him, so don't try to quell your feelings, it makes sense that you're so sad.  *sending an internet hug*
    OliveOilsMomSP29
  • I am so sorry for your loss. No advice, just wanted to give some support.





  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I am really sorry for your loss. I think you should go speak with a therapist who specialises in grieving- it will help you prepare for the day, which is going to be extra emotional. Just a few sessions would really give you some good coping strategies so it will be easier to actually allow yourself to enjoy the day. 
    short+sassy
  • Jen4948 said:
    I'm very sorry for your loss. <<<hugs and prayers>>>

    I've never dealt with this situation myself, but you can have some subtle memorial gestures to remember your brother at your wedding, such as playing a special song in his memory, having food, drinks or decorations he would have liked, a tribute in a wedding program if you are having them, and appropriate prayers if your ceremony will be religious.

     I would suggest avoiding overt "memorial" gestures such as "reserved" empty seats, candles or photo displays of your brother alone because they are likely to evoke more grief and pain. (A photo display that includes pictures of other relatives along with your brother would be subtle though).
    I am so sorry for your loss, OP. 

    I agree with the above advice. I totally understand wanting to acknowledge the loss of your brother on your wedding day, and I think you should. However, whatever you decide to do should focus on your love for your brother and celebrating him, not on the fact that he is gone. It's totally natural that you and your family will feel some sadness that day, but give yourself the chance to remember him with a smile. 

    That being said, while it's still important to be a good hostess and all, don't be too hard on yourself if you find you aren't the most cheerful, bubbly bride on your wedding day. Nobody will expect that of you. 
    image
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm so very sorry for your loss. 

    I am really sorry for your loss. I think you should go speak with a therapist who specialises in grieving- it will help you prepare for the day, which is going to be extra emotional. Just a few sessions would really give you some good coping strategies so it will be easier to actually allow yourself to enjoy the day. 
    This is great advice. 

  • I can't add much to this other than agreeing with the PPs above. 

    Also, I am sorry for the loss of someone so close to you.  All the hugs are belong to you today!

  • I can't imagine.

    Can you "reserve" a portion of your morning together with your parents to do...whatever? Cry, eat his favorite cereal, take a walk, mimosa/bloody mary toast about your favorite memories of you and your brother? 


    ei34lc07SP29downtondiva
  • PPs have given great answers.  I'm so sorry you and your family are going through this.  <<Hugs and prayers>>
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • So sorry for your loss!

    I will agree with PPs about the subtle reminders of your brother; a song he liked, maybe his favorite drink, if you've still got time to incorporate something he enjoyed into the decor, etc. Allow yourself to grieve and don't try to hide your feelings. Most of your guests should more than understand. 

    I had a friend years ago whose father passed way not long before his wedding and they went a little overboard with the memorials. I remember his mom dancing with the urn of his father's ashes, and things got very uncomfortable.
  • So sorry for your loss!

    I will agree with PPs about the subtle reminders of your brother; a song he liked, maybe his favorite drink, if you've still got time to incorporate something he enjoyed into the decor, etc. Allow yourself to grieve and don't try to hide your feelings. Most of your guests should more than understand. 

    I had a friend years ago whose father passed way not long before his wedding and they went a little overboard with the memorials. I remember his mom dancing with the urn of his father's ashes, and things got very uncomfortable.
    Holy crap that is unbelievably awkward!!!  I mean I understand that people are sad but that is just...idk what to call it
  • I am so sorry for your loss! {hugs}


  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    So sorry for your loss!

    I will agree with PPs about the subtle reminders of your brother; a song he liked, maybe his favorite drink, if you've still got time to incorporate something he enjoyed into the decor, etc. Allow yourself to grieve and don't try to hide your feelings. Most of your guests should more than understand. 

    I had a friend years ago whose father passed way not long before his wedding and they went a little overboard with the memorials. I remember his mom dancing with the urn of his father's ashes, and things got very uncomfortable.
    Dear Lord, that sounds shocking, bordering on bizarre.
  • MobKaz said:
    So sorry for your loss!

    I will agree with PPs about the subtle reminders of your brother; a song he liked, maybe his favorite drink, if you've still got time to incorporate something he enjoyed into the decor, etc. Allow yourself to grieve and don't try to hide your feelings. Most of your guests should more than understand. 

    I had a friend years ago whose father passed way not long before his wedding and they went a little overboard with the memorials. I remember his mom dancing with the urn of his father's ashes, and things got very uncomfortable.
    Dear Lord, that sounds shocking, bordering on bizarre.
    It really was. His father passed unexpectedly and quite young so we all understood the family's pain but everyone kind of backed away and used that time to get a drink, etc.
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2016
    Sorry for your loss OP!  This has happened over the years on the boards more than one would realize.  My SIL/BIL's wedding, her cousin's husband committed suicide less than two weeks before her wedding.  We had a coworker commit suicide a month before our wedding.  

    The important thing to remember is "Your wedding is not Memorial Service 2.0"  We (on the boards) typically recommend working something of your brother's(tie) or a charm picture into your bouquet or a special arrangement commemorating people who've passed on both the bride/groom's sides for ceremony flowers.  Think of your wedding as a transition time from mourning into honoring his life by living it to the fullest.  He'll be there with you in spirit on your wedding day in a unique way and will send you a subtle sign to let you know he's there with you.  Most of all, use your wedding as a chance to relax from the challenges you've been experiencing and "shut off" the pain for a few hours of healing.   
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    ahoyweddingshort+sassyKnotYetTied
  • I'm so very sorry for your loss, OP. Hugs for you. 
  • I remember hearing Oprah talk about interviewing guests and getting emotional on air. She said in the beginning,  she used to try to hold it together which would just make it worse. In the end, she learned to just allow herself to cry quickly, get emotional, and then move forward.
    I put that out there just to offer the encouragement to allow yourself to feel the sadness for your brother, even missing him at the wedding, , but also remember the joy of your engagement and the original reason for planning the wedding. I agree with PPs, don't force it either way. Enjoy your day and remember that your brother would want you to have the happiest day ever.
    short+sassySP29sparklepants41cowgirl8238
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