Whether you celebrate Christmas or just had some time off to spend with family and friends, I hope the last couple of days were delightful and joyful!
I’m spending time in NYC with my mom and having a great time. And today I’m bringing you another best of 2012 feature: How to honor deceased relatives in your wedding programs.
At the holiday and joyous occasions like weddings, our thoughts often turn to those who are no longer with us. This feature offers some ideas on how to bring these special people into your special day, while keeping the mood celebratory.
On one of the happiest days of your life, how do you remember and honor deceased parents or family members? Your wedding ceremony program can be a perfect way to do that. It’s a key memento of your wedding for guests, so it’s a wonderful place to honor those you miss on your wedding day.
A Note of Thanks
One of the most common ways couples honor deceased family and friends, is a note of remembrance in the thank you section of the wedding program. This can be as simple as a sentence like this: “Our thoughts are with those loved ones who could not be with us, but are here in spirit.” Weddings are joyous occasions and for those who want that to be the focus, a short note is respectful and appropriate.
A Ceremony Acknowledgement
You can also incorporate the remembrance of family members in your ceremony or at your reception. Ideas include candles on the alter of a church ceremony or photos of family at a special remembrance table. In that case, feel free to mention in your wedding program that you have set up something special and where it’s located. “Candles on the the alter have been placed in loving memory of family members who are no longer with us.”
A List of Names
You may also wish to list dear family members by name and their relationship to you under a heading in your wedding program, such as “In Loving Memory” or “We Remember”. If appropriate, list members from both sides of the family. But take care not to list too many names, in order to keep the focus on this happy occasion.
A Dedicated Message
The absence of parents can be especially hard on your wedding day. A poem or quote can be a poignant way to express your feelings in a wedding program for key people you have lost. One bride we are working with is using this poem and dedicating it in memory of her father:
If flowers grow in Heaven
God, please pick a bunch for me,
place them in my Father’s arms
and tell him they’re from me.
Tell him I love him and miss him
and when he turns and smiles,
place a kiss upon his cheek
and hold him for a while.
Because remembering him is easy,
I do it everyday,
but there’s an ache within my heart
because I’m missing him today.
When everything is said and done
I will cherish this day and smile,
because I know my Daddy is here with me
as I am walking down the aisle.
As you begin to think about how you want to remember deceased family on your wedding day, you’ll want to figure out how much will be personal and how much will be more visible to guests. And it’s those things that are visible to guests that are appropriate for your wedding program.