Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to capture hundreds of wedding days and the memories they are made of. Some of them are touching, some filled with humor, some fun, some sweet and some that were done in memory of a lost loved one. I was recently asked for ideas on this topic and realized how few references there are with suggestions on how to honor, include and remember a loved one who has passed, so I hope this post will give you a bit of inspiration and help you create something special and individual to you and your loved one.
This couple created very unique ways to remember the brides father on their wedding day. Jessie’s wedding dress was custom designed and the designer allows brides who design a new piece, to choose it’s name. Jessie named the lace topper, Kingsley, after her father. She chose to wear the topper as she walked down the aisle, so that lace, named for her dad, was a way he was able to walk her down the aisle. A second way her dad was remembered and included in their day was her groom-to-be commissioning a painting of her father and gifting it to her just after their first look in a very touching and private moment.
This bride brought a beautiful wedding photo of her grandmother who had passed, her memorial card and a special stone hundreds of miles, from home to her wedding venue. She made a point to let me know that she wanted photos of these items, so I suggested we have her hold them. In holding them, she had a chance to just ‘be’ to be with her grandmother. These beautiful moments followed and she had a opportunity to truly feel her grandmothers presence and to have thees photos as memories as well.
From the Bride: “This chair was for my grandmother who had passed away about a year before the wedding. She was even on the original guest list and then she got sick with cancer. We had a conversation, probably one of our last coherent ones, where I told her, “you have to stay well for the wedding.” She told me she wouldn’t make it, but to make sure I saved her a seat… That conversation really stuck with me, it’s one of the most difficult talks I’ve ever had it my life, so it was a top priority to save her a seat on our day. “
This bouquet had her grandparents wedding photo tied into it. “It was nice to feel like I had them with me all day, considering that bouquet was with me everywhere.” ~Michelle
Remembering her mom on her wedding day, this bride fastened a sweet locket, with the words, “Carrying your love with me”, engraved on the front. Inside was a photo of her mom and another photo of her and her mom together. This was a beautiful way to carry her mom with her all through her wedding day.
“We’re missing a groomsman, there would have been nine”. Those were the words the groom said to me and after seeing my confused look, he continued, “One of our friends passed away in an accident, his name was Bob. He’d be number nine, if he was here. He loved Converse, so we all have these socks (groom quickly shows me his socks) and we will be carrying out a pair of shoes for the ceremony, so he can stand with us.”
This sweet couple designed wedding bands in secret and surprised each other with them just after their first look. Sam’s ring contained 3 “pinstripes” in the center of the band; a layer of a beautiful wood that is indigenous to the Philippines, which is where the brides mother’s side of the family is from, a layer of gold that was melted and crafted from his grandfathers wedding band and a layer of grey, that contained the ashes of the groom’s childhood dog, Prema. Such a special (and surprise) plan by this bride to make her groom’s ring so incredibly significant.
Pink roses. Classic, simple, sweet, beautiful. Easy to incorporate everywhere through a wedding day. They were for Ryiah. The couples sweet baby girl that they made sure to have present and remember in many places on this beautiful day.
A Heritage Table, filled with wedding photos of the couples parents and grandparents. A beautiful nod to those physically present for their wedding and to those attending in spirit.