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How To Include Loved Ones On Your Wedding Day

We all dearly want all of our family and friends to be there to celebrate with us on our wedding day, but all too often this sadly, just is not possible. So, how do you make them a part of your celebrations ?

This is a post we have wanted to write for a long time, but has probably been one of the hardest and most emotional to produce. We send special thanks to all our past couples and industry colleagues for allowing us to share their stories and photos to illustrate this post, without them and their generosity this blog would not have been possible.

Siobhan & Alan

Siobhan's mother had passed away before her wedding journey began, but was very much present and a part of her special day. A separate table was placed with her photo from her wedding day and her favourite drink placed next to it. Siobhan also loved the idea of a photo with her new husband and her mum looking over them. This is one of those things very like marmite, you either love or hate the idea.

Natasha & Lee

Natasha and Lee chose to remember loves during their ceremony by lighting a candle. They had their wedding ceremony in Cuba with immediate family and friends and then had a celebrant led ceremony back home with everyone close to them. A standard registrar wedding in this country will often not allow this so if you want to do something like this you may want to consider having a very simple registry office wedding with just your witnesses to cover the legalities and then follow it with a personalised celebrant led ceremony.

Charlotte & Joe

Charlotte & Joe chose to have a collage photo with a beautiful quote to remember loved ones on their wedding day. Placed in a quiet alcove of their reception room, anyone could pay their respects privately and spend a few moments remembering cherished moments.

Sam & Matt

Sam's dad was sadly not with her for her special day. During our meetings it was abundantly clear just how much he had meant to her. Since childhood, her one dream had always been to come down the stairs at home and see her dad waiting for her. Although this could not happen on the wedding day, we did our best to give her a vision of that dream.

One other photo that both Sam and her mother wished to recreate was one from her mother and fathers wedding day. As the wedding ceremony took place at Langtons where they got married this one was easy to do.

Courtney & Flynn

Courtney wished for her father to be present in at least one of her photos, having seen previous photos we had done for other couples she knew what she wanted and so we created this one for her.

Erica & Steve

Erica & Steve chose to have photos of loved ones with a candle on a table at the entrance to their reception venue so all their guests could join them in remembering.

Emma & Andy

Emma's chose to have a memory charm for her bouquet depicting a photograph of her beloved grandfather. On her wedding day a feather floated down in front of her. Many believe that if a feather crosses your path then it's your angel telling you that your loved ones who are in heaven are safe and well. Emma immediately added it to the locket containing her lucky sixpence.

Kim shared with us a few experiences from her years in the wedding industry.

"One groom had lost his father who was a post man so he had a postmen teddy on a chair in the ceremony and then it was moved with a picture to the top table , also a bride asked me to make little poses to put on the front chairs for parents that had passed away,a memory table with photos of people with a lovely flower arrangment at the reception always looks nice , I think what ever is appropriate to the people"

"My gran passed away 3 weeks before our wedding. I had some of her funeral flowers on the sideboard where we all got ready in the morning at my mums but I know that's very unusual! She had a lot of classic sayings which my brother managed to weave into a blessing that he shared at our service! I had her wedding photos at the church, and I used her table cloth on our signing the register table and some lanterns she had in her home at the front of our aisle:)for me it was all about the less obvious little details that people won't have known but I did and that's what mattered. Gran called everyone flop'ead and Brad & I made her this for christmas so we had it on the doorway to our reception venue "

Graces photos were taken by Hannah Mia Photography

"I had a very nervous experience, the father of the groom had passed suddenly a few days prior to the wedding day so I was asked to put lots of images onto my TV screen - I was very worried as this could have been too soon for such a touching gesture but it went down so well, a real success. I have also seen candles lit with a memory table which I love, more recently I had an event where the table was laid with places for absent family members."

"My mother in Law died a couple of months before my wedding day.

We got the vicar to mention her in the ceremony and put her picture and some words on the back page of our order of service."

Rachel from Veiled Productions

"I plan to play a song which is very special to my family. Its a song my grandad sang to us all from the musical Oliver twist. It was played at his funeral and I'd like to play it towards the end of the night. It will be hugely random in amongst party songs but I think it will work if the DJ announces it and explains why it was special."

"My hubby's mum passed away before we met and on our wedding day we went to the cemetry inbetween the service and Reception to put my bouquet on her grave. It made us feel she had a part in our day too."

"For some that may find usual ideas a bit distressing on the day I offer something more subtle that others might not pick up on - like including a favourite song on a playlist, as entrance or first dance.

Or something stitched into the dress or suit that belonged to the loved one."

Sophie from S A Floristry

"Had a beautiful bouquet last year that I put a locket on in memory of her nan. I think it's a lovely thing to do"

(Photo taken by Two-D Photography)

All of these ideas just go to show that including loved ones in your wedding celebrations is deeply personal and what is right for one couple will not be right for another. But, as long as it done in the name of love we believe you should go whichever way your heart leads you.

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Thank you Mark, you are so right, never an easy subject but one that comes up in conversations with couples all the time.


Unknown member
Nov 15, 2023

This is a very good article on such a delicate subject - some lovely ideas to help couples involve love ones who have passed x

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