Ideas for Honoring a Deceased Relative at a Wedding

Often when planning a wedding, it can be difficult to think of a way to honor a deceased relative that has played an important role in the bride or groom’s life. Here are some tips on how a bride or groom can honor their deceased relatives at the wedding:



    • Set up a special small table at the wedding reception with a flower arrangement and a card saying “In memory of those loved ones who are not with us today” or more specifically, “In memory of Jane Doe, mother of the bride.” You could also put a picture of the bride or groom with the deceased person you are honoring.


    • At the end of the wedding program, it is appropriate to add a memoriam line. For example, you might write “Today we honor those who could not be with us, especially the groom’s grandmother, Jane Doe.”


    • If the person who is conducting the ceremony is someone who knew the deceased relative, it might be appropriate for him/her to say something during the ceremony – particularly if they are saying a homily or other sermon-like speech. They might say “Today, we have come together to celebrate the love of these two people and the life they are building together. As many of you know, the groom’s father recently passed away. And in times like these, it can be more important than ever to honor love and family. I know (groom’s father) was so happy to see (groom) find the love he has with (bride). Although it would be easy for his recent death to make this a sad occasion, (Groom’s father) would want to see you all so happy today, celebrating and full of joy. So today, let’s remember how precious life is, and be thankful that (bride and groom) are creating a new family together.”


    • Leave an empty chair for a deceased relative/parent at the wedding ceremony – you could have a sibling place a flower on the seat in honor of the mother during the seating of the parents


    • Read a letter from the deceased relative they sent to you as a child


  • Carry or wear a momento from that relative the day of the wedding (example your grandmother’s brooch or grandfather’s pocket watch)

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