Another common way is to leave a photo, flower or reserved sign at the ceremony to save a spot for them.
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.
A balloon release at the end of the ceremony is a special touch, release one for each loved one lost.
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.
If 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.
Did grandma have a secret recipe? Why not share it with those at your wedding by whipping up a batch of her famous treats.
Give guests Forget Me Not seeds to plant in honor of your loved one. Great idea for favors for your wedding.
A 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.
Up-cycle old wooden palettes to make a unique entrance to your outdoor wedding ceremony and line them with old photos.
For a beach wedding, use leis to honor loved ones – give one to each guest as they enter the wedding ceremony.
If you’ve lost a parent or grandparent, dance with their spouse to a special song during your reception.
Honor those you miss by wearing a piece of their jewelry for your wedding.
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
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).
Or share a favorite pastime with your guests such as having a cigar bar (or wine bar)
You could sew a piece of fabric from your loved one into your wedding dress.
This bride had Mehndi (Henna) put on her hands to honor her deceased Indian grandfather
This bride had a garter made out of lacefrom her grandmother’s wedding dress
Or 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
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!