10 Ideas for Remembering Your Loved Ones on Your Big Day

Make it a Personal, Happy Reflection

Leading up to your big day there are a lot decisions to be made. A few of those will force you to take a break from the sunshine and rainbows {or rather florals and fondant} to take a short trip through the darker side of your emotions.


Some of us have lost an important person, not everyone that we love is still here with us to participate in celebrating finding the man of our dreams. It may cross your mind that you don’t want any somberness involved in your wedding day; however you can still pay tribute to those no longer with us in a tasteful way. When I get married the most influential person in my life, my mother, will not be able to attend, but you better believe there will be a nod {or 12} to that amazing woman on my wedding day.


There are a plethora of options for us to remember our loved ones while continuing to celebrate. No one but you can decide the best way to do so. The trick is finding a way that lets you reflect for a moment and then carry on. My mom loved Diet Pepsi and Raleigh cigarettes; but neither of those items really fit into my idea of my wedding day. I haven’t quite figured out how I will be celebrating the woman that gave me life during my nuptials, but I know I will be. I have listed 10 ideas with multiple spin offs to get your brain storming in the right direction for remembering that special someone. This is to help motivate you to create the perfect memorial; so that the sun may shine again on the planning process!

Photo | Switzerfilm

Remember to make it your own…

  1. Wearables:

Place lockets of photos on your bridal bouquet, pictures of your loved ones or handwritten letters you’ve saved sewn into your wedding gown, a broach bouquet made from her jewelry, or wear their wedding ring as a bracelet. For him – grandparents photos pinned to suit jacket, cufflinks of his, lace from her wedding dress tied around the boutonniere, your groomsmen can even wear the ties once worn by him.

Florals | Tina Barera     Photo | John Koch

Photo | Laura Ann Miller Photography

2. Donations:

Make a charitable donation in that special person’s name in lieu of a wedding favor. You can place a scroll at each place setting or include this information on a program or menu as a way for others to remember with you.

3. Florals:

Reserve a seat for someone that couldn’t be there with a single flower at either the ceremony or reception, place a single flower at each place setting {Note: Gardenia blooms are gorgeous}. My sister went a different route and had a vase of my mother’s favorite flower, cala lilies, displayed at the alter.

Photo | Laura Ann Miller Photography

4. Photos:

Display old photos in a vintage window frame or inside vintage bottles for a more abstract look, or even large framed photos on chairs at the ceremony. For a more private moment take photos in your wedding attire holding the photos of those not with us. For him – photos inside his cufflinks.

5. Music:

A favorite musician or vocalist of your loved one performing acoustically for the ceremony, a song dedicated to them at the reception, a song written in their honer, a family dance to a song at the reception.

Photo | Laura Ann Miller Photography

6. Candles:

Light a candle during the ceremony or have a memory candle at the reception.

7. Make the Ceremony Extra Personal:

Have a family member of the loved one become ordained and include them in your wedding ceremony. Or include their names in your ceremony program.

Event Design | Events Luxe   Photos | Keith Lee

8. Up In The Air:

Release balloons in their honor…or biodegradable confetti or fireworks or raise your sparklers up to the sky.

Photo | Susie Vreeland

9. You Don’t Have to Pick Just One:

Create a memory table including special message signage, photos , candles, florals, specialty linen, or everything combined. {Note: use the niche wall at Lumen to hold these memories}.

Photo | Laura Ann Miller Photography

10. Bubbles and Yums:

Include their favorite food items in the evening’s menu, serve one of their famous recipes, or tray pass one of their favorite cocktails. Have a nostalgic wedding cake by recreating your grandmothers.

Photo |  John Koch 

Photo |  Laura Ann Miller Photography


Whichever route you take down memory lane, just remember today you are surrounded by those who love you that are here to celebrate the two of you and your new beginning!