Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Honor a Deceased Loved One at Your Wedding

Question: Five months ago my dad whom I was extremely close to passed away at the young age of 52. I am looking for a very special yet unique idea as to how to honor him at my wedding. Any suggestions would be of great help because I am not sure what to do when one of the most important people that is supposed to be at the wedding is not going to be there. I am 22 years old if that helps with the ideas, and he was my best friend. Oh, and what about the father-daughter dance???  Thanks ~ Erica

NEAnswer:  Its wonderful that you are intending to honor your dad at your wedding in order to make him a part of your day, and to serve as a reminder that his spirit is there with you.

1. For starters, you'll want to mention his name on your wedding invitation (example: Erica, daughter of Mrs.__________and the late Mr.________ ).

2. You might want to include a framed photo of him at the guest sign-in table at the reception to honor him and keep him remembered on the bid day.

3. Mention him in your after-dinner speech (if you intend to make one).

4. Make an "In Memory of" notation in your wedding ceremony program (towards the end) and include a brief one or two line verse about how athough he is no longer here in physical form, his presence remains with you, or something equally appropriate.

5. If he passed away of a particular cause, you might want to make a donation in each of your guests names to support the cause instead of giving away traditional wedding favors. Give each guest a printed piece of paper that says, "In Memory of ______________, a donation has been made to the American Heart Association in your name".

6. A growing trend is to include a photo charm in your bridal bouquet - it's a beautiful way to incorporate your loved one's memory into your special day. If you would like to see my selection of photo charms visit Noteable Expressions.

In regards to the father-daughter dance, keep in mind that not every bride does this at her wedding. Today, there are plenty of brides out there who didn't grow up with fathers in their lives, for one reason or another, so they simply eliminate the daughter-father dance. But if you prefer, if you have someone (older brother, favorite uncle, godfather, etc) who you feel is worthy of stepping into your dad's shoes on his behalf for the dance, you could ask them to do the honors, and just have the MC or DJ make mention of this when it is time for the dance. This again will help keep your dad's memory alive throughout this important day.