By Rebecca Padgett
One of the most meaningful and special aspects of a wedding is being able to bring together and celebrate with all of your favorite people.
Family members, friends from preschool to college, coworkers and more mix, mingle, eat, dance and drink in honor of the happy couple.
But for those who have lost family members or friends, this day can be a reminder of those who could not be there.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can feel their presence throughout the day and bring honor to their memory.
1. Pin something sentimental to you
A photo pin or locket can be easily secured to a bouquet, dress or suit jacket. This is a beautiful way to have your loved one’s presence with you throughout the wedding.
2. Memory table
Set aside a table that has photos, photo albums, letters and mementos of those you want to honor. This is also a way for your guests to get to know the people that influenced your life.
3. Reserve seats
Have seats reserved at the ceremony and/or reception. Put a reserved sign on the chair or you can set a flower or personal object on the chair. This way, others know your guardian angels are already sitting there.
4. Include a note in the program
This can be as simple as listing their names or as detailed as paragraphs and photos put within the program.
5. A song or poem in their honor
Is there a special song that reminds you of them? How about a poem or proverb they loved? Or it could be a piece of music or written word that is all encompassing of how much you miss your loved one.
6. Place a flower arrangement on the altar
This could be a loved one’s favorite flowers or just a pretty arrangement with a loving note attached to it.
7. Light candles in their honor
In your ceremony, incorporate lighting a candle in their honor, or you can have a table with candles lit at the reception.
8. Make a toast
Raise a glass to those who impacted your life but cannot be there to celebrate you. This can be as sentimental or simple as you would like it.
9.Wear something from them
This could include many options. For the ladies; a piece of jewelry, their veil, their shoes, a hairpiece or even their dress. For the guys; their tie, a tie clip, cufflinks, shoes or even their suit.
10. Have a release
Have a release in their honor, either as a public part of the ceremony or privately during the reception. Popular releases include balloons, lanterns, butterflies and doves.
11. Have one of their recipes made
Did grandma have a famous cookie recipe? Was your dad a master at making homemade barbecue sauces? Talk with your caterer about incorporating these family recipes into the meal or give them as take away gifts.
12. Donate to a cause they cared about
This can be done via your wedding registry by including a link to give to a charitable cause that was close to their heart. It would be best to write a little bit about why you chose this charity and who influenced it.
13. Sew something of theirs into your outfit
Sew into your dress or suit jacket a piece of fabric from their clothing, a photo, a written message or a heart pendant. A piece of your cherished one will be right beside you all day.