My mother has passed away. How can I include her in my wedding ceremony?


Image: Etsy seller Signs to Live By.

My mother has passed away, but I’d like to include her in the wedding  somehow. Do you have any suggestions for doing this?

We’re so, so sorry for your loss and sad to know that she won’t be at your wedding! 🙁

There are, however, many touching ways to include your dear Mum (or any deceased loved one) in your wedding ceremony, it really just depends on how big a statement you wish to make.

Here are some of our favourite suggestions:


– At the ceremony, you could reserve the chair where she would normally sit and place on it a  favourite photo of her or the two of you together (or a single bloom of her favourite flower). It’s a lovely, symbolic gesture and, each time you look over, you’ll see her smiling face.

– You could also include a line about your mother, or any deceased friends and family members you wish to honour, in your ceremony. Have the priest or celebrant say something along the lines of, “And today we also honour the memories of <insert names and their relationship to you>, who could not be with us for this special occasion.”

– When the celebrant asks “Who gives this woman?” you could also ask your dad to reply:  “Her mother and I do.”

– At the reception, you could also have an honorary chair reserved for her.


Image: Shea Christine Photography

– You could attach a small picture of her on a safety pin and pin in on the inside of your clothing close to your heart.


– You could arrange for a display of images of your Mum with you, your father, siblings and any family friends who may be in attendance

– Why not wear an item of jewellery or an accessory that was owned by your mother? Also, try sewing a piece of cloth that was part of, for example, your Mum’s own wedding dress into the lining of your own wedding gown.

– Incorporate something that your Mum gave you into your wedding day. It may have been a set of glasses that you could use for your wedding toast or a memory-filled ornament that you could use as your cake topper.


Image: PharmGirl77 via PhotoBucket

– Create a small tribute table somewhere everyone will see it. Include her photo (or a photo of the two of you) and, perhaps, a lamp or burning candle if your wedding ceremony/reception are indoors. Of course, if you have more than one deceased loved one you’d like to acknowledge, you could have multiple candles and display multiple photographs.

– Include a picture and dedication to her in your ceremony program with the words, “In loving memory…”

– Dance your first dance with your new spouse to a tune you know she really loved.

– Of course, you can also mention your dear mother in your wedding speeches.


Image: PharmGirl77 via PhotoBucket

If you explain some of these touches in the speeches or your program, it will also give your guests a powerful and personal insight into how much Mum meant to you – and shows that you’ve ensured she’s part of your day.

When it comes to honouring deceased friends and family, keep in mind how recently they have passed. While your intent is to honour them and involve them in your special day, others may be equally affected by their deaths and you don’t want to cast a pall over your celebrations.

How did you remember a deceased loved-one at your wedding?

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