7 Ways to Honor Your Deceased Loved Ones at your Wedding

7 Ways to Honor Your Deceased Loved Ones at Your Wedding in Remembrance

With your permission, I wanted to share a bit of my own personal story with you. My hope is that reading this will inspire and encourage you to persevere even during the difficult moments of life.  
 
My Grandpa always says that life is like a set of railroad tracks. Rather than life being hills and valleys, it is more like two rails on a railroad track. You will always have something good and something bad in your life. No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad going on.

And no matter how bad things are, there is always something good you can be grateful for.
     I got to see this railroad track analogy play out in my life. Recently, my Dad passed away from Lymphoma cancer at the young age of only 53. My Dad was larger than life, my go-to person for advice and wisdom, and such a solid influence and friend. When he got sick, my family and I were overwhelmed with shock, grief, disbelief, and numbness.

Despite my family’s fervent prayers for healing, he passed from this life to the next, leaving us all devastated in his absence. Even though he had a strong faith and we take hope in knowing that we will see him again, we were still heartbroken.
 
He had been my source of security for all of my life, kind of like a “safety net” in case I fell and needed some help back up. I miss his joyful laugh, his funny way of walking, and the way he treated every single person as if they were the most important person in the world to him. He made everyone feel special for who they were. He was never rushed or in a hurry.
 

At that same time that he passed, my sister and brother-in-law were planning their wedding. 

How are you supposed to plan a wedding and a funeral at the same time?

Losing a loved one seems to suck all of the joy out of life, and it’s hard to put on a “happy” face when it seems like life will never be the same again.
 
Life was a painful blur for us all, with waves of grief overwhelming my family and me at the oddest and most inopportune times. Other times, it is just a worse numbness and “void” that you cannot directly access. Just a huge sense that you are deeply missing someone who should be there with you.
 
We somehow got through that season as we relied on God’s supernatural strength and comfort. And my sister and brother-in-law’s wedding was beautifully done. They even found some amazing ways to commemorate my Dad and other family members who were no longer with us into their special day.

To deal with some of the emotions,  I launched a new “Remembrance” product line for my wedding veils. It is a special embroidered touch that I sew directly onto brides' wedding veils that honors loved ones who are no longer with us.

My favorite is the “Dad” monogram, although I have also customized this with “Mom”, “Grandma”, and other names depending on the deceased loved one that my brides want to honor. It is a small, delicate detail that is understated enough that it is almost hidden unless you are specifically looking for it on the veil. I particularly like placing this embroidered name detail close to the heart (just underneath the shoulder on the veil) as a symbolic representation of how the loved one is always in your heart.

 
Your wedding day is a celebration with friends and loved ones, so it’s normal to want to include those friends or family members who have passed away..


And I have been overwhelmed by the amazing trust that my brides have placed in me by sharing their stories with me of their own loved ones that they are honoring not just in their wedding day, but in the way that they live their lives.
 

Below are 7 of my favorite ways that my brides are remembering their loved ones.  


  1.  Cut a small photo of your loved one and place it in a frame or locket. Tie it or pin it around your bouquet to hold with you as you walk down the aisle. 
  2. Have the minister say a few words during the ceremony in honor of your deceased loved or to give a moment of silence in remembrance.
3. Play a video or photo slide of your loved one at the reception. My sister played a video of her dancing with my Dad for the “father daughter” dance.
 
4.  Reserve a seat at your wedding. Keep a seat empty at your ceremony, and put a photo, a flower arrangement, or a memento that was significant to your loved one (a pair of shoes, a jacket) on the chair.
5. If you have an old shirt or piece of clothing from your loved one, then you can cut it up and sew it underneath your wedding dress. My bride took an old shirt of her brother’s and cut it into a heart shape, sewing it underneath her dress.

6. Wear a piece of jewelry or carry an accessory that was special to your loved one. For example, I have a special beaded clutch that belonged to my Grandma that I plan to use as my bridal purse one day.
7. Stop by you loved one's graveside or a place that was significant to them after the ceremony. 


I don’t know what your railroad tracks in life look like, but I am confident that you have both joys in life to celebrate as well as sorrows and hardships that you are coping with.

Loosing my Dad is one of the hardest things I have dealt with, but it has also helped me to grow in my own faith in God, it has strengthened our family’s testimony as we share about the grace and wisdom that God gave my Dad during his final days, and it has taught me to better value the people in my life over things and accomplishments.

 

P.S. See more photos of my Remembrance veils here.