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  • Writer's pictureKimberly Lakenen

Honoring a Deceased Loved One at Your Wedding

I decided to write this blog today because I had a particularly hard time this past weekend as it was my first Father’s Day since my dad passed away.

It’s hard enough to have family members and friends who aren’t able to be with you on your wedding day but the absence of a parent can seem a lot more noticeable because you had always imagined them as a part of your big day.

Whether its a father daughter dance that can’t be done or the walk down the aisle, their presence is missed deeply.

Make a Note on Your Programs

This can be a tribute, an anecdote, poem, or anything about your parent. Or you can add a moment of silence in your ceremony or have a lit candle near the alter and note it in your programs with information about your parent.

Add a Photo

This can be done in the form of a locket or a charm on your bouquet or a photograph in the front row of your ceremony to symbolize their presence.

Add an Heirloom to Your Bouquet or Dress

I don’t go to any important event without wearing my gold watch gifted to me from my Grandma. It can be anything like a rosary or brooch that can be intertwined into your bouquet or worn.

“Something Borrowed”

If you don’t own an heirloom maybe someone in the family can loan you something special for your big day. I’ve seen couples do boutonnieres, cuff links, jewelry, and many other options.

Wear a Part of Their Previous Attire

Whether its their actual wedding dress, or sewing a piece of an old tie into your chosen attire. It can be comforting to have a piece of their memory with them.

Share a Favorite Memory

Whether you’re hosting your parents favorite drink at the bar or a favorite treat at the dessert table, its a great way to share a part of their memory!

Memorial Tables

These are done very often for extended family members as well, so you can do this as a way to incorporate them in your wedding without becoming sad.

Make a Special Toast

If you have siblings, you can ask them to join you for the toast and take turns sharing memories of your parent. This may become an emotional moment so its important to keep it short or have someone help you with it. It can be a very special moment for your family.

Dedicate a Song

This can be done during the ceremony or during the reception. Four Weddings had a great example of a bride who’s late father loved rock music so she started the dancing portion of her wedding with a rock song dedicated to him where she invited all of her guests to join her on the dance floor.

Don’t Force It

If you have someone stand in for your parent for a dance or your walk down the aisle, that’s great! Its a great way to honor that person in your life, but if it is just going to make you more sad, try to skip it altogether if you can.

Photos by: Lang Thomas Photography


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