DIY Bride #18: The Memorial

The joy and anticipation that comes with planning your wedding is incomparable. You are enjoying a type of euphoria that makes it tough for anything to disrupt your smile. Though aware of it from the very beginning, the closer you get to your actual wedding, the more conscious you will become of those loved ones who have passed on.

It’s difficult when you’re planning a wonderful milestone in your life, knowing that special loved one who was taken so early won’t be there. I’m going to guide you so you make sure they are honored appropriately during your wedding and reception.


There’s a lot to take into consideration when it comes to honoring your loved ones at your wedding. There are quite a few factors to take into account:

  • The relationship you had
  • The surviving people
  • The personal interests of your loved one
  • Your Future Spouse (FS)’s feelings
  • What you want people to experience

And this isn’t all the questions you could ask yourself, but I’ve found these are the basics.

Private Recognition

First and foremost, you want to decide whether or not it’s to be a public or private memorial. Sometimes, the loss of someone very close to you is too painful or too personal for a public display. If it is too painful, there are more subtle, private ways to honor your beloved.

  •  Have their picture on your bouquet3
  • Choose private nods to their memory by incorporating things that you and your loved one enjoyed together.
  • Use something of theirs or that reminds you of them in your decor.

What I want you to understand is that how you honor your loved ones is your decision. Be damned anyone who wants to talk shit. You need to do this your way; in a way that feels right to you. However, don’t be blind to other people’s pain. If you lost your mom, and your dad wants to have something very public, listen to his point of view carefully and see if there isn’t a compromise. Both of you are in mourning, be each other’s strength and you will be able to come to a consensus. 

Public Recognition

If you are able to honor your loved one in public, there are quite a few ways to do this.



  1. Have someone walk down the isle with their large picture and flowers or a tall candle lit.
  2. Have a table with the person’s picture on it with candles and flowers.
  3. Keep a large picture and flowers at a dedicated seat in the front row.
  4. Display an easel with their picture and flowers at designated location at the alter.
  5. Have a moment of silence before the ceremony starts to honor the person.


  1. Have the picture at a seat at the headtable with flowers and a candle.
  2. A table dedicated to your loved one by the cake table so it gets recognition.
  3. Have the picture hanging on the head table.

And these are just to name a few. Really there are endless options for honoring your loved one that would be appropriate for your wedding.

More than One Lost

It’s a fact of life that people pass on. I pray that you’re fortunate enough to not have to honor more than is necessary. There are people who have lost quite a few people that they would like honored at their wedding. In this case, you can get pretty creative in the options.


  1. A table dedicated to those lost.
  2. A pathway lined with their pictures.
  3. An eternal flame area with flowers and pictures.

Just to name a few.

Let’s say you have lost quite a few but you want to keep it a little more low key because it’s painful, you could do a cocktail table with a candle, flowers, and a thoughtful sign awknowledging those that have been lost. “I know you would be here today if Heaven wasn’t so far away.” or “In loving memory: Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near. Still lovedd, still missed, and very dear.” Those are the two most common ones I see.

And There’s More

There are an unless amount of options that you have available to you. The key is making the memorial personal, authentic, and classy. There really is no wrong way to honor those you loved. Just keep in mind your true feelings of them and you will do great.


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