How to honour lost loved ones at our wedding

Would love some ideas on how we can incorporate my late nan into our wedding. Thank you.

Question Asked: 29/04/2021 Wedding Date: 9/08/2018

Most Helpful Response

Chris White Celebrant

Canberra and surrounding Region

(5) Posted: 4/06/2022

There are many ways to honour a lost one, and these have been included in some of the other responses.   When I work with couples to draw a loved one in to the ceremony that the focus is not so much of making a point of it or even drawing a reference to the loved one.   For the majority it has been important to the couple to have some memory or symbol there but it doesnt have to be called out.  A simple candle, a photo or a charm that is visible to the couple but not so much that it detracts for the ceremony or the experience.  A wedding is a time of joy so work with the celebrant to ensure the inclusion brings you joy or melancholy, but avoid sadness.  No doubt your nan would not want to think a memory invokes sadness in your event.  Your memory and reason for wanting a way to honour your nan is likely a very personal one that resonates with you more than it does your guests, so I would advise keeping it understated and personal. 

(6) Posted: 15/12/2021

In spite of all the joy a wedding brings, it can also surface feelings of longing and loss for dear family members and friends who are now with us in spirit only.

  • There are many ways in which a Commemoration or Memorial can be included:
    • Put up a heartfelt dedication sign or photo display to one side or at the entrance.
    • Add a miniature photo charm or a piece of family heirloom jewellery to your bouquet to commemorate an absent loved one.
    • include a Candle lighting ritual (see Candle Lighting – Memorial Candle. )
    • Save a seat for them with a personal item, framed photo and/or wreath.
    • Sew a piece of material from Dad’s shirt into the underside of the dress.
    • Incorporate a piece of Grandma’s wedding dress into the boutonnière.
    • Wear a special pin, medal or other family heirloom as your ‘something borrowed.’
    • Attach a small memorial tag to the program
    • Keep loved ones close to your heart by wearing a locket on a chain or pinned to your suite
    • Carry something that once belonged to a close relative or friend.
    • have a Handfasting Ritual but use a tie or ribbon worn by your lost loved one

(5) Posted: 21/09/2021

Remembering somebody that has died can be done in a physical way such as a photo on a table or a vacant chiar. I like to include them in a way that does not bring feelings of sadness. Im sure your nan is with you on your very special day and has a smile from ear to ear and her heart is filled with love for you both

PH Celebrants

Melbourne and Statewide Victoria

(0) Posted: 21/06/2021

What is always lovely is for the celebrant to say in the introduction at the front of the ceremony. The couple would like to remember their 'X' family member or loved ones name and as they are extremely important to them. You could go on to place a photo of the deceased on the table at the side so they are a part of the ceremony.

Fiona Winwood Marriage Celebrant

Adelaide metro, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Kuitpo, Barossa Valley

(24) Posted: 25/05/2021

Hi there,

Good question as there's many ways of doing this; being such an emotional subject I find it's best to acknowledge and move on back into this wonderful happy space you've spent time creating for your special day.

A nicely framed photo of your very special Nan on the signing table for everyone to see is lovely. The will also miss her not being there. 

If you'd like to give everyone to take a moment of reflection light a special candle as part of your ceremony in her honor. Have 2 candles for you and your partner lit in the moment by either your celebrant or a close family member maybe your Mum or Dad then you and yourpartner light the larger candle as everyone reflects on their memories of her. 

Your Celebrant should be able to guide you through something lovely and deeply heartfelt. 

All the best

(39) Posted: 17/05/2021


There are lots of nice ways to honor your late nan into your wedding. Here are just a few.

1. Photo of nan to sit on an empty chair at ceremony

2. Celebrant to acknowledge family that have passed and have a family member light a candle in their honour

3. Do you have something special of your nans - like a hankerchief, broach etc that you could hold or use on the day

4. Invite a family member to say a few words about how Nan would have felt seeing you get married

5. Acknowledge family at the reception in speeches or with a table with their photos

Goodluck, it really is only limited by your imagination.

Much Love,

Celebrant Emily

Marry & Celebrate - Celebrant MC & DJ Service's

Greater Sydney, Southern Highlands, Blue Mountains,Surrounding Areas

(18) Posted: 7/05/2021

Incorporating late lost loves in your wedding is one one the most respectful ad beautiful things you can do and there are so many different ways to be able to do this and I have done this in many different ways  - candle lighting is just one of the ways but plenty more 

Kerrie Boag Celebrant

Perth & Surroundings

(9) Posted: 7/05/2021

It is super important that passed loved ones are included in your special day and there are many ways of doing so.

For example,

  • you could have your celebrant mention your Nan in the ceremony and her importance to you
  • you could place a picture of Nan on the signing table or a seat on the front row
  • you could have a locket with her picture, attached to your bouquet which is beautiful
  • did she have a favourit flower? you could incorporate that flower in your bouquet and flowers in your ceremony styling

I hope this helps you a little.

Best wishes,

Kerrie x

Sharon Walker Celebrant

Newcastle, Hunter Valley, Port Stephens, Pokolbin, Maitland, Lake Macquarie

(10) Posted: 7/05/2021

There are many ways to honour lost loved ones at a wedding and there is no wrong or right way to do it.

1. Wear something from you loved one on your person.

2.Play a song that meant something dursing the ceremony

3.Place a rose on the chair where they would have sat.

4.Have a moments silence in their honour

Cindy Cawsey Celebrant

Hunter Valley / Newcastle / Port Stephens

(6) Posted: 7/05/2021

Hi ,

There are so many beautiful things you can do to honour a loved one who has passed. A candle cermony with saying some beautiful words as the candle ( you can buy beautiful memorial candles) is being lite. A poem that has reference to you Nan. A sand cermony into a beautiful vase that represents her presence or that she will always be remembered in your hearts .Create a memory table in her honour.Someone singing a song she loved.

I hope this gives you some ideas .Please reach out if I can help in any other way.

Thanks Cindy Cawsey.

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