A wedding is such a priceless moment as you start your lives as a couple. So you’d surely want to share it with all those dearest to you. But the sad reality is a beloved family member or two may be absent. How do you honor them, then, and keep their presence near just the same? Well, we discovered some touchingly creative, tasteful, and non-gloomy ways to do just that, either at your ceremony or at the reception afterwards. Clearly, remembering can be a stylish part of your most special day!
Capturing Memories at the Ceremony
Using photos is the most conventional approach to including departed family members in your wedding. This can be done as intimately as through tiny lockets or jeweled frames on your bridal bouquet (1) or the groom’s boutonniere (2). Some brides add treasured items to their ensemble—a grandmother’s brooch, vintage fan, or hair comb; Mom’s wedding veil or a length of lace from her bridal gown. Grooms, meanwhile, can don Granddad’s antique tie clip or cuff links; or Dad’s favorite tie or the vest he wore at his wedding!
If you’ll have the ceremony at home, you can use the family piano as a dramatic display area for heirloom photos (3). Other ideal spots would be on the living room mantel, along a grand staircase, or on a table to one side of the ceremony backdrop.
One of the most touching options at the ceremony itself is to have a seat of honor reserved for that special someone. You can mark it with a gorgeous leaf garland and three red roses (4), a draped lace shawl, or a memorable possession like a book, a hat, or a dainty hanky.
Remembering Loved Ones at Your Reception
You can also pay tribute not just to lost loved ones from your immediate family, but to the generations that led the two of you to this moment. And the wedding reception provides the ideal venue to do this!
Here are some fun and innovative variations on the traditional “family tree” that you can set up. You could suspend small framed photos on string or ribbon to create a free-hanging backdrop for your welcome or gift table (5). Adding colorful pompoms or paper flowers gives it a whimsical air.
Or for a creative play on the whole tree concept, why not make use of actual trees at an outdoor reception? Dangle old family photos from leafy vines (6) for a romantic effect, or use antique frames (8) for a more vintage feel.
Want a charming conversation piece for guests to admire? Why not assemble an entire bookshelf display (7) to one side of the reception venue? This gives you the chance to include other decorative elements and mementos, aside from the photos, to tie in with your theme.
Of course you’ll miss those special people on your wedding day. But you can still express your love for them in one of these meaningful and lovely ways!
1 – bouquet, via Brides.com (Kelly Brown Weddings)
2 – boutonniere, via Pinterest
3 – piano display, via A Stunning Affair (Birds of a Feather Photography)
4 – photo on ceremony chair, via Grey Likes Weddings (Josh Elliott Photography)
5 – welcome table display, via Poptastic Bride (Debra Gulbas Photography)
6 – frames on hanging vines, via Magnolia Rouge (Ryan Ray Photography)
7 – bookshelf display, via Alchemy Fine Events (Justin Lee Photography)
8 – frames on tree branches, via Oh Lovely Day (Gabriel Ryan)