How to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding

how to honor deceased loved ones on your wedding day

Family is one of the most important elements of a wedding. If it wasn’t for the desire to share the biggest and most important ritual of your relationship with loved ones, we would have no weddings at all. It isn’t necessary to have a wedding in order to get married. All you truly need is a license and a ceremony with an ordained officiant to make your union legal. And while that is a truly viable option for many people, we think many more enjoy the idea of celebrating with their family and friends.

Sadly, most of us are missing loved ones from our wedding day. For whatever reason, grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles or other family members have passed on before having the chance to celebrate this special occasion. They are there in spirit, in your heart, but physically they are unable to attend.

This doesn’t mean that they have to be left out of the festivities entirely, though. There are many ways to honor loved ones at your wedding day.


  1. Have a special seat for them at the ceremony. You can use a flower or a photo or a special memento as a place holder.

honoring deceased loved ones at your wedding


  1. Attach a symbol representative of them to your bouquet. One of our brides lost her father years before her wedding day. She attached a photo and a charm to her bouquet so he could walk down the aisle with her even though he wasn’t physically there.

honoring deceased loved ones at your wedding


  1. Set up a table with photos or mementos. 

honoring deceased loved ones at your wedding


  1. Say a few words (or have your officiant say them) during the ceremony. Maybe a little prayer or a poem or a special story.

winery wedding ceremony

It can be painful to experience milestones in life without relatives who meant so much to you, but there are so many ways to include them in your wedding day. The above ways are only a few suggestions. Do you have any other ideas to share? If you’re already married, how did you honor the special people in your life who couldn’t be there with you?

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We are Jim and Stephanie, husband and wife wedding photographers. We live on a 36 foot sailboat in the Pacific Northwest with our dog, Katie, our dreams of adventure, and our Chemex coffee maker. 

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