Honouring lost loved ones is an important element of your wedding day and should not be overlooked. Whether it’s raising a glass in their memory or including their photo in your decorations, there are many ways to show that they are in your thoughts.
Dealing with this topic is a very personal matter so think about whether you’d like to keep it subtle or make a statement. To help you decide what’s most appropriate, consider whether they were someone who preferred to stay out of the spotlight, or loved being the centre of attention.
At Markovina Vineyard Estate, we see all sorts of beautiful tributes to those who have passed. Here are our top ten ways to include the happy memories of your lost loved ones at your wedding.
An area of remembrance
Designated areas of remembrance offer a place for guests to visit during the day and pay their respects to the friend or family member who isn’t able to join them. A top tip for while creating this beautiful piece of DIY is to make sure these stations are mobile so you can move them between the ceremony and reception.
Last year at Markovina Vineyard Estate, one couple set up a ‘Ladder of Lost Loved Ones’ which was a beautifully creative way to honour four loved ones by means of photos and flowers set upon a ladder.
Light a candle
Subtle yet effective, lighting a candle is a wonderful way to remember a friend or relative that has passed away. Candles have long been a symbol of remembrance.
Lighting a candle is perfect for those who are dealing with a more recent grief and want to include their loved one in a low-key way.
Toast to their memory
Having someone pay mention to a lost loved one during speech time will touch the hearts of all your guests. Make sure the memories shared are happy ones, perhaps telling a funny story or two.
Keeping it light is a refreshing way to honour your loved one. And while you might shed a tear or two, you will balance it out with a few giggles. Ask that your guests stand and raise their glass in memory of the wonderful people you wish could be there.
Wear something given to you by a lost loved one
You may have a small item of jewellery or clothing that has been given to you by someone you’ve lost. As one of the more private ways to pay tribute, wearing something a loved one has given you, shows they are in your thoughts without drawing too much attention to their absence.
Hold a moment of silence
Sharing a moment of silence is a perfect way to have everyone participate in honouring the memory of a lost loved one. During the moment, your guests are likely to reflect on personal moments they might have shared with that person, which means they are in the thoughts of everyone there at that time.
As a tip, share a moment of silence at the end of the ceremony or during the reception in case it upsets you and interrupts any formal proceedings.
Include them in your ceremony program
Another way to honour a lost loved one while keeping it low-key is to write a special mention to them in the ceremony program.
Reserve a section in the program with the title ‘In loving memory’ where you can write their names and perhaps a favourite memory you have of them. As your guests read your ceremony program, the memory will be acknowledged by all.
Dedicate a reading to them
It is common to designate a friend or family member to do a reading during the ceremony processions. Choose a poem or story that you know was a favourite of a lost loved one and share that as part of your ceremony.
Save them a seat
A powerful way to acknowledge your loved one is to save them a seat at the ceremony. Empty seats are a strong, physical reminder that someone very important is missing.
You could place a floral arrangement on the chair to further symbolise what this person meant to you. Keep in mind that seeing the empty seat during the ceremony might trigger your emotions.
Place their photo somewhere
Whether you put up a portrait of your lost loved one in your reception area or keep a small photo of them inside a locket, using their photo somewhere lovingly includes them in all aspects of the day.
Play their favourite song
Music can trigger all sorts of feelings and emotions, so this is a very powerful way to remember lost loved ones on your wedding day.
Play their favourite song during the signing of the wedding register or sometime during the reception. Depending on the style, the song will offer a soothing tune to commemorate them or something great to dance and sing along to.
Understanding the importance of acknowledging lost loved ones, the team at Markovina Vineyard Estate are happy to help you set up whatever you need to pay tribute in any way you wish.
With its spectacular scenery, Markovina is the perfect place to honour lost loved ones at your wedding.
For advice and ideas, call the team today.