Weddings are all about love and family. While many seem to believe that a wedding is all about the couple and their special day, in reality, the service itself largely involves the family and friends of the bride and groom. Unfortunately, many loved ones are lost over the years, and it is perfectly suitable to honor the deceased during the ceremony. There are many ways to honor and remember a deceased family member or friend during your ceremony.
Light a Memorial Candle
Provide a second table near the altar or near the front of the church. On it, place a Memorial Candle in tribute to your loved ones. Light the candle and ask your officiant to speak a few words about your loved one, including special characteristics about them, and of course how much you wish they were there. Your officiant will be able to offer advice on wording this prayer and when to incorporate it into the ceremony. Then, place a rose in front of the candle in memoriam and possibly include a photo or collage of portraits of the deceased on the table.
Light Tapered Candles in Memorium
It is traditional to have one or both parents light the individual tapers for their children before the bride and groom light the Unity Candle. If one or both of your parents is deceased, there are several ways to honor them still. The bride or groom can light the taper themselves and ask the officiant to acknowledge the parents before you light the Unity Candle. You may also use candelabras; having sisters, brothers, or other family members light a candle for each relative who is no longer with you.
All in the Family
Have a special moment in the ceremony when all family members come forward and light candles in memory of loved ones. Or, share a commemorative moment at your wedding ceremony by placing a flower in a memorial bud vase, printed with sentimental words honoring a loved one. Place a photo near the vase. Your special keepsake vase can be placed on a mantle or bookcase after the wedding day.
Put it in Writing
No memory is greater, no tribute finer, than a personalized memorial Bible, whether presented on an altar in remembrance, carried by the bride in place of the traditional bridal bouquet or given to the wedding couple as a spiritual reminder of loved ones lost. Also, a short mention of your deceased loved ones in the wedding program, and a description of the different ways you plan on honoring and including them during your service, is an appropriate and lasting remembrance as well.
Ask your clergy or Officiant to say a short prayer or ask for a moment of silence in honor of your loved one. Perhaps carry a wedding day rosary in their honor.
However you choose to remember this special person, be sure not to linger since this should be a happy event. Keep these suggestions incorporated into your ceremony, leaving the reception as a happy, upbeat time for celebrating.