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How to Honor Deceased Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day

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?

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 loved ones in your family have passed away, you may feel that something is 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 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.

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. This will make the windows easier to fold to transport.
  6. Include some votive candles or a framed poem and display them on a table alone or even on your guest book table.

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 them 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 a 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.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Holidappy

Questions & Answers

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

Answer: I am.

© 2011 DIYweddingplanner


Wendy Marshall on October 03, 2017:

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

sandra crane on August 28, 2017:

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 (author) from South Carolina, USA on April 07, 2013:

Thank you, Singlennew. I wrote it myself.

singlennew on April 07, 2013:

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

Diyweddingplanner on October 17, 2012:

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

Sharyn Feller on October 17, 2012:

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 (author) from South Carolina, USA on April 18, 2012:


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!

Sam on April 18, 2012:

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

DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on January 24, 2012:

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 on January 24, 2012:

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 (author) from South Carolina, USA on November 09, 2011:

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 from USA on November 09, 2011:

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 (author) from South Carolina, USA on November 09, 2011:

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 from The Zoo on November 09, 2011:

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 from North Carolina on November 09, 2011:

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)))

Cheryl Simonds from Connecticut on November 09, 2011:

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

DIYweddingplanner (author) from South Carolina, USA on November 09, 2011:

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

gzbraniac from San Clemente, CA on November 09, 2011:

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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