9 meaningful big day ways to honor loved ones who have passed away

1. Wendi Hroncich, founder of Seattle-based Ethereal Events, recommends wearing a treasured memento from your loved one, such as your mother’s pearls or your grandmother’s brooch.

2. Consider wrapping your bouquet with lace from your mother’s wedding dress, your grandmother’s rosary or a locket containing your loved one’s photo, suggests Brooke Sheldon, owner of Lilybrooke Events in Kennebunkport, Maine.

3. Because smell is linked with memory, tuck your loved one’s favorite scented bloom into your bouquet, advises Emily Ayer, art director for Southern Weddings Magazine.

4. Remember an important loved one by leaving a single stem of his or her favorite flower on the chair where he or she would have sat during the ceremony, says Ayer.

5. Commemorate all lost loved ones with a special note in the wedding program or a brief announcement by the officiant, says Hroncich.

6. Ayer suggests including your loved one’s favorite hymn or reading in the ceremony.

7. “Ask your caterer to include a special family recipe in the reception dinner,” says Sheldon. Add a brief note to the menu that explains the background For example: “Pumpkin Spice Soup, made from a family recipe, in loving memory of Grandma Gladys.”

8. Honor a loved one with the music, says Hroncich. For example, if your father has passed away, you might play his favorite song during the cake cutting or anniversary dance.

9. Sheldon suggests setting aside a special table with framed photos of all the important couples in your lives. Make it a multi-generational tableau (best friends, siblings, parents, grandparents, etc.) that includes both those who have passed and those who will be present as you celebrate your future.

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