Although the subject of how to recognize a deceased member of the immediate family of the wedding couple is not one that most like to discuss, it is a topic that needs to be thought about.
Unfortunately, we find that many of our couples are dealing with the loss of a mother or father before their weddings. What is the proper way to include this family member in the wedding? Some ask us if the deceased person's name should be on the invitation. While the intention is good, this is not the way to honor that person. There are more appropriate ways to honor the deceased one's memory, either privately or publicly.
For instance, to honor a deceased mother, an usher can place a white rose on the seat where the mother would have been seated. During the ceremony, a song could be dedicated to that person, or their favorite hymn sung could be noted in a ceremony program.
Deceased grandparents or siblings could be honored during the candle ceremony by lighting an additional candle, or again mentioned in the program.
Rosemary stands for remembrance, so a sprig of rosemary could be included in the bridal bouquet or in the attendant's bouquet. The bouquet could also contain the family member's favorite flower. Many of our brides have included a special pin or piece of lace coming from their mother's wedding gown in their bouquet. This is something meaningful and allows the bride to feel comfort and closeness to their loved one on the wedding day.
We once did a wedding where there was a specialty drink at the bar to honor the groom's deceased dad.
Another way to honor the deceased family member would be to make a charitable contribution to one of their favorite charities. Make note of the contribution on the ceremony program.
For more ideas and inspirations, call us for a consultation, and we will make a difficult topic become something to talk about with ease.