Couples sometimes wish to remember family or friends that can’t be at their wedding, in some cases family or friends can’t attend because of health, work, travel expenses, serving in our armed forces, or other reasons that has kept them from attending in person. Stephen Simmons often has brides and grooms who would like to honor these people or a beloved family member or friend who has passed away. Stephen offers these suggestions to help you determine how you would like to incorporate an “In Memory of” into your wedding day.
I’ve had many couples incorporate technology to share the moment with family and friends, FaceTime and Video Live Streaming are easy ways to allow others to experience your beautiful ceremony!
Ideas for “In Memory of those we love that have gone on” for your wedding (Keep in mind, it’s a happy celebration, not a memorial, going too far can bring others down, but honoring special people who have passed is a beautiful display of love.)
This is not meant to be a comprehensive list and if you have a personal way to remember a loved one we can certainly incorporate it into your ceremony.
- At this time, we would like to pause and reflect on those that can’t be with us today. We know they are here in spirit and heart, and they wish the very best for the groom and bride on this special day.
- “At this time, we remember (Father/Mother), loving (dad/mom) to (bride/groom). Though (he/she) cannot be with us physically, we acknowledge that (he/she) is here in spirit sharing in our joy. (Bride/Groom) is thankful to have been blessed with (name of person) as their (daddy/momma). (Groom/Bride) knows their example of strength and the power of love helped form and shape their life. (Father/Mother) taught (bride/groom) what it means to live a life for God, to work hard, to love one’s family, and to be a dedicated spouse and devoted parent. The light of their memory will always remain in (Bride/Groom’s) heart as they begin this journey, and through (Groom and Bride’s) love, a part of (Father/Mother) will live on in their hearts and in their children.“
- Poem for Mother: “A Wonderful Mother” by Pat O’Reilly:
God made a wonderful mother,
A mother who never grows old;
And He made her smile of the sunshine,
And He molded her heart of pure gold;
In her eye He placed bright shining stars,
God made a wonderful mother,
And He gave that dear mother to me.
- Those we love don’t go away, They walk beside us every day Unseen, unheard, but always there, still loved, still missed and very dear.
- In Memory Of All Those Who Aren’t With Us Today….We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new, We thought about you yesterday and the days before that too. We think of you in silence. We often speak your name. Now all we have are the memories and your picture in a frame. Your memory is our keepsake, with which we’ll never part. God has you in his keeping, we have you in our hearts.
- The years we shared were full of joy, the memories we made will never fade. You lit up our life, our hopes, and our dreams, you opened our eyes to see what life really all means.
- “Memories are the treasures that we lock deep within the storehouse of our souls.” – Becky Aligada
- We feel your warmth around us, like your presence is so near, and we close our eyes to visualize your face when you were here, We endure the times we spent together, and they are locked inside our heart, for as long as we have those memories, we will never be apart.
- Flowers can be placed up front in a basket and the officiant mentions the flowers are in memory of those that are there in spirit.
- You can wear something that belonged to the person you wish to remember, or something they gave you, it allows you to remember they are with you.
- You can leave a chair empty in the front row and take a flower out of the brides bouquet and place it on it, or place a rose on the empty chair (can become emotional for the person sitting next to the empty chair during the ceremony, so be thoughtful about your celebration and the impact this can have on your guests)
- A memory candle can be lit before or during the ceremony for each person being remembered, a small tag can be attached with their name included or a small picture next to the candle
- A moment of silence can be acknowledged for that are there in spirit (a special note can be added in the program too)
- A floral arrangement can be created and pictures of those you wish to remember can be added and then the arrangement can be placed in a special place
- The favorite song for someone special can be played in memory of them
- The favorite food from someone special can be served at the reception in memory of them
- A single, lone table at the ceremony or reception with all the pictures of those who have passed and who we would have wanted with us and a little framed piece of writing saying something about in memory and honor of those who have passed and who can only attend our wedding in spirit, we love and miss you but either way, this day we share with you too.” Underneath you can have a listing of all the names.
- If you have a special letter or note from someone special before they passed, you can frame it and display it at the reception or on a small table up front during the ceremony
- The bride & groom can light a candle during the ceremony, towards the beginning. The minister can announce what is taking place and read out the names of those be remembered and then you can have the candle brought to the reception as well.
- The bride can have a ribbon with a locket and a picture of someone special wrapped around her bouquet.
- You can release live doves during or at the end of the ceremony in memory of special people.
- Monarch butterflies can be released at the end or during the ceremony and mention the purpose.
- Someone can stand in place “in memory of ______” during the ceremony or special dances at the reception.
- You can write a special letter or poem (recommended not too long), you can frame it and include the names of those you’re remembering.