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In Remembrance of Family That Has Passed

How to Keep the Mood Joyous While Remembering a Relative that has passed at Your Wedding

When a parent or other close relative has passed away recently, it’s important to find an appropriate way to remember them without ruining the joyous tone of the wedding. After all, a wedding is a celebration, and while a missing parent is certainly sad, it shouldn’t overpower the wedding day.

Some ways to remember a parent:

  • Set up a special small table at the wedding reception with a flower arrangement and a card saying “In memory of those loved ones who are not with us today” or more specifically, “In memory of Martina Jensen, mother of the bride.” You could also put a picture of the bride or groom with the deceased person you are honoring.


  • At the wedding reception, display wedding pictures of family members, or pictures of loved ones with the bride/groom. This is a more subtle way of not only honoring the bride & groom’s parents but also including the dead in your day.

  • Wear a piece of jewelry or article of clothing. (For example your mother’s wedding dress, your father’s cuff links, or your grandfather’s signet ring).

  • Carry the same flowers that your mother had in her bouquet.

  • Attach a small photo frame of the loved to your bouquet.

  • At the end of the wedding program, it is appropriate to add a memoriam line. For example, you might write “Today we honor those who could not be with us, especially the bride’s stepmother Alison Janet Brooks.”

  • If the person who is conducting the ceremony is someone who knew the deceased relative, it might be appropriate for him/her to say something during the ceremony – particularly if they are saying a homily or other sermon-like speech. They might say “Today, we have come together to celebrate the love of these two people and the life they are building together. As many of you know, the groom’s father recently passed away. And in times like these, it can be more important than ever to honor love and family. I know (groom’s father) was so happy to see (groom) find the love he has with (bride). Although it would be easy for his recent death to make this a sad occasion, (Groom’s father) would want to see you all so happy today,celebrating and full of joy. So today, let’s remember how precious life is, and be thankful that (bride and groom) are creating a new family together.”

By Nina Callaway, About.com
Center photos by Catherine McKinley Photography, courtesy of Elizabeth & Rob Mosher


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