12 Ways to Honor Deceased Loved Ones at Your Wedding

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Kristin Sweeting / TheKnot.com
Photo by Kristin Sweeting

Your wedding day is a celebration with loved ones, so it's only natural to want to include those relatives who have passed away. Your inclusion of a deceased relative can be as subtle as a symbolic white rose in your bouquet or as public as a moment of silence at the ceremony, and we rounded up 12 more ways below. A tip: Check in with any close relatives who may be sensitive to the death, and then decide how you want to honor their presence in your life without turning the wedding into a memorial service.

Pin their photos to your bouquet.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Kristin Sweeting / TheKnot.com

Kristin Sweeting

Set up a memory table at the reception with photos of family and friends who have passed away.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: CYoung Photography / TheKnot.com

CYoung Photography

From the album: A Coastal Garden Wedding in California

Lay a flower from your bouquet on an empty seat at the ceremony.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Laura Ivanova Photography / TheKnot.com

Laura Ivanova Photography

From the album: A Vintage Garden Wedding in Rochester, NY

Include a family recipe on the menu.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Heather Ann Design & Photograph / TheKnot.com

Heather Ann Design & Photography

From the album: A Sweet Indoor Wedding in New Orleans, LA

Add a flower arrangement in their honor on the altar, then include a note about it in the program. (Tip: Gladiolus, rosemary, pansies and statice are flowers that signify remembrance!)

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Photo by Aubrey / TheKnot.com

Photo by Aubrey

From the album: A Bright Whimsical Wedding in New York, NY

Include their favorite flowers in your bouquet.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Jodi Miller Photography / TheKnot.com

Jodi Miller Photography

From the album: A Romantic Garden Wedding in Norfolk, VA

Have a moment of reflection at the beginning of the ceremony.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: STUDIO 1250 / TheKnot.com

STUDIO 1250

From the album: A Chic Romantic Outdoor Wedding in Charleston, SC

Light a candle for them during the ceremony.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Justin DeMutiis Photography / TheKnot.com

Justin DeMutiis Photography

From the album: A Classic Timeless Wedding in Tampa, FL

Offer a special favor for guests at your reception in your loved one's memory and include a sign to explain the token. (“Take a cigar for Jim!")

Select one of their favorite songs for the ceremony music or reception playlist.

Toast to them at the reception.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Hot Metal Studio / TheKnot.com

Hot Metal Studio

From the album: A Vintage Chic Wedding in Pittsburgh, PA

In lieu of favors, make a donation to a charity that your loved one supported.

Ways to honor deceased loved ones at your wedding: Luminaire Images / TheKnot.com

Luminaire Images

From the album: A Playful Modern Wedding in Los Angeles, CA

See More!

> Ask Carley: How to honor deceased relative at wedding?

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