Last August hit our family hard as we had lost my grandfather to Alzheimer's and heart disease. This loss was profound in all of our lives. Since then I have been to plenty of weddings and each one has had one thing in common. They each had a way to honor their lost loved ones. It is very difficult to get through your special day without wishing beyond all wishes that they could be there with us. They may not be able to be with us in body, but I certainly believe that they are there with us in spirit. I wanted to take a moment to share some amazing ways to honor our lost loved ones on our most special of days. I hope that this gives you some comfort and some ideas on how to do just that.
Share a favorite pastime or memory.
Sharing some of their favorite things will bring a smile to your face and also give insight to your guests about the life of your loved one. Using a loved one's favorite candies as favors or including an activity that they enjoyed at your wedding can bring them to mind. I love the idea of featuring a special toasting station with Grandpa's favorite bourbon and cigars.
Display family photos.
On your guestbook table share photographs of your loved ones. One of the most creative ones that I have seen included photographs of lost loved ones on their wedding days.
Incorporate a special flower.
My grandfather loved daisies and I know that it would have made him very happy to see them incorporated into my bouquet as well as the other flowers throughout my wedding day.
Play a song.
Pick a tune that meant something to your loved one, or reminds you of him or her. One touching moment that comes to mind is when I witnessed a groom have his processional walk into to a Stevie Nix song that his mother had loved.
Bake a loved one's favorite desert.
My grandfather loved pecan pie. He could never get enough of it and I can still remember in great detail many a Thanksgiving with him finishing off a whole pie all by himself. Having pecan pie on my special day would have brought great joy to me and those that knew him.
Add an heirloom to your bouquet or dress.
One of the last Christmas presents that I ever gave to my grandfather was a set of handkerchiefs from London. This gift held two connections to two very important people in my life, my grandfather who always had a handkerchief and my great-grandmother who was from Bristol, England. When my grandfather was laid to rest I placed one of the handkerchiefs with a special note in his pocket. I kept one of the handkerchiefs for myself. Placing this handkerchief in my bouquet would be a way to honor and remember him as well as my great-grandmother.
Make a note in your ceremony program.
Inside your program is a fitting spot for a sincere message that everyone will read, while still keeping the ceremony itself very joyful.