When it comes to planning a tribute for a loved one at your wedding, first consider these three things:
How fresh is the wound? You want to recognize that person without placing a sad mood over your celebration. If your loved one passed a few months prior to the wedding, you'll need to handle a tribute differently than if you've had time to grieve properly. You have to find your personal comfort level. And although you think you're strong enough to hold it together, you also want to think about how the tribute will make your guests feel.
How much attention to you want to draw to this tribute? Dealing with death is a very personal matter. Consider whether the tribute will be for your eyes only or if you want a public message to acknowledge your loved one (or a combination of both). If you plan to have any kind of public tribute, it's recommended that you tell others who were close to the deceased beforehand so they aren't caught off guard.
What's most appropriate for that person? Think about the personality of the loved one you want to honor. Did she love being the center of attention, or did she avoid the spotlight? What were her favorite activities, interests and hobbies? What connected you and helped you bond? By looking at your relationship, you'll be able to decide what's most appropriate.
Here are a few ways to honor your loved one:
1. Wear something that reminds you of that person. This is one of the most private ways to honor your lost loved one -- no one will know unless you tell them. It's also a great way to keep that person close to your heart without drawing attention to their absence. For instance, you can wear their earrings, incorporate a favorite photo, a handkerchief or another small momento into your bouquet.
2. Light a candle. A single candle on a table in the entrance or near your cake display can make a strong statement. Using a flameless candle will reflect that this person's memory will live on forever.
3. Dedicate a part of the ceremony to that person. For one of your readings, you could choose your loved one's favorite poem or story. Or you can play their favorite song as you walk down the aisle.
4. Have a moment of silence. Particularly for religious people, having a moment of silence within your house of worship is a powerful way to acknowledge a lost loved one. Usually, the moment of silence occurs right after your walk down the aisle.
For more ideas, check out our source, 10 Powerful Ways to Honor Lost Loved Ones.