Honouring Lost Loved Ones

It's no secret that on a wedding day, a couple and their families could feel a million emotions at any given time. Happiness, excitement, nervousness, relief, joy. But after a couple weddings last year, there is one emotion that I kept seeing over and over again that kept shattering my heart into a million different pieces: Sadness that a loved one was not able to join the celebration.

I don't know what it was about this past season where we had lots of deceased parents being commemorated throughout the evenings. And each time, they had their own special way to pay their respects.

In the unfortunate event that this may be something that you are going through (and by the way, no matter how professional we are as wedding planners, we are human first - which means we feel your heartache), here are some heartfelt, bittersweet ways to include them in the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

1. Leave them a seat

Of course, we all would like to believe that our parents, grandparents, siblings and other close family and friends live to see the day we get married. If that is not the case, a great way to include them is to leave them an empty seat at the ceremony, out of respect that they no longer are physically able to attend. Usually this is in the first row. Placing a flower next to a photo on the seat, or having the bride and groom place a flower during the ceremony, is touching and significant gesture.

Courtesy of Shlomi Amiga

Courtesy of Krista Fox

2. Dance in their honour

When it comes time for the traditional father/daughter, mother/son dance, it may be a nice gesture to have the parent&#