Weddings are meant to be full of happy moments—from starting a new journey as a couple and the joining of families to the dreams and excitement for the future. But amidst all the love and laughter, it’s also a time when we may feel the absence of a loved one the most.
If you have a special person (or pet!) that can’t physically be at your wedding, but you still want to acknowledge their presence in spirit, here are 19 unique ways to pay homage to their memory and give them a loving tribute on your big day.
1. Carry Them With You
A photo locket or bouquet pin means you can carry your loved one(s) with you as you walk down the aisle. Our favorite modern lockets are from Sincerely Capri, a small women-owned business that offers a modern twist to the timeless heirloom locket. Available as necklaces or a pin, the lockets can be customized to include photos, birthstones, monograms, or even a watercolor rendering.
2. Hold Their Paw Print
And yes, with Sincerely Capri even a customized locket can be created so your special fur babies will never be far from your side. Simply send them a picture, ink print, or clay mold of your pet's paw and they will engrave their name + pawprint on the back of your photo locket. Talk about a tribute!
3. Let Their Love Bloom
Another way to "carry them with you" is to incorporate some of your loved one’s favorite blooms into the bouquet, boutonniere, or even the table centerpieces or ceremony arrangements. Flowers are a beautiful way to have a small reminder of them surrounding you on your big day.
4. Hold Their Treasures
You can also carry one of their treasured items as your "Something Borrowed" or "Something Blue". Whether that be a pair of pearl earrings, a jeweled vintage brooch, or Grandpa’s old pocket watch, they’ll provide a sense of closeness as you wear them on your wedding day.
5. Serve Their Drinks
Highlight the drinks they were known for by serving them as your signature cocktails. Did Nana love her negronis? Did Pops have a favorite brand of bourbon? Create a custom drink menu to let your guests know what they’re sipping on—and why they're so special.
6. Honor Them During Your Ceremony
Natachia Miller Photography
Read one of their favorite poems or scripture during the vows, or include a tribute to them in your program. Incorporating words they loved or lived by into your ceremony is a seamless way to make them a part of it. You may also ask your Officiant to include a moment of silence during the ceremony to honor their memory.
7. Toast To Them
Raise your glass to them during the speeches to acknowledge their presence and affirm that they’ll never be far from your heart.
8. Pour Out a Little Liquor
Saphire Event Group at Avenir | Bay Productions
To pour out an alcoholic beverage is a symbol of reverence for those we have lost. At your reception, you may want to pour out some champagne to symbolize the act of sharing a drink with loved ones who couldn't be there.
9. Plant a Tree in Their Honor
Let their love and memory continue to flourish by planting a tree or flowers in their honor. Trees are also symbols of unity, family, growth, and change, so it's a beautifully symbolic way to add more meaning to your celebration.
10. Recreate Their Favorite Recipe
Include one of their favorite family recipes as part of the menu, pass their signature app during cocktail hour, or serve their favorite late-night snack. You can even give out recipe cards as favors so your guests can carry on the legacy in their own kitchens.
11. Remember Them Through Music
Dance to their favorite song at your reception. Or if playing music was one of their favorite pastimes, put on an impromptu concert.
12. Make a Donation in Their Name
In lieu of gifts, opt to have guests donate to a charity or cause they were passionate about. Or in lieu of party favors, let everyone know that you’ve made a donation in their name.
13. Save Them a Seat
Save them a seat during the wedding ceremony and/or reception by including a photo of them, or mark the chair with one of their belongings like a favorite jacket or hat.
14. Include Them in your Portraits
Save them a place on your shot list by taking a formal portrait with their smiling face.
15. Showcase Their Wedding Photos
Recreate one of their wedding photos with your new spouse, or blow up their wedding photos to grace your reception space with fond memories.
16. Set Up a Memory Table
Pay homage to loved ones that have passed by placing their photos on a memory table, along with a sweet sign that says, "We know you would be here today if heaven wasn't so far away".
17. Light a Candle
Let their legacy burn bright with a candle that stays lit throughout the event.
18. Express your Sentiments
Place a sentimental saying or quote on a sign to acknowledge that although you may not physically see them, you believe they’re right there—enjoying every second of your beautiful day.
19. Commission an Artwork
Commission a custom piece of wedding art that includes your angel, and give it a forever place in your newlywed home.
We know that nothing can replace lost loved ones, or make up for the fact that they won’t be present at such an emotional and momentous event. But at least you can have some peace in knowing they’ll live on in your memories—and that their presence will be both seen and felt on your big day.
Looking for the most meaningful wedding gift? Meet the Bridal Bouquet Locket Collection
Bring a touch of love down the aisle with the Bridal Bouquet Locket Collection from Sincerely Capri.
Give the bride the gift of memories right at her fingertips as she walks down the aisle. These beautiful lockets can be pinned onto her bouquet so she can carry the memories of her loved ones with her as she says, 'I Do.'
Choose from a range of lockets to store her favorite photos. Sincerely Capri will take care of the printing and engraving.
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