25 Unique Ways To Honor Deceased Loved Ones At Your Wedding

Your wedding is a time of celebration with your loved ones and your closest friends.  If you’ve lost someone who is dear to you, it is only natural to be saddened that they are no longer with you on such a joyous occasion - and you may want to honor your loved ones somehow during your wedding.  There are many ways to include them in your nuptials from a subtle candle lit in honor of them to a more public display such as a toast.  However, you do not want to dampen the mood of the festivities, so important to find an appropriate way to remember them without ruining the tone of the wedding. While missing them is sad, it shouldn’t overpower the day.

To those of you who have lost someone dear, you have my sympathy, both myself and my boyfriend have lost relatives close to us and we will be incorporating at least one of these ideas into our day.   For those who are looking for unique ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding, read on for 25 wedding memorial ideas that you can easily incorporate into your wedding.


photo wall to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding | InkedWeddings.comA photo wall or a memorial table displaying loved one’s photos is a sweet touch and is very DIY friendly.

reserving a chair for deceased loved ones at your wedding | InkedWeddings.comAnother common way is to leave a photo, flower or reserved sign at the ceremony to save a spot for them.

mark their seat with an item that was important to them, deceased loved ones at wedding | InkedWeddings.com

Rather than a flower or photo, use something meaningful to them such as a special baseball cap, a musical instrument that they played, or even a ball of yarn and crocheting needles - anything that will make you remember them.

balloon release in memory of deceased loved ones at your wedding | InkedWeddings.comA balloon release at the end of the ceremony is a special touch, release one for each loved one lost.

butterfly release to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding | InkedWeddings.com

If balloons aren’t your thing, you could also have a butterfly release to honor them.  Reserve a moment of silence as they flutter away.

honoring loved ones at your wedding: wind chimes during the ceremony | InkedWeddings.comSource

Consider using wind chimes to honor those who have passed as this couple did.  This may bring some tears as the wind blows.

honor deceased military at your wedding | InkedWeddings.comIf you loved one was a member of the military or law enforcement (we salute them for their service), you can display their flag at your reception table.

honoring a loved one at your wedding: sharing a family recipe | InkedWeddings.comDid grandma have a secret recipe? Why not share it with those at your wedding by whipping up a batch of her famous treats.

forget me not wedding favors | honoring a lost loved one | InkedWeddings.comGive guests Forget Me Not seeds to plant in honor of your loved one.  Great idea for favors for your wedding.

wedding programs with memorial tag | InkedWeddings.comA simple way to remind your guests without making a fuss: memorial tags to tie onto your wedding programs

Photo charms are a charming way to have loved ones walk you down the aisle.

And if you like that idea, your groom can also incorporate photo charms in his wedding ensemble.

photo wall entrance to wedding ceremony | InkedWeddings.com

Up-cycle old wooden palettes to make a unique entrance to your outdoor wedding ceremony and line them with old photos.

wedding leis - honoring deceased loved ones at your wedding | InkedWeddings.comFor a beach wedding, use leis to honor loved ones - give one to each guest as they enter the wedding ceremony.

a dance to honor a loved one at your wedding | InkedWeddings.comIf you’ve lost a parent or grandparent, dance with their spouse to a special song during your reception.

wear a loved one's jewelry to remember them on your wedding | InkedWeddings.com

Honor those you miss by wearing a piece of their jewelry for your wedding.

lantern floating ceremony | InkedWeddings.com

Have a Japanese lantern lighting ceremony if your venue is by a body of water.

Or if you’re landlocked, you could honor them with a Chinese lantern lighting ceremony

wedding toast to honor lost loved ones wedding | InkedWeddings.com

You can raise your glasses in a toast before the reception really starts, or have a toasting station. (Just keep the speech short and sweet).

cigar bar for honoring a deceased relative | InkedWeddings.com

Or share a favorite pastime with your guests such as having a cigar bar (or wine bar)

sew fabric into your dress to honor a deceased relative | InkedWeddings.comYou could sew a piece of fabric from your loved one into your wedding dress.

mendhi to honor deceased grandfather | InkedWeddings.com

This bride had Mehndi (Henna) put on her hands to honor her deceased Indian grandfather

garter made of lace from grandmothers dress | InkedWeddings.comThis bride had a garter made out of lace from her grandmother’s wedding dress

honoring deceased loved ones DIY wedding | InkedWeddings.comOr with a bit of Modpodge, old photos and crystals you could make these DIY crystal family photo ornaments to hang from bouquets or centerpieces.  Find the tutorial here

bride and groom at altar | InkedWeddings.comSource

Finally, have a moment of silence to remember them before your ceremony begins.  You don’t need to have a church wedding to observe a moment of reflection.

Finally,  When you settle on a way to celebrate your loved ones, check with those closest to them to be sure they will be ok with what you chose.  This can be a sensitive subject and you wouldn’t want to catch anyone off-guard during your big day.

If you are planning on honoring a deceased love one, tell me how you will be honoring them - I’d love to hear from you!

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Founder of Inked Weddings and an 11 year veteran of the wedding industry, Erica has seen it all - and has a growing collection of her own personal Ink. She lives in between New York City and New Jersey with her beau, geek-in-training tween son, a newborn rock star to be, a rescue dog and two finicky Russian blue cats. Loves coffee, high heels, Helsinki and has a penchant for bad boys who are secretly superheros. Connect With Erica on Google+

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