Remembering Lost Loved Ones at Your Wedding

A wedding is supposed to be a happy celebration, shared with your nearest and dearest. Sadly, however, if a couple have lost loved ones, the loss is often magnified on special occasions such as weddings.

Although there is nothing that can replace someone that has passed away, there are many ways that they can be honoured and remembered at your wedding, which may ease the pain in some small way. Carefully consider anything dramatic and bear in mind the feelings of others at the wedding ceremony or reception too.

Here are some of the lovely gestures we’ve seen over the years at weddings at The Red Door:

Save a seat

A very physical reminder, an empty seat in honour of the person is a strong symbol of what should’ve been. A single rose or small bouquet on the seat can be a poignant tribute also. (Just remember how visual this tribute is and that it may trigger tears.)


Using the person’s favourite flowers in the bridal bouquets or table decor is a subtle way to include them in your day. Other elegant tributes include placing a photo of the person hidden in the bouquet or using a brooch or hair pin in the stem of the bouquet.


A lit candle in their memory is an elegant tribute and can be placed at the cake table or with the guest signing book.

Framed photo

Photos of happy times with the person provide an opportunity on the day for guests to pause and reflect on their lives. Again, these could be placed on the cake table or next to the guest signing book.

Prayers of the faithful

If you are having a religious wedding ceremony, the prayers of the faithful are a natural opportunity to remember and pray for those that have gone before us.

Ceremony booklet

A subtle mention in the wedding ceremony booklet acknowledges the person without being too upsetting.

Piece of Jewellery

A photo in a locket or a deceased parent’s wedding ring are just some of the ways to ‘wear’ a little piece of the person close to you on your wedding day.


Speeches can be emotional even when everyone is alive and well so this can often be an opportunity to raise a glass in memory of the person.

Wedding favour donation

If the person passed away from an illness such as cancer, it can be a thoughtful gesture to make a donation to a relevant charity instead of wedding favours. Such charities often provide little pins to place at each table setting.

These are only some of the lovely ways we’ve seen couples include their lost loved ones in the wedding day, hopefully making it a little easier on them. A wedding is a day of celebration and it’s important to appreciate all those that are there to share it.

If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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