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Jessie
Devoted September 2020

What are your thoughts on a Memory Table?

Jessie, on March 26, 2021 at 10:34 AM

Posted in Wedding Reception 78

I've always thought they were sweet, but when I was researching them, I saw not everyone thinks the same way. I wanted to get one of those "we know you would be here if Heaven weren't so far away" signs, along with flowers and a couple candles. Pictures of our loved ones, including my parents who...
I've always thought they were sweet, but when I was researching them, I saw not everyone thinks the same way.


I wanted to get one of those "we know you would be here if Heaven weren't so far away" signs, along with flowers and a couple candles. Pictures of our loved ones, including my parents who passed when I was young. What are your thoughts? Note: we've already had a mini ceremony so this will be our reception only.

78 Comments

  • Squeezy Bean
    Devoted June 2023
    Squeezy Bean ·
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    I think this is a great idea. That way it's more in keeping with the events of the day, and it's a happy memory rather than a sad one.
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  • Cristy
    Master May 2021
    Cristy ·
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    I think it's a great idea. We are doing the same type of thing. Pictures of my mom, whose been gone 19 years, but she never got to see me get married; my dad who passed away just 9 months ago, and FH's dad, who also never got to seem him get married.

    I'm also having bouquet charms made, with my parents' pictures. There are lots of Etsy sellers that make them.

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  • Melissa
    Dedicated September 2021
    Melissa ·
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    This is a very to each their own situation. I will be doing one. My grandfather just passed away. However, if he had not passed away I would still have done it for my late grandmother. I was close to both of them. They were my second parents. Some people have different opinions, I do not see it as a reminder of sadness. It depends on the person, my mom is on board with this and it was her father that passed away. Even if people don't go out of their way to look at it, it is important to ME to have it there. But I am doing bouquet charms as well.

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  • E
    Super July 2023
    Eniale ·
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    Like grief, this is highly personal.

    Since you asked for opinions, mine is that I don't like them at all. I don't believe in an afterlife, so the kitschy "if heaven wasn't so far away" and "they're watching over you" sentiments just make me feel weird. Like I said, this is highly personal.

    I also think that there are better ways to celebrate the lives of those you love than a memorial table. Things like putting their favorite flower in your bouquet or the centerpieces, sneaking a line from their favorite movie into the ceremony, having the DJ play their favorite song, serving their most prized recipe or favorite food or go-to cocktail. These things celebrate the essence of a person, the things that made them special. They are also more likely to garner a smile from guests, even those who were touched deeply by the loss. Seeing you carry grandma's favorite pink rose down the aisle or serve Manhattans because they were dad's drink of choice makes them feel like that legacy truly lives on, much more than a photo on a table.

    Ultimately, however, it is up to you.

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  • Ashley
    Beginner May 2021
    Ashley ·
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    Absolutely go for it! I will be having one for our wedding as it is a way to honor them. I get that some people may miss someone who is gone, however, I feel like a wedding is a day for celebration and knowing that you thought of them and have their pictures displayed is something touching.

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  • A
    Super September 2020
    Alli ·
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    Totally up to you. I personally don’t want any sorrow (conscious or subconscious) at my wedding. I have only been to one wedding with this and I avoided it.
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  • Reasie
    Dedicated June 2021
    Reasie ·
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    I considered it but now don't want to do one due to the sadness I feel each time I think of my Grandmother and Sister. It'll probably hurt so bad each time I glimpse over at the table. I don't want to put myself through that.
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  • N
    Expert June 2021
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    Personally I’m on the fence about it only because I don’t want it to get out of hand. I originally wanted a memory table for the grandmothers who would have been there. Fh and I have no living grandparents. I never met any of my grandfathers but I lived with my great grandmother in our two family family home after her daughter, my grandmother died, my family moved to the family home and I grew up from 6-20 with her. She was my best friend. My mother’s mom passed before I was born and my fiancé only met his grandmother when he was a baby. My problem is since we have so many passed loved ones I feel the table will overflow with our passed loved ones when all we want is to honor the grandmothers who would have been there, walking in the processional with us and taking pictures etc. but I don’t want to be rude and tell our family no to all the other passed loved ones they want to honor. It would be like 10+ photos. So I’ve decided to honor my grandmothers with a charm on my bouquet with all of their pictures. I may look into a single charm for my fiancé. I just dont know where he would where it.
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  • CountryBride
    VIP April 2022
    CountryBride ·
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    We are having a sign with all of their names written on it, and we are lighting a candle with the urn of our son

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  • F
    Expert April 2022
    Fred ·
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    I don't want a Memory Table at all and I feel strongly coz it's a happy event, not a funeral.

    Plus we can honor them whenever we want so I don't see the point of doing this on our big day.

    My partner was open to both options (having vs not having one) but no way! However I’m not shocked or offended that other people do it.

    I don't like the charms, the candle, signs or the empty chairs at the ceremony ideas either coz these are too visible/obvious stuff to me ; but We both love more subtle options: incorporate our deceased grandma's favorite flowers in my bride's bouquet , some loved ones favorite songs that the DJ is including in the playlist or one of their favorite drinks and/or meals offered to our guest for our buffet-style dinner and open bar.

    However if you want what you mentioned (Memory Table,the "we know you would be here if Heaven weren't so far away" signs, flowers and a couple candles) and if your man like the idea or doesn't care either way, go for it!

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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
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    I feel like this is entirely personal. It's not something I would do nor something I would pay attention to at a wedding. If it feels important to you, consider having this in an out of the way part of your reception area so that it would be easy enough for people to avoid/not focus on if it makes them uncomfortable. I would also say it is most important to include people with close ties to you - for example if you included an aunt that you weren't super close with and your cousins (her children) were there, they may find in insensitive and inappropriate.

    We were planning on having photos of our parents weddings at our sweetheart table or included in our decor somehow. My dad died more than 13 years ago, so it would be a photo of a person no longer with us, but the intent is to highlight a tradition of commitment in our families, so it wouldn't really emphasize that he isn't with us anymore.

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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    I completely agree with this and these are much better alternatives without the "in your face" vibe with potential for upsetting guests that a memorial has. The take on afterlife beliefs being highly personal is a valid point that is often overlooked.

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  • Christina
    Savvy September 2021
    Christina ·
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    I'm doing one with an old window that i have the same saying. Im putting all of our past loved ones on it. also on bouquet i got a few lockets to put a pic of my soon to be father in law and my grandma on it.

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  • N
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Nicky ·
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    I think it's totally acceptable to do a memory table. I think people who never lost someone close do not understand or appreciate the value in it. The table is not necessarily for the guest it is more so for the bride or groom to feel like they included their loved ones on 1 of the most precious moments in their lives. I wont be doing a memory table at my wedding instead I am honoring my loved ones during my ceremony. However I have set up memory tables in the past for clients and they were a huge success! People were taking selfies of the table's it sparked stories and conversations and ended up being a huge focal point for the attendees that are non dancers and prefer to socialize.
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  • Victoria
    Beginner March 2022
    Victoria ·
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    I'm on the fence about a memory table. My FH wasn't close with his grandparents but I was close with my grandmother so I might just get a pin to put a picture in and put it on my bouquet to carry with me.

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  • Lakeisha
    Beginner August 2022
    Lakeisha ·
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    I like it a small table with a nice centerpiece n pics.. we putting my FH dad pic on the chair he would of sat in at the ceremony
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  • J
    Dedicated November 2021
    J W ·
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    The barn we're having our reception in has a beam that wraps around it at waist level. So we're not going to put a sign or anything but we will have pictures of our relatives who can't be there. I'm also doing wedding pictures specifically to kind of take away from the sadness. My FH has lost all his grandparents and I lost my grandmother who I was very close to. My dad also lost his brother when I was young and he will be included as well. It's definitely a matter of preference but to me it feels nice to acknowledge that they would have been there if they could have been.
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  • Alessandra
    Just Said Yes February 2022
    Alessandra ·
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    My FH and I are thinking about incorporating a memory table at our wedding as well since both of our fathers passed away in 2019. From my perspective, a memory table is a positive way to commemorate your loved ones and include them on your special day.

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  • Krystina
    Dedicated October 2021
    Krystina ·
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    I was going to do a memory table at our wedding, but now that I read this thread, I am rethinking the whole idea. Smiley sad I do like the idea someone here mentioned of just having a candle with a small, generic note to honor passed loved ones. I think that's generic enough to bring in some of our feelings towards those we've lost without triggering specific memories for any guests.

    I do think it's a bit silly to worry about causing guests to cry, though. It's a wedding. A lot of people cry at weddings. I've cried at almost every wedding I've been to for some reason or another. Never ruined my day or bothered anyone else. It's just an event with a lot of emotions tied to it!

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  • Elizabeth
    Super June 2021
    Elizabeth ·
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    I think happy tears and grieving tears hit different. I've brushed away tears at many a wedding. At the wedding with the photo of my grandmother, I was ugly crying. The joy of seeing a couple make their vows is a different kind of overwhelming than the crushing grief of being reminded of a loss (particularly a recent loss)
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