Alyssa
Dedicated June 2018

Honoring my late father at the wedding

Alyssa, on Dec 7, 2017 at 12:39 PM Posted in Wedding Attire

Hello fellow wedding planners!

My father passed away when I was 14, and wedding planning has become very emotional.

I plan on having a reserved sign on a seat for the ceremony with his photo and a poem.

My uncle will be walking me down about 3/4 of the way and then will hand me to my mom who will give me away.

He will also dance with me during the father daughter dance, while we are dancing I plan on have a photo/video slide show of me and my dad.

My dad was my best friend and I miss him so much but I also don't want to over do it on honoring him on the big day. Any other brides going through this ?

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39 Comments

  • LB
    Master November 2016
    LB ·

    While this is absolutely lovely I would truly consider how it will affect the mood of your wedding. Do you think people will cry while you dance with your uncle and the pictures are displayed? Do you think seeing that empty chair during the ceremony will have you focus on that instead of the fact that you're marrying your FS? I think its nice to see people who are no longer with us honored at weddings, but feel that its best done when kind of low key.

    That being said, this is such a personal decision that only you can make.

  • OG Kathryn
    Master May 2016
    OG Kathryn ·

    Does your family know of this plan? A lot of people dont like the reserved seat, its a little morbid and may make some people really sad. I understand the sentiment but i dont know.

  • Alyssa
    Dedicated June 2018
    Alyssa ·

    Yes my mom is actually the one who suggested the empty seat. And I defiantly don't want the mood of the wedding to be somber which is why I am a little hesitant on the photo slideshow but I feel like it may bring me some comfort since he won't get to actually be there

  • EngineerInLove
    VIP September 2018
    EngineerInLove ·

    I'm sorry for your loss, it's difficult to lose someone but especially so young.

    I am personally not a fan of the reserved seat in the ceremony and the slideshow. The reason for that is it focuses on the sorrow and if it's still very painful for people, it can make them uncomfortable. Memorial tables are a very thoughtful way of achieving what you're going for without surprising your guests with a whole lot of emotions they weren't prepared for on an already emotional day.

  • Monica
    Dedicated June 2018
    Monica ·

    It's really whatever you want to do, but I would be careful of making sure it's not going to feel like a funeral. my friends mom died a year before her wedding and she had pictures of her mom everywhere and used all of her mom's favorite flowers and was the bride was actually weeping all the way down the isle, the officiant had to wait a few minutes for her to pull herself together. Not that I didn't have compassion for her because I can't imagine how hard that is, it just felt really sad and kind of took away from the happiness of their day.

  • Alyssa
    Dedicated June 2018
    Alyssa ·

    It's kind of hard to not want that person's representation in one of the biggest days of your life. But I also don't want to give off the funeral vibe. I think I will keep the reserved seat and maybe lose the slide show. I know for me it's like o just want him there. And he can't be. And it's not fair. And I just want to feel like a piece of him is there with me. But I also want to celebrate marrying my best friend

  • OG Kathryn
    Master May 2016
    OG Kathryn ·

    Could you do the slide show at your rehearsal dinner? I would be a complete mess if i had to watch that the day of my wedding.

  • Alyssa
    Dedicated June 2018
    Alyssa ·

    That could be an option. I didn't even think of that. I just don't want it to feel random

  • B
    Expert July 2017
    Becky ·

    My dad passed away before my wedding, and I wore a locket with his picture in it. That way he could be close with me, but it wasn't upsetting to me (or anyone else). I think I would have cried like a baby if the chair had been there empty, and I know my mom would have been a puddle too. We also had pictures on the guest book table of my parents and H's parents with all of our grandparents on their wedding days.

    My brother walked me down the aisle (and I danced with him to the song my dad gave me my nickname with) and when the officiant asked who presents this woman, he replied "on behalf of those who are here, and those who could not be, I do"

    You have to do what makes you (and your family) comfortable but I think a slide show and an empty chair may be upsetting - you're already going to be emotional (and probably missing him extra)

  • OG Kathryn
    Master May 2016
    OG Kathryn ·

    Why dont you add a charm to your bouquet with a picture of him so that hes there with you? hed be walking with you down he aisle.

  • Going to the chapel
    Master July 2017
    Going to the chapel ·

    I'm team no seat and no slideshow. Your dad would want you to be happy on your wedding day. He would want your family and guests to have a great time, not be sad. Honor him in a small way, perhaps a memorial table with a picture and a mention in the program if you are having one. Play his favorite song. Have your officiant mention him during the ceremony. Those touches are lovely and low key.

  • Alyssa
    Dedicated June 2018
    Alyssa ·

    I am doing old family wedding photos as well. We are using an antique hutch for the cake and desserts but prior to that cake it will be the gift table and we will arrange the photos.

    I am not having the officiant mention my dad. I don't want to take anything away from our ceremony.

    I think the empty seat is such a beautiful thing. It's your way of making room for them and not having them be forgotten. I've been to a few wedding with an empty seat for a mother and a grandfather. I didn't find either of them to be distracting from the wedding ceremony.

    Thank you for all the feed back ladies. I will be omitting the slideshow

  • Mrs PNW Nugget
    Beginner September 2018
    Mrs PNW Nugget ·

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My dad passed away two years ago and wedding planning has definitely hard with him not being here to do all the father/daughter things. I thought about the chair thing for a while but I know me and once I see that chair on that day there will be no stopping the waterworks. As it is, I'll have a hard enough time not thinking about it while walking down the aisle. I also thought about playing a video of us dancing at my 15s for the father/daughter dance but again, too much for me and prob my family so I'm just skipping it. As of now, I'm planning on having a bracelet with a charm containing some of his ashes and a memorial table for all the ones my FH and I have lost. I've also seen charms that go in your bouquet or on the back of your shoes with your dad's picture. Agree with PP, as much as we'd like to honor our dads, there's a fine line between that and having it feel depressing/like a funeral. At the end of the day it's whatever helps you feel better the day off but also think of your families reactions and the mood it will set.

  • B
    Expert July 2017
    Becky ·

    I understand where you're coming from on the chair - and it is a beautiful idea - only you can know how you will react - I, personally, could not have handled seeing the chair - but I also started to full on ugly cry when dancing with my brother (he teased me out of it)

  • Janel
    Expert September 2018
    Janel ·

    FH wants the reserved seat for his mom but a slideshow would remind me of her funeral which was two years ago.

  • Sanok2Be!
    Super September 2018
    Sanok2Be! ·

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    My father passed away a year ago Dec. 13th. I was toying with the idea of what to do to have a little reminder so I have decided to have a charm of my dad hang off my bouquet and since we are having board games as center pieces I am going to have his favorite as one of them.

    I did not like the empty seat idea. To me that is to glaring that he will not be there and even more so because this past September I lost a very close friend of mine and the family. She was another sister to me and my sister so I want to have something for her too. But the chair I think will just make it worse for me and also for her mom and sister who I am inviting to the wedding. So she will be right next to my dad on my bouquet.

  • Sanok2Be!
    Super September 2018
    Sanok2Be! ·

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    My father passed away a year ago Dec. 13th. I was toying with the idea of what to do to have a little reminder so I have decided to have a charm of my dad hang off my bouquet and since we are having board games as center pieces I am going to have his favorite as one of them.

    I did not like the empty seat idea. To me that is to glaring that he will not be there and even more so because this past September I lost a very close friend of mine and the family. She was another sister to me and my sister so I want to have something for her too. But the chair I think will just make it worse for me and also for her mom and sister who I am inviting to the wedding. So she will be right next to my dad on my bouquet.

    As for walking me down the aisle and the dance, my om will be walking me down the aisle and we will also dance together!

  • Sanok2Be!
    Super September 2018
    Sanok2Be! ·

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    My father passed away a year ago Dec. 13th. I was toying with the idea of what to do to have a little reminder so I have decided to have a charm of my dad hang off my bouquet and since we are having board games as center pieces I am going to have his favorite as one of them.

    I did not like the empty seat idea. To me that is to glaring that he will not be there and even more so because this past September I lost a very close friend of mine and the family. She was another sister to me and my sister so I want to have something for her too. But the chair I think will just make it worse for me and also for her mom and sister who I am inviting to the wedding. So she will be right next to my dad on my bouquet.

    As for walking me down the aisle and the dance, my om will be walking me down the aisle and we will also dance together!

  • ACD
    Expert October 2018
    ACD ·

    So sorry for your loss! My dad passed away two years ago so this has been a tough one for me too. I too thought about doing all these ways of honoring him but decided in the long run, this day was about me and my FH, not about my dad although he will be greatly missed that day. I am going to have a picture charm of him on my bouqet that only I and the people that know about it will know as well as have a candle buring that says something like "this candle burns in memory of those who are forever in our hearts". My mom is walking me down the aisle and I am not doing a father daughter dance just becuase I personally don't feel comfortable with someone taking the place of something that my father would do.

  • Monica
    Dedicated June 2018
    Monica ·

    I think you're good with the empty seat and nixing the slide show. The charm on the boquet is nice too and would be a nice photo for you to remember him by later on. It sounds like the empty seat means a lot to you and it wont be as upfront as the slide show, it's not like people will be walking up to hair chair and looking at it during the ceremony so I really don't think the chair is a big deal. Becky has some great ideas too. You could watch the slide show the night before with your mom and immediate family or something just to kind of remember him the night before? I think the rehearsal dinner would be kind of awkward because there's lots of people from FH sides at the rehearsal dinner who wouldn't have known him. Whatever makes you feel the most at peace.

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