Weddings are a time of celebration with family, loved ones and friends. It is also a time where those family members who have died are keenly missed. There are a few ways to honour them and acknowledge their continued presence in your life.
As a Wedding Officiant, I always ask couples if there are any loved ones who have died that they would like mentioned. I include them in my welcome and say something like; “we also acknowledge (name them) who are with us in spirit today”
Couples can light a candle in front of a picture of a loved one at the beginning of the ceremony, of just a candle, acknowledging their presence.
A rose can be placed at the chair they would have had reserved for them.
Couples often have a picture of their loved one(s) at a special table, perhaps where guests sign in. If a Father has died, it may be mentioned that “___” has the honour of stepping in for the Father Daughter dance.
I have also seen where sadly a member of the wedding party had died prior to the ceremony and the wedding party wore something symbolic of that person, like a belt buckle, special tie, pin or flower.
Honouring those who are important parts of our lives even though they have died can be sad, but it is a way of remembering their love, deflating the elephant in the room and then doing what they would want… celebrating your love.