Heartfelt Ways To Honor Your Deceased Loved Ones

Originally post April 2017; Updated: 1st September 2020

Facing your wedding day without your loved one present to share your joy and happiness is extremely difficult for all involved. There’s no correct way to approach this unfortunate situation, so ultimately do what feels right for you and your family when it comes to honouring their memory. When approaching the subject, it is wise to take into account the timing since your loved one has passed, their personality and what they would have wanted on the day itself. Be mindful of your emotions, this is supposed to be a happy occasion, while of course you may want to pay a special tribute to your loss. Here are a few ideas, from subtle thoughts to ever-present gestures, which you can use to honor deceased loved ones on your special day. Ultimately, follow your heart and ensure you feel comfortable with your choice ahead of your wedding.

Light A Candle

This is a great way to honor loved ones without drawing too much attention. Ask your officiant if you can approach the altar during the ceremony and light a candle together as a symbol of remembrance. If their passing was recent and your grief is still very raw, maybe you could opt to share the moment between the two of you if upsetting close relatives is a concern.

Save A Seat

Save a seat with a rose positioned delicately in their memory.

Frame A Picture

A memory table featuring framed images of relatives who have passed, will provide your nearest and dearest a place to reflect. They can offer up a prayer and take a private moment to pay their respects.

Incorporate Them Into Your Dress

Choose an item of their favourite clothing to incorporate into your wedding gown. An ideal choice is a shirt or a cutting from their work uniform – these could also double up as your something blue. Ask a dress-maker to sew on the inside of your dress, placed over your heart. Another lovely way to give a subtle nod to their absence is to wear a piece of jewellery as your ‘something borrowed’.

Wind Chimes

We love this idea for an outdoor ceremony. The melancholic chime of the metal swaying in the summer breeze will provide a constant reminder that your loved one is with you in spirit while you exchange vows.


Replace wasteful wedding favors by opting to donate to a charity close to your heart. Whether it’s for cancer research or the local hospital, your guests will appreciate your raising awareness and funds on their behalf.

Influence Little Details With Their Interests

This personalizes the smaller details of your nuptials. Whether it’s their favourite flower in your bouquet or maybe your Granny’s favourite recipe on your dessert menu, flecks of their hobbies and interests throughout your festivities is sure to keep their memory alive.

Share A Toast

A mention during the speeches is a popular choice and gives everyone the chance to raise a glass in memory of them.

Dedicate A Song

Don’t forget to include their favourite song on your wedding playlist. Especially if they had a larger than life personality and would have danced the night away given the chance to join in your celebrations.

A Moment Of Silence

Traditional and sentimental. A moment of silence during your ceremony will allow everyone to think of their own loved ones who have also passed.

Image Credits: Balloon Release – Teale Photography via Bridal Musings.

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