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Melissa
Savvy September 2023

Honoring a deceased parent

Melissa, on September 27, 2022 at 2:25 PM Posted in Wedding Ceremony 0 8
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Has anyone done this at a wedding? I've heard of leaving a seat open in honor of them. Is there a way to make it more specific? Would it be weird to leave a photo of them, or just a tent card on the chair with their name? It would be for my fiancé's dad. I just want some ideas so I can ask him if it's something he would want.

Thank you all!

8 Comments

Latest activity by Melissa, on September 30, 2022 at 6:57 AM
  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    There are lots of ways to honor deceased loved ones at a wedding: cuff links with his dad's name or photo on them, a reserved sign and a photo of his dad on the chair his dad would have sat in at the wedding, a moment of silence or mention of him during the ceremony, an open place setting at a table for him during the reception, etc. Though I would first discuss with your fiance about how he feels about it. If it would make him sad by seeing an open chair where his dad would be during the ceremony (or anything else that directly acknowledges that his dad isn't present), it might make the wedding feel more like a funeral instead of a happy occasion, and skipping the acknowledgment might be a better option. Otherwise, if it would make him feel better including his dad, find out what ways he wants to incorporate his dad into the wedding, and if he prefers a subtle way (the cuff links, or a rose in his dad's favorite color, etc) or direct/more visible way (making an announcement, photo on a chair, etc).
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  • Melissa
    Savvy September 2023
    Melissa ·
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    Oh yes absolutely I would be asking him first!! For exactly the reasons you mentioned. I kind of didn't want to offer the photo idea because it does feel funeral-esque. So I was wondering what other ideas may be out there. I appreciate the thoughtful response!

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    A lot of couples like to keep the memorial private so that it doesn’t trigger anyone who may be upset by their passing, which does happen and dampens the mood. For example, carrying a picture in a locket attached to the bouquet or incorporating something that reminds you of them without being a blatant reminder to others that they are no longer here. For example, maybe asking the caterer to serve a favorite food of theirs or have a favorite flower of theirs in your decor.
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  • B
    VIP July 2017
    Becky Online ·
    • Flag

    For myself, I would have been *devastated* if we had left a chair empty for my dad (who passed before our wedding).

    Maybe he can dance with his mom to a song that was important to FH and his dad? I like the idea of cuff links. We had a photo of my parents and grandparents and H's parents and grandparents (from each of their weddings) on the table with our sign-in book. At my brother's wedding (6 months after my dad passed) their guest book was pictures of the two of them through the years, so there were a bunch of pictures of our dad in there. Serving a favorite food or beer/wine/mixed drink is another solid idea.

    Probably your best bet is to talk to FH and see how much he would want in the way of honor/remembrance for his dad.

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  • Sara
    Devoted September 2022
    Sara ·
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    I just got married on 9/10 and my now-husband's father passed away 4 months ago. We didn't leave a seat empty, but instead had the pastor mention him by name during our ceremony and how we're missing him and other's who couldn't be present. I think it was a nice touch.

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  • Wattina
    Just Said Yes July 2023
    Wattina ·
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    I will most definitely be doing this at my wedding.

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  • Wattina
    Just Said Yes July 2023
    Wattina ·
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    Amazon has great ideas.

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  • Melissa
    Savvy September 2023
    Melissa ·
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    I guess I should have included this in my original post...his mom is not invited to our wedding. She is not a good person, and without going into detail, all the kids basically disowned her. So unfortunately my FH will have an empty parent seat no matter what. We did talk about this after hearing people's suggestions. His biological father is surviving, but he just reconnected with him after him being absent for his whole life like less than 30 days ago. So no idea how that relationship will develop by the wedding. But he may or may not want him to step into the spot that belonged to his stepfather who was the only parent that was there. I was kind of thinking about the idea Michelle mentioned about the jewelry. Maybe I could get a pocket watch of his stepdad's photo or something. Another thing I thought of is he has two families that were there for him growing up and he thinks of them like parents. Their sons are both going to be in the wedding. So maybe they can sit in the front row and just leave a little space at the end for where his step dad would be. No one would think anything of it probably. I don't know, I'm all ears for more suggestions though as folks think of things! We have plenty of time, but it gives me FH some time to think about what he really wants too.

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