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A lot of people think of Memorial Day as just a three day weekend to start summer, wedding season, and summer office hours. But, the holiday was started to be a day of remembrance for people who died in service to our country. For a lot of people, their wedding contains a similar bittersweet mixture of fun, love and somber reflection. If you've lost a loved one - a parent, grandparent, or dear friend - finding appropriate ways to include your loved ones in your wedding can be difficult.
There are a lot of different ways you can honor your loved ones on your wedding day, without turning your wedding into a memorial service, here are some of our favorites:
• Have a memorial table with candles for each person you'd like to honor. Consider placing a photo of the loved one, or a card with his or her name in front of the candle. The bride and groom can light the candles privately before or after the ceremony, or as part of the ceremony itself.
• You can list your loved ones in your wedding program with a brief message of love and thanks.
• Add a special song or reading to your ceremony or reception. It can be a song that your relative loved, a song in his or her memory, or a hymn. Your band leader, soloist, or DJ should have recommendations for you.
• Many religions have special prayers for such situations, discuss the matter with your officiant. You can also have a less personal prayer at the beginning of your ceremony for people to remember all the loved ones who can not be there.
• Talk to your florist about adding small photo charms to your bouquet, or wrapping a photo of the loved one into the stem of your bouquet. The charm above is available from Etsy seller, Candace 2 Bridal Bouquet Charms.
• Many people leave an empty chair where the deceased would be sitting during the ceremony. Another idea is to place a single flower on that chair.
Are there any other great ideas? Share them in the comments.
For more wedding planning ideas and great wedding entertainment, don't forget to check out our wedding resource guide.