Let’s talk about wedding day memorials

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unique wedding memorials on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Photo by Heidi N Photography

It's Memorial Day here in the US, so we thought we'd take this time to talk one difficult reality of many folks' wedding days. Sometimes weddings can be a painful reminder of the absence of loved ones… but they can also be a beautiful opportunity to memorialize those family and friends who have passed away.

One Offbeat Bride added these little photo charms of her Dad and Mamaw to her bouquet. Or how Offbeat Bride reader Breanna Scott commented recently:

I'm cutting apart my bouquet and giving it to all of the vets at my wedding in honor of my dad who was a vet and passed in April of colon cancer.

For those of you who have lost someone you love, you have our sympathies… and our ideas about how you can memorialize your loved ones at your wedding.

Offbeat Bride reader kimberhill says, “We wanted to honour his dad who passed away several years ago without it being too overwhelming for guests. We found an Etsy seller who put a photo onto a charm and we then had a friend make the paper flower boutonniere and combined the 2 elements.”

wedding memorial sign on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

You could honor your departed loved ones by saving them a seat at your ceremony and/or reception.


Set up an altar to display framed photos of your loved ones.

grandma's buttons
Photo by Becca Riedell

Offbeat Bride reader Lindyshoes' grandma was an avid seamstress, so the buttons looped around the wedding bouquet was Lindy's tribute to her grandma.

fdggg 101812 alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Create a secret letter memorial, like Tribesmaid Inthecorridors‘ very sweet little flower memorial for her grandmother.

wedding memorial locket on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
This two-sided wedding memorial locket works great on a bouquet

Print photos of your lost loved ones for your memorial candles.

wedding memorial bouquet alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)

Walk down the aisle with a memorial bouquet that includes a photo of the person who would have escorted you.


This necklace from Etsy seller GreenGrassGifts has a piece of lace from a wedding dress embedded inside resin. You could wear a piece of your late mother's or grandmother's wedding dress around your neck. More memorial jewelry ideas over here.


I love this idea from Offbeat Bride Beth:

One of the most meaningful moments to me was the moment I showed my mother my bouquet. My father died when I was 14, but I still wanted to make sure he walked down the aisle with me, so I'd tied his signet ring into the middle of my bouquet. When mum saw it her face just lit up.


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wedding memorial ideas on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
No big deal, just crying over this wedding memorial candle

Light a candle (or several) in honor of those who can't be there. Like Jess B's sweet photo and candle altar she set up for her step dad who passed away five weeks before the wedding.

Photo by Beatrice Katcher and Michelle Awe

The trumpet on the chair memorial is perhaps the most tear-inducing. Ashley explains:

Four and a half years ago we lost our newborn son, a week after he was born… We named him Miles Davis, and about a year after he passed we found this sweet toy trumpet in a vintage shop. At the ceremony, we had a tiny chair with his trumpet on it. There was also a piano in the venue that we set up as a memorial for him, with his pictures, the cast of his feet, a baby blanket I had crocheted, and all the trumpets we have been collecting over the years. Being able to acknowledge him, and the gifts he'd given us, meant so much.


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Not quite seeing something that might work for you wedding? Check out our archive of wedding memorials.

So what ways are you, or have you, memorialized your loved ones on your wedding day?

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