I’ve had quite a few couples lately who have lost a loved one and because for them they are still here in spirit, they have wanted to honour them at the Ceremony. Now as you know, it’s your day and should be done entirely your way – including doing whatever you want during your Ceremony.

What you want to do is make it memorable and loving and ensure these words go at just the right spot in the Ceremony.

Here’s a few ideas to honour that special someone who can’t be with us on your big day.

  • A special seat. Having a photo, a flower, or something that reminds you of them on the seat where they would have otherwise been sitting. But be conscious of things like if it was your father, and your mother has since remarried, this may be a bit confronting for them.

Image by Saffron Photography via Danielle and Sean’s Western Australian Garden Wedding

“Sean’s mum had passed away a month before the wedding so we had a lovely big photo of her placed first on the signing table at the ceremony and then on the photo table at the reception.”

  • Say a few words – mention them in the Ceremony or have a poem dedicated to them in your programs. You could also include a poem or passage in the ceremony and mention that you’re dedicating it to a loved one.
  • Stop and think – take a minute during the Ceremony to reflect on those who cannot be with us and remember the good memories you have of them.
  • A few bars – If there’s a song that just always reminds you of them, have it played at some point during the Ceremony. Perhaps when signing or afterwards during the Congratulations.

Image by TWK Studio via Amy and Chris’s Intimate Vintage Inspired Wedding

“I sewed the family photo locket onto my brooch bouquet as a special reminder of family members that could not be with us on our special day.” 

  • Wear your heart on your sleeve – if you have a brooch, earrings, a hankie or anything else they gave you, wear it on the day or have it on your pocket. Another option for this is to have something for guests to wear to remember, a ribbon or a lei of flowers.
  • Burning bright – have a candle or small lamp that you can light at the start of the Ceremony that will burn in their honour.

These are just a few ideas we can use to honour a loved one, but if you have something in particular in mind, just let your celebrant know, it’s your day after all.

Ms Gingham says: I wish I had read this post when I was planning my wedding. I really wanted to include people that had passed but couldn’t think of how. Great tips!

Shannon says: “I’m a bit of an alternative to the ‘average celebrant’. Your wedding day should be relaxing, fun and one you will remember.”