Ways to Honor a Lost Loved One at Your Wedding

Your wedding is a celebration. It is the day you want to spend with all of your loved ones and favorite people- to dance, to cheer, to laugh, and to love. Unfortunately, life happens and loss with it, and not everyone you had planned for will be around for your wedding day itself. Whether it is a close friend or relative who has passed, there are ways to beautifully remember them at the ceremony and reception.

There are ways to honor those who have gone before us in a way that authentically reflects your relationship with them. It can be a public display of remembrance or something very subtle. Whatever you decide on will be thoughtful, meaningful, and special. There is no one right way to honor someone – but keep it simple and keep it impactful:     

1.   Something old, new, borrowed or blue. Wear a small memento that belonged to your loved one, such as a hairclip or a ribbon. Attach a small photo of them to your bouquet. You could even take a photo of the bouquet or boutonniere placed beside the item for memories later. 

2.   Remember them in the toast: Just as you will want to express your appreciation for everyone in attendance, include your loved one in the toast as well – a special shout out to the positive influence they had in your life. 

3.   Designate a chair at the ceremony. Include a notecard with a favorite quote of theirs or a favorite piece of clothing. Or keep it simple, and even lay a single flower in the seat. 

4.   Set up a small photo display with flowers or a message board with a quote. Save a place where people can stop by and reflect on their own memories with them. You can handwrite the wording on the sign for an extra special touch. 

5.   Play their favorite song. Include some tunes you know they would love and want to dance the night away to. 

6.   Carry a handwritten note with you. If you’ve saved cards from over the years, find one with a message or sign off that is significant to you. If it’s small, you could even include it in your bouquet or sew it into your dress or suit. 

7.  Make a donation. In lieu of a registry, you could request guests to contribute to a charity in their honor. You may even prefer to make a donation yourselves. 

8. Light a sparkler in their remembrance. You could say a few words or have a moment of silence while the sparkler dies down.


Just remember, any sign of remembrance will be touching to those who knew your loved one, no matter how big or small the gesture. Honor their memory however you see fit and celebrate your day how they would want you to!