Yesterday we remembered those we have lost and those who fought for our country. Sometimes a celebration like your wedding day can be difficult when someone you love is unable to be with you to join in on the joy of the day. We like to think that they are right there with us enjoying all of the festivities - not missing a single smile or laugh. Many couples will honor their friends and family with a memorial table of photos from that person's wedding day (as the cover picture shows), but there are several other ways you can also honor them in big and small ways.
A Simple and Elegant Memorial Table
If you are looking for a more understated option to show love for those you have lost this is a great look for you. Simply get a small buffet table or a cocktail round with a linen. Print the names of your loved ones in a decorative frame and have one single rose in a single bud vase for each of the names. For this option there are no photos needed, but you can add a cute saying, quote, or verse in the frame with the list of names. I recently had a bride select this option and she had many comments on how beautiful and classy it looked.
Double Duty as Your "Something Old"
Pin something from your loved one on to your bridal bouquet. I have seen brides pin pictures, lockets, charms, jewelry...you name it! The item can also double as your "something old" or "something borrowed" item as well. You can give this to the florist ahead of time or you can choose to have your coordinator/planner pin it on right before you walk down the aisle after all of your initial pictures. It is a nice way to have your loved one right there with you as you walk down the aisle.
Jewelry or a Broach from a Loved One
A great way to discretely honor someone is to wear jewelry, a broach, a pin, a hair clip, etc. that belonged to them. It is just a bonus that vintage jewelry is very trendy!
Save a Seat
If the person you are honoring was immediate family a nice way to honor them is to reserve an empty seat with the rest of your family. There are several ways you could display this. Below is a list of examples to choose from or combine them to make your own!
- A reserved sign on the seat with "In Loving Memory...and their name"
- A seat with just a program on it
- A seat with a program and a single flower
- A seat with a framed photo
- Place a single flower on an empty chair as part of the beginning of your ceremony. I knew a bride that lost both of her parents and it was incredibly touching to see her place a rose on two empty chairs in the front row as soon as she reached the end of the aisle before she met her groom.
Honoring Fallen Heroes
If you are familiar with military etiquette you know that a Fallen Soldier table is common at military events and even weddings. It is how you honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. If both families have a military background you might actually have someone perform the ceremony and read the symbolism out loud before dinner is served. You can also choose to have it set in a corner of the dinning room somewhere and not draw any other attention to it. There is a step-by-step process to set it up correctly and each item has a symbolic meaning.
- Cover a small table (cocktail table lowered) with a white linen.
- Set one place setting (plate, bread plate, silverware, and napkin) to show that you wish the fallen could be celebrating with you.
- Place a white taper candle in a candleholder off to the left or right of the place setting. This represents the light of hope. You don't ever actually light the candle.
- Place a rose in a single bud vase. This represents the love and faith of the families of those who serve.
- Tie a yellow or red ribbon to the flower vase. Yellow represents loyalty of those waiting for their family to return and red represents the memory of those missing in action.
- Place a wine glass upside down. This represents that the fallen will not be able to join in on the toasts that evening.
- Place a lemon wedge on the bread plate to symbolize the bitter loss of life.
- Sprinkle salt over the lemon wedge to symbolize the families tears over the fallen soldier.
- Add a single chair to the table. This is often times leaned up against the table as pictured.
Whether you want to honor them in a big or small way it is always nice to remember those you love who can't be physically with you to celebrate. It reminds us that they are celebrating with us in a very special way and are gone, but certainly not forgotten.
Until next time...Happy Planning! - XO, Tamara
Cover Photo Credit: Studio 220 Photography