Remembering Loved Ones

Weddings, by their sheer nature, are happy occasions where everyone comes together to celebrate with the newly-weds.
Despite all the celebrations, weddings can be tinged with some sadness. Sadness for the friends and family members who are no longer with us but would most certainly have been at the top of the guest list – and there is no question about that!!
But the question is how do we remember and pay tribute to them in a manner that is in keeping with such a joyous occasion? I think this dilemma has left many a bride and groom in a quandary. Striking the right balance is important. I am aware that memory ladders or memory trees are quite a popular choice, whereby an antique effect stepladder/tree is erected in the reception hall and photographs of those that are no longer with us are placed on them usually with decorative flowers or Christmas tree type baubles. Having seen this for myself I can say it is a lovely decorative way to help dress the room and remember. Some couples have the dinner tables named after their loved ones (some even have a place set for them with a name plaque on the chair).
What if, however, the loved one that is no longer with you would have played a significant role in the wedding party such as the mother or father of the bride? A sister or a brother? Playing a specific song that you know they loved is always a good choice, but it does all comes down to personal choice. Wearing on your person or having a piece of their jewellery incorporated into the bridal bouquet is a lovely personal way in which you can remember and pay tribute. I read recently that a young bride who had lost both her parents prior to her wedding walked down the aisle with her brother. Before the ceremony started the officiant welcomed and thanked everyone for coming to the day and, along with the welcoming asked for a moment of silence for the parents of the bride. The moment of silence was kept specifically for the bride’s parents because their absence was the most significantly noted. The remainder of the day was fully focused on the bride and groom, the bride satisfied that a respectful tribute had been made.
By now I think it has become clear that the ways in which to pay tribute are numerous, but we continue to look for new and original ways to do this. I think paying tribute in your after-dinner toast is a simple yet heartfelt way to remember. By nominating the best man or the father of the bride to ask everyone to raise their glass in a toast to absent friends will afford everyone the opportunity for a moment of reflection, and to be honest, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.
Should you wish to share your experiences of how you handled, or intend to handle, this delicate situation on your wedding day then please share them with us on our Facebook page We look forward to hearing from you.