I was very fortunate on my wedding day because my dad was able to walk me down the aisle. My dad and I have always had a very special relationship, as I’m sure many women do with their fathers. My husband was also very close to his father, but he passed away a few years before our wedding. Sadly, it was before I met my husband, so I never got to meet his father.

Weddings are an emotional time, made even more emotional by thinking about loved ones who have passed and are not present on that special day. But we can still honor them and feel their presence by creating a memorial to share. Some people light candles, some reserve seats, some make use of photographs. There are many ways to celebrate those who are gone but not forgotten.

At our wedding, we did two things to remember our loved ones: we displayed their photos near the unity candle at the church and lit a separate candle in their honor at the ceremony, and we displayed their photos on a table where guests could see them at the reception. It was a great way to include them, even if they weren’t there physically.

It was really important to us that our deceased loved ones be a part of our wedding. In addition to my husband’s father, my maternal grandfather, my late Godmother and one my bridesmaid’s fathers (my mother’s brother) were celebrated. A wedding isn’t just about the two people saying their vows. When you marry someone, you marry their family and friends. We wanted to make sure that those close to us (even just in our hearts) were there to witness the pledging of our love.

How would you honor your loved ones at your wedding?

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