I am often asked about ways to honor the memory of a loved one at a wedding. After learning more details about the person/persons, the bride and I decide how much she, or the groom, can actually handle on their wedding day. I have had brides have me leave a flower on the chair where their special person would have been seated. Had it been me, I would have broken out in tears at the sight of the empty chair. Others have a discreet vase of flowers at the ceremony - mixed flowers or a flower for each person they are honoring. My daughter had three roses in a vase at her ceremony for three family members along with a memory candle that listed their names. Often, names are added to the program. One bride had me make a red, white, and blue flower arrangement for the church to honor her grandfather who served in the armed forces. Of course several of my brides had me attach very small pictures or a charm to their bouquet handle. I've also used pieces of grandmom's veil or wedding gown to wrap the stems of a hand-tied bouquet. And I've made a bridal arrangement on top of a treasured bible belonging to a grandparent. There are many options open to a bride involving this sensitive subject. Here are just a few more.
This bride wanted to honor her grandmother in a special way at Normandy Farms. As it turned out, her grandmom's favorite flowers were orchids so I displayed a phalaenopsis orchid in greens. She placed her grandmother's wedding picture on the table too. I really loved the other picture - of the bride, her mom, and her grandmother. What a lovely memory.
Framed photos of this bride's Mom sat on a table at the Radisson. She displayed an "In Loving Memory" candle and vase which I filled with flowers.
The mantle in this room at Bolingbroke Mansion held photos of family members that have passed. Names were listed on the vase in the center which held flowers that I arranged.
You may recognize the credenza from Blue Bell Country Club. This bride displayed beautiful framed photos of her loved ones, and labelled them so guests would know who was being honored. I added just a touch of flowers and candles to each side.
There are no right or wrong choices when planning how to honor someone special to you who has passed on. Each bride needs to decide whether to acknowledge a person's absence privately or with their guests. The important thing to remember is to not lose site of your own joyous occasion while honoring the memory of your loved one.