How to Honor Deceased Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day (Plus a Poem of Remembrance)

Updated on September 24, 2019
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I love sharing wedding ideas to help people on their special day.

How can you honor the memory of a loved one who is no longer with us?
How can you honor the memory of a loved one who is no longer with us? | Source

The Missing Guests: Those Who Have Passed Away

It's one of the most important days of your life: the day you choose to commit to sharing your life with the person you love. The ring, the cake, the flowers, the dress. Everything's perfect—or is it?

If you have loved ones in your family who have passed away, a little bit of joy may be missing from the happy celebration. A wedding day is meant to be shared with family and close friends, but it may seem a bit empty without that special person there to enjoy the festivities with you. Maybe it's your father who won't be there to walk you down the aisle. Maybe it's your mother who can't share in the joy of planning your big day. It could be a beloved grandparent you were close to who has now passed away. Regardless of who it is, there's a definite void in your day that nothing can really fill.

However, there are ways to honor those who have passed on that are beautiful and meaningful tributes, which can be a precious addition to your wedding.

A lovely and unique idea is to display old photos inside vintage window panes
A lovely and unique idea is to display old photos inside vintage window panes | Source

Original Ways to Honor Deceased Loved Ones

Many couples choose to designate a special table at the reception for pictures of lost family members, beautifully framed. Others choose to use memorial candles which are a nice touch and something that can be easily personalized to your wedding colors or turned into a DIY project.

Although both of the methods described above are lovely, they are not so very original or unique. Here's an idea that's a bit more unusual and unique.

How to Make a Vintage Window Pane Photo Frame

  1. Go to a salvage yard and find an old window or two, maybe even three, depending on their size. Make sure the majority of the panes of glass are intact because you will be using the panes as picture frames.
  2. Find pictures of loved ones, perhaps from their childhood, their wedding day, or other special times in their lives and photocopy them in black and white to the size of your panes.
  3. Print on cardstock for sturdiness and to make sure the paper doesn't wrinkle.
  4. Use scrapbook dots on the corner of each pane and stick the photocopies on the underside of the glass. You don't have to fill every pane, just fill them randomly until you have a design that looks pleasing.
  5. If you are using more than one window, get some piano hinges (the kind of hinges that bend backward or forward) and connect the windows together. This will make the windows easier to fold to transport.
  6. Include some votive candles or a framed poem and display on a table alone or even on your guest book table.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Photographs inside vintage bottlesMason jar photo displayPhotographs hung on treesRepurpose an old suitcase
Photographs inside vintage bottles
Photographs inside vintage bottles | Source
Mason jar photo display
Mason jar photo display | Source
Photographs hung on trees
Photographs hung on trees | Source
Repurpose an old suitcase
Repurpose an old suitcase | Source

More Creative Ways to Display Photos

Another simple and unique way to create a meaningful photo display is with versatile Mason jars.

Mason Jar Photo Display

  1. Photocopy snapshots of loved ones in black and white and slide inside the Mason jar. Trim to fit, if necessary and reinsert.
  2. Fill the Mason jar with vegetable oil and put the lid back on the jar tightly. The oil gives the photocopied image a translucent effect which is quite beautiful

Vintage Bottle Photo Display

  1. If you have a collection of vintage bottles, you could do the same thing and display on a salvaged mantle.
  2. You could even use a submersible light inside the jars or bottles behind the picture to give it a soft glow.

Tree Photo Collage

  1. This idea works well if the reception is outdoors. Frame the old photos in vintage frames.
  2. Hang them on tree limbs with beautiful ribbon.

Remembrance Poem

Top off your display with a saying or a poem. Remembrance poems that aren't cloying or overly sentimental are hard to find, even with the wealth of material on the Internet. However, if all else fails, here's a simple and meaningful one to include with your tribute to lost family members.

We Remember You

We remember you in the spring

When the world bursts to life

and flowers crest faraway hills and fields.

We remember you in the summer

when the sun bakes our skin

and waves of heat rise from the pavement.

We remember you in the fall

when the cool winds blow

and the sun shines down through rainbow trees.

We remember you in the winter

when our breath hangs still and heavy

in the crisp air and ice sparkles on the grass.

We remember you on this day and always

And want you to know you are always with us.

Questions & Answers

  • Can you please tell me who the author is of the poem, "We Remember You"?

    I am.

© 2011 DIYweddingplanner


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    • profile image

      Wendy Marshall 

      2 years ago

      Ancestral Song

      When we started on our paths

      So many rains ago

      A need was there for helping hands

      To set us on our road

      Lessons learned from those we love

      The village did their part

      Composing all their strength and light

      Into many grateful hearts

      The tune of love and knowledge shared

      To teach us right from wrong

      Each note would flow in harmony

      Their own melody in song

      Time has passed and we have lost

      Great loves along the way

      Family who raised us up from kids

      Friends we played with every day

      Though they no longer walk in step

      We can’t see them by our side

      The love that they instilled in us

      Will forever be our guide

      So on this day of happiness

      When two become as one

      Let’s pause to honor those we loved

      Their song will still be sung

    • profile image

      sandra crane 

      2 years ago

      An invitation to you……

      We wanted you to share our day

      as to us you mean so much.

      You gave us lessons in love and guidance

      with your gentle caring touch.

      We lost you to another world

      a place we cannot see!

      Hopefully you saw the moment

      when Neil got down on one knee.

      We wish you could be with us

      If only for just one day.

      To share with us our happiness

      To send us on our way

      We will toast to absent loved ones and no doubt shed a tear

      as you are our loved ones and we will always hold you dear.

      Always in our hearts and thoughts

      God bless


    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thank you, Singlennew. I wrote it myself.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Could you tell me who the author is of the poem? I really enjoyed it!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Glad to share your work, Sharyn, hope it gave you a little boost!

    • profile image

      Sharyn Feller 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for posting a photo of my memorial photo charm. For brides interested in honoring their loved one, they can visit my shop to see my other charms.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA


      That's an awkward situation in many families, especially if there was no love lost between the parents. However, it is YOUR wedding day and if your father meant something to you and you would like for him to be recognized in some way, a simple picture and a candle should be enough to get the message across, hopefully without starting World War III!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Can you tell me what I can do if bring up my dad may up set some ppl

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, Brielise, I think that's very unselfish of you to try to honor your grandparents on your special day. It's easy for brides to get caught up and think it's all about them, but always nice to see a bride who has her priorities in order.

    • brielise profile image


      8 years ago

      These are absolutely beautiful ideas. I would love to honor my grandparents at my wedding and was trying to think of ways to create a display. Very creative and I will definitely be drawing from them!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for reading and the nice comments. I decided to write something that wouldn't drive you crazy this time. I love the bottles, too. I think I'll try coloring some pretty wine bottles with glass paint and use it at my next wedding.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      8 years ago from USA

      These are lovely ideas for including memories of the missing wedding guest! I especially like the idea of photos in the vintage bottles, which would draw attention to the photographs without detracting from the happiness of the wedding day. Voted up!

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, CherylOne, I appreciate you stopping by to read.

      Denise! Haven't seen you around, but not writing as much as I used to, because I've been concentrating on my wedding planning business...time-consuming stuff, but definitely where my heart is. I miss you, too!

      And thanks, too, Mrs. Menagerie. It's a little tricky to create remembrances without the day seeming more like a funeral than a celebration, but I definitely think there are ways to pull it off and make it a beautiful part of the wedding day.

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      8 years ago from The Zoo

      Oh, this hub is really beautiful. My father died before any of his three daughters had married. At each of these three weddings there was this huge emptiness that we didn't know how to address without seeming morbid...a sentiment that does not belong at a wedding. Your ideas are are so lovely and tasteful...I wish I had read these ideas years ago. Up and beautiful!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! What a great idea...don't know that I would have even considered something like this so it's a wonderful idea to tuck away.

      You are one creative gal-the displays are clever ways to include those loved ones who are missing. But, it is your poem that really touched me.

      Rated up-awesome/beautiful and useful

      I hope you are doing well...we really dropped off the radar with each other didn't we? Miss you and your terrific sense of humor! (((Hugs)))

    • cherylone profile image

      Cheryl Simonds 

      8 years ago from Connecticut

      Great Hub. I love the ideas. Thank you for sharing.

    • DIYweddingplanner profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from South Carolina, USA

      Thanks, GZ. That would be my dad for me...unfortunately, most men don't stand a chance!

    • gzbraniac profile image


      8 years ago from San Clemente, CA

      This is great. I was looking for a way to honor my granddad . . . best man I ever knew! He's the standard by which I measured all men!


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