A subject that brings us teary eyes, not just the dreamy special day, but the thoughts of not having the people there with you who have made you the special person that you are today -physically. I say physically, because our loved ones who have passed are still there with us in spirit every step you take in life if we succeed to keeping our loved ones close to heart. Also it may just be that this special person who lives so far away and could not make the travels to your wedding day, but is truly happy and celebrating with you with sharing joyful thoughts of you on your wedding day.
What are some of things we can do to include our special people who have marked a significant footprint in our lives?
Here's to the ones we love so dearly...
For our loved ones who could not make the travel, some ideas to include them on your wedding day are:
1) Broadcast your wedding via webcam.
Set up a webcam for your ceremony and stream it live so they can watch the wedding remotely.
2) Include pictures in your slideshow, send the slide show to your loved one.
3) Include a special note in your programs or speeches.
4) Play and dedicate a special song to them.
For our loved ones who will be with us in spirit:
1) Wear a locket with their picture in it.
2) Have a locket attached to your bouquet with their picture in it.
3) Include them in your programs.
4) Include something that the like in your wedding - could be their favorite collection item rubber ducks for favors, Grandma's cookie recipe with cookie favors, Grandma's cookie recipe with the ingredients to make them all packed in jars for favors, etc.
5) Have an empty seat with a rose on it.
6) A slide show instead of lieu of a father/daughter dance
7) Have special candles burning for them at the ceremony, these can also be your unity candles
8) In the reception, have a small table set aside for them with a rose dedicated to each person who is celebrating in spirit with a small poem in a frame. Under the poem, you can list the names. You may even include pictures in frames or attach a picture to each rose. For the list of names you can even do votives with their names on each glass votive by creating DIY votive wraps using paper and the printer and wrapping a strip of paper with their names on it around each votive.
9) At the altar with the memory unity candle, you can place an 8x10 picture next to the unity candle of the person(s). (This is also something I did, I took my parents' wedding day photo as this was the photo that my mother wanted for both my father's funeral and then I used the same for her funeral and this photo became very special to being the one photo that will be used for tributes.)
10) In the beginning of the ceremony, you can have the officiant start off with a moment of silence and lighting of the candles for those who could not be there and will be celebrating in spirit.
11) After the wedding, save your wedding bouquet and bring to the cemetary (this is also what I did. I gave my bouquet to my mom and my sweet husband took his boutonniere and gave it to my dad)
12) This may sound morbid, but you can also visit their gravesite before the wedding, place flowers resembling your wedding flowers and spend some quality time with them and doing the same after the wedding day.
Remember that you want to be subtle in your own way with these tributes. Having a prominent memorial photo may evoke some sad feelings from your guests and you want it to be a joyous day, so having something that is simple, but means a great deal to you will be a nice tribute to remember the ones who are celebrating in spirit.