My momthulhu has been pressuring me to do a lot of things when it comes to my wedding. I'm usually able to agree or compromise, but she's telling me that I absolutely have to incorporate a memorial space at the wedding to honor the relatives who have passed away.
Don't get me wrong, I love and miss those guys, but I love and miss them so much that I reeeeally don't want to be constantly reminded that they're not here because they're dead.
Am I a total asshole if I don't do a memorial at my wedding? -Cathy
Offbeat Bride has an entire section devoted to wedding memorials — we're totally down with honoring departed loved ones at weddings. If that's what you feel like doing, then good for you! Rock those memorials and share the very-much-missed with everyone. But what if you don't want to include a wedding memorial?
Do you remember the post about planning a wedding as a father-less bride? The writer of that post, Kelsey, said something that really made me think differently about memorials…
I also knew my dad would have wanted the wedding day focus to be on the fact I was getting married to a man I was madly in love with, and not the fact that he wasn't able to be there. Dad wouldn't have wanted to steal the show. So I felt like keeping the focus on Ian and myself was actually my way of honoring and remembering my dad.
What if a reminder of all the people you love NOT being at your wedding would make you feel depressed instead of touched? Are you suffering from wedding memorial shame? Should you be?
In case you're looking for some more ideas for compromise action, let's talk about options…
Here are a lot of ways to place your wedding memorial front and center:
- Leave a seat empty at your wedding in their honor
- Photo memorials attached to your shoes, your bouquet, and candles
- Create a memory tree
- We even have ways to memorialize your pet
Here are ways to do memorials on the down-low:
- Turn your accessories into a memorial that only you will know about
- Add a secret letter memorial in your paper flower bouquet
- Play music in their honor
- Memorialize a loved one by giving them your bouquet
Okay, now that those are out of the way…
Here are ways to not do a memorial at your wedding, but not feel like an asshole:
- Read this post “We want X, Y, and Z at our wedding. Is that bad?” (Here's a hint: No, it's not bad.)
- Make your decision, and be prepared to be accountable for the backlash (should there be any).
- Commit some of these copy and paste responses to memory.
Just remember: Memorials are not a “must” at weddings. Besides oxygen, NOTHING is a must at weddings. (Yes, you'll totally be an asshole if you don't have oxygen at your wedding.)
Still feeling bad? Here's another readder who chose NOT to have a memorial at her wedding:
Here’s why we’re not doing a memorial at our wedding:
It will make us really sad.
My grandfather died about 25 years ago, and my uncle brought up his absence at my cousin’s wedding a few months ago. I was in tears and had to excuse myself and go to the bathroom.
This is the first wedding in my fiancé’s family that his grandmother won’t be at. I know we’re both already feeling her absence, and I know that his parents and his grandfather will be acutely aware that she’s not there, since his grandparents’ wedding anniversary is the day after our wedding.
No one has asked us about any memorial, which helps, but we still wouldn’t do one. But in your shoes, I’d challenge that person to put into words WHY they want you to have one. I’m guessing that your mom probably feels like leaving out the memorial means that you’re pretending those people aren’t absent. I would gently tell her, “Mom, I know that you’d like us to have a memorial. However, I already miss Grandpa very much, and the reminder of his absence on our wedding day will make me really sad. We will not be having a memorial corner, and this discussion is closed.”
And if she brings it up again: “Mom, my answer isn’t changing. Anyway, do you like these centerpieces? And what did you think of this week’s episode of Scandal?”