Just the thought of celebrating your wedding day in the absence of a grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, sibling, child or friend can be totally heart-wrenching, especially if you have recently suffered a loss.

However, by channelling your sadness into positivity, you can honour that extra special person in your life by allowing them to join you and other guests in celebrating the exciting times that lie ahead of you and your soon-to-be husband or wife.

You Are Always On My Mind

Losing someone that we are close to is one of the hardest things that we must ever face in our lifetime. However, we all know that our loved ones only want the best for us and wouldn’t want us to mourn them forever. That is why, even though you will no doubt be thinking of this person every day of your life, it is so important to honour them on a day as significant as your wedding day.

Whether they’d have been there helping you get ready, walked you down the aisle, or would have been sat on the front row with a tear in their eye, here are some tasteful ways that you can remember them without the need to shed too many tears of your own.

Wear their photo in a personalised locket, charm or pair of cufflinks

One of the simplest and more discreet ways of keeping a friend or relative close to your heart during your wedding day is to literally wear a photo of them. Grooms may wish to have some cufflinks specially made, whilst brides may prefer to attach a charm to their bouquet or wear a locket that can double up as a beautiful accessory.

Incorporate their favourite flowers

If your special person had a favourite type of bloom or their name is linked to nature in some way, then why not incorporate these flowers or plants into your colour scheme, bouquet, table arrangements or table names?

Feature photos of family members who have passed

Why not place some of your favourite photos of absent friends or family alongside your seating plan, ensuring that everybody gets the chance to engage with them. This will make your special guest feel like, although in spirit, they have had the chance to meet everyone in attendance. You may like to place this framed photograph on a ‘saved’ seat during the ceremony before moving it to your chosen wedding reception venue.

Sew a personal message or name into your wedding gown

If you and a family member or friend shared a personal motto, then a great way to include this on the big day might be to sew a line into your bridal gown. This could be a saying you were both particularly fond of, a lyric from a song played at their funeral, or simply their name and/or a significant date.

Light a candle or lantern in their memory

Lighting a candle is a traditional way to honour the deceased in church, so why not do something similar during your service (if you are to exchange vows in a church) or light a lantern in someone’s memory as the evening approaches? This could be your unique way of saying goodbye whilst also marking the act of moving on to the next phase in your day – the wedding reception.

Dedicate a section to them in your speeches

Finally, while the primary aim for most best men is to get their audience to have a giggle during the speeches at the expense of their best friend, you might like to ask them or one of the other speech-givers to reference those who could not be present on the day. You may or may not wish for them to go into more detail but, if you do, be prepared for handkerchiefs in hands across the room!