Honoring Late Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day

By Peyton Suco & Marlye Lee, Build-A-Bride™ Auburn

Your wedding day is an exciting and joyous day, but it can be bittersweet to celebrate while missing a loved one. If you are looking to honor someone important to you who passed away before your wedding day, we are sharing several special ways to do just that.

Here are some of our favorite heartfelt details to remember family and friends who have passed away, but are always in our hearts.

Add a Photo to Your Bouquet 

Image: Laura Flannery

See more of Mary Lee’s wedding here

Attaching a family photo to your wedding bouquet allows you to feel as though your late loved one is walking down the aisle with you. The family photograph can be placed inside a locket or charm connected to your flower bouquet.

Reserve a Seat

 Image: Tide the Knot Weddings

Reserve a seat for a late loved one with a flower, picture, candle, or prized possession. Leaving an open seat next to family is a special way for everyone to remember your loved one. Another sweet idea is to incorporate a symbolic white rose on the chair and into a floral centerpiece at the wedding reception as another way to have them join you throughout the entire wedding day.

Create a Photo Display

Image: Hannah Miller Photography

Creating a family photo display during your wedding ceremony is a way to show guests your loved ones who have passed away. Old family wedding photos, photos from growing up, or more recent family pictures are all sentimental ideas for wedding photos that can be on the wedding ceremony photo display. 

Make a Note in your Ceremony Program

Image: Rylo Creative

See more of Summer’s wedding here

Leaving a short note in your wedding ceremony program allows everyone to see who you are honoring on your wedding day. This could be a simple prayer of remembrance or a thank you to those who have shaped your life.


Incorporate Fabric from a Loved One’s Closet

Image: Kelsi Loren Photography

See more of McKayla’s wedding here!

Incorporating a piece of fabric from your late family member’s favorite clothing item--such as your father’s most-worn shirt or your aunt’s favorite scarf--into a special wedding day item is a personal way to honor your late loved one. It can be sewn into your wedding dress, tied into your wedding bouquet, or added to the groom’s boutonniere.


It is natural and valid to miss your friend or family member who is no longer with you. If you are honoring a late loved one on your wedding day, the important thing to remember is this: it should be special and unique to you. We hope these ideas provided inspiration to memorialize a special someone in a way that feels personal and heartfelt to you.

June 29, 2021 — Heidi Baker