A lot of weddings feature amazing ways to honor those loved ones who have left us. We have a whole archive dedicated to it. Let's recap a few of our favorite (and some new) ways to memorialize your dearly departed family and friends including with memorial trees, boutonniere charms, gifting your bouquet, and even one “releasing of the goldfish.”
Offbeat Bride reader Lauren, honored her beloveds this way: “I had my grandfather and father's monograms 3D printed into shoe clips so they ‘walked' me down the aisle.”
Cullie honored her deceased kitty by wearing the tag on her wrist. Pets are family: it's totally okay to honor them at your wedding!
A partner opting to wear a boutonniere could use this little charm found on Etsy in lieu of a bouquet charm.
Ben and Erin honored their departed loved ones by saving them a seat with a small LED candle in a jar.
Scooter honored her late father with a shoe memorial so he could symbolically walk her down the aisle.
Amanda W. honored her grandmother by laying the bouquet on her grave instead of tossing it. We think that's one super sweet way to buck tradition.
Jenni decided to honor her mother with a charm on her bouquet, but with a little extra sentiment:
When Shaun proposed to me, my mother was terminally ill. We hoped that she'd be able to attend our wedding or at least watch it from the live stream we were planning to set up for Shaun's sister, but unfortunately she died nine months before the wedding. To make her part of the wedding, I filled a heart charm with a small portion of her ashes, and put it on my wedding bouquet.
Danielle and Nathan found a gorgeous way to honor the guests who weren't able to be with them on their wedding day: a memory tree!
Ruben and Joaquin wanted to celebrate both their Mexican roots and their four deceased grandparents with this lovely Dia de los Muertos altar.
You can find loads of memorial signs for your photo display over on Etsy, if you're looking for some pre-made signage.
Jodi and Kim had a goldfish save the seat for Jodi's mother and honor a special fishie friend all at once. Here's how they did it:
We had seats honoring my mom who has passed, and Kimi's best fish friend, Fishie. Fishie was very excited about our big day, but unfortunately passed away before it arrived. We released a goldfish into the fountain where we said our vows in honor of her, and her presence was felt all day.
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Comments on Trees and fishies: some of our favorite wedding memorials from offbeat weddings
These are all beautiful ways to honor loved ones. I especially like the boutonniere and bouquet charms because they’re subtle as well as meaningful.
My grandmother passed away in 2013, before my fiancé and I were engaged. She’s the only grammom I really knew, as my dad’s mom passed when I was 2. My mom was able to find an old blue robe of my grammom’s; she took the pockets and gave the rest to me. My mom is making my dress, so she cut one of the pockets into a heart and sewed it on the inside of my gown, over my heart. A friend from high school makes fabric flowers and is making our bouquets/boutonnières out of ribbon in our colors (regency and Malibu in David’s-ese). I gave her the remainder of the robe and she’s putting a special flower in my bouquet, one in each of my sisters’ and my niece’s, she’s also making two small ones to put on my twin great nieces’ flower girl dresses, a small one in my brother’s boutonnière and also making 3 wrist corsages, one for my mom and her two sisters who are able to attend. The bouquets/boutonnière/corsages are surprises for my siblings/mom/aunts/nieces, I can’t wait to see their reactions!
What I did was I had my aunt (who also made my dress) embroider the initials of those who have passed into the Hem of my dress in blue thread (which also constituted as my “something blue”). Only 2 months before our wedding a very close friend of mine and my husband’s passed. I had her add his initials last minute. I didn’t tell my husband until the day of the wedding. It was a very special moment when I showed him.
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