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7 Ways to Honor Someone’s Memory at Your Wedding

Weddings are a day for friends and family to gather and celebrate the love shared by a couple. Sometimes not every special person is able to be in attendance at a wedding. In order to recognize and remember those the couple has lost, they may set up a memory table to honor those people or incorporate and memorialize them in another way.

While nothing can replace those loved ones, memorials are a great way to include them in the celebration. Below are the various ways in which you can include a beautiful and sentimental memorial at your wedding. 

Remembering Loved Ones During the Ceremony

Including those you have lost in your wedding is a difficult yet beautiful thing to do. It is a wonderful means of feeling closer to those who are no longer with you. There are a multitude of ways to memorialize someone at your wedding.

Here are a few ways you can honor your deceased loved ones during your wedding ceremony.


Have a Moment of Silence or Prayer

view of wedding guests and couple

A moment of silence or prayer is a classic means of honoring and remembering those loved ones who could not be in attendance at the wedding. After walking down the aisle, have the officiant welcome and thank everybody for being in attendance.

Along with the welcome, have them include a moment of silence or prayer (if you are religious) to recognize those who are missing. This is a great and quick way to acknowledge those who are absent without taking the focus away from you and your soon-to-be spouse. 


Reserve a Seat

reserved seat card at wedding

A subtle and meaningful way to honor a loved one at your wedding is to save them a seat. Take a photo of your loved one and an item that was special to them and place them on a chair at your ceremony.

Reserving a seat for your deceased family member or friend is a heartfelt and unique way of incorporating them into your big day. It honors and recognizes them as an important part of your life. During your ceremony, you will be able to look out at their spot and feel connected to them. 


Memorial Message in Program

wedding ceremony programs in basket

Couples often distribute programs to their guests detailing the day’s schedule. In your program, you can include an “in honor of” or “in memory of” section that lists those deceased loved ones you would like to recognize and remember.

If you want to go a step further, you can include photos and descriptions of each person and their relationship to you and your spouse. Moreover, if you are doing additional things to honor those people throughout your wedding, you can also include explanations of those things in your program. 


Wear a Symbol of Remembrance

something blue

Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Whether it is your something old, new, borrowed, or blue, a subtle way to memorialize a deceased relative or friend is to wear a symbol of remembrance.

A symbol of remembrance can be that person’s favorite tie sewn into the lining of your dress, it can be a locket with their picture inside, or another small yet sentimental object that either belonged to or reminds you of the person you are honoring.

This item will act as a connection and reminder of the person you have lost while also keeping them especially close to you on your wedding day. 


Remembering Loved Ones During the Reception

If you want to keep your ceremony positive, you may opt to include a memorial during the reception instead. These ways of memorializing range from subtle to more obvious depending on what you are looking for. Here are some ways you can honor your deceased loved ones during your wedding reception.


Play a Song in Their Honor

upbeat dancing at wedding

Music is a great means of connecting people and helping us to recall certain moments and memories. During your reception, cue up a song that meant something to your loved one or reminds you of them and the impact they had on you.

It can be their favorite song, the song they had their first dance to at their wedding, or a song that highlights your relationship with them. This is a sweet tribute that everybody can enjoy.


Create a Memory Table

memory table latern for wedding

If you have multiple people you would like to remember, you should consider creating a memory table in their honor.

A memory table is a table or area of your wedding that acts as a place for people to reflect, remember, and pay their respects to those you have lost. Memory tables often include photos of the deceased and any momentos or items of sentimental value such as someone’s favorite handkerchief or the watch one of them wore everyday.

Consider putting the table in a quiet and secluded area at your reception so guests can visit and pay their respects in a more private setting. 


Light a Candle

lantern for wedding memory table

At the start of your reception, you may want to take a moment to light a remembrance candle for your loved ones. A remembrance candle not only looks beautiful and adds to the ambience of your reception, it also acts as a subtle reminder that your loved ones are there in spirit.

Furthermore, you can include candles on your memory table. You can either light an individual candle for each person you are remembering or you can keep it simple and light one candle in recognition of everybody. 



At the end of the day, your wedding is about you, your spouse, and the love you two share. Who you include in your wedding and how you include them is completely up to you and your spouse.

Deciding to include those you have lost in your wedding day is a beautiful way to not only honor the dead, but to recognize that you are alive and that you now get to share that life with your spouse.

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Laura Gooch

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