When you’ve lost one or both of your parents, you regret that they can’t be a part of your special day. Other family members find weddings bittersweet for these reasons; uncles, aunts, and cousins also notice their absence.
How can you honor a parent when you dreamed of them participating in the traditional high points of your wedding?
Memorialize Loved Ones in a Wedding Program
Printed wedding programs are a wonderful keepsake for guests and can honor absent loved ones with a memorial page, or with information on special “stand-ins” if you choose a special relative or family friend to walk you down the aisle.
Save A Seat in the Front Row
Some couples set aside front-row seats at the ceremony, often placing a small bouquet or boutonnière with a photograph in the honored parent’s place. These make wonderful detail photos for your album or slideshow, and let your guests know that your absent loved ones are present in spirit.
The Trip Down the Aisle
If your father has passed, there’s no reason you can’t have your mother, a sibling (even a sister) or another important figure accompany you as you make your entrance at the ceremony. Of course, you can always go solo, as many brides choose to do today.
The Father/Bride or Mother/Groom Dance
After the traditional first dance, you can transition into your parent’s favorite song or a short medley incorporating the first dance songs by cherished parents or grandparents. Whether or not you want to bring the surviving parents or grandparents onto the dance floor is up to you, it will be a special moment for your entire family.
One groom delighted his family and guests by getting his groomsmen to break out into a surprise dance routine to “Everybody Needs Somebody” from his father’s favorite movie, The Blues Brothers.
Wedding bands and DJs are accustomed to such requests and can announce the significance of musical selections.
New Traditions Begin with You
Your parents are always with you in your heart. Honor their memory at your wedding any way you choose, whether you want to preserve traditional themes or turn a sentimental moment into one that lets you and your guests celebrate the joy and laughter they brought to your lives. Your wedding should reflect your personality and celebrate new beginnings as both your families unite.