It’s a quiet night and as I sit here with my cat Tika keeping me company, I’ve been thinking about my dad. He’s been in and out of the hospital these past couple of weeks and wound up having to have a surgery due to an injury caused by one of the ER doctors. The other surgery he had to have was to have a pacemaker inserted. I spoke with him the day before his pacemaker surgery. He sounded ok, but he also sounded like he might want to cry.

While we spoke, he commented a few times of how it was rather lonely in the ICU with no one to talk to. The nursing staff would pop in regularly to check on him, hand out the meds, take vitals, and shoot the breeze for a bit, but it wasn’t the same as being home and talking with your friends or family. It broke my heart that his girlfriend couldn’t be there with him. We live approximately 1,500 miles apart, but it also really tugged at my heart strings that even if the worst should happen, I couldn’t be there or go there at all because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I consider myself lucky, though. My heart breaks for those who have lost loved ones due to the virus. Those folks most likely died alone and their loved ones couldn’t be at their side, nor could they give them a proper burial service. Memorial services need to be held at a later date when it’s generally safer for people to gather. I cannot imagine needing to wait months or even a year to properly honor a deceased loved one and gain some sense of closure.

Furthermore, as this pandemic has wreaked havoc with the wedding, event, and travel industry, it has forced couples to either cancel entirely or postpone their nuptials. Unfortunately, many couples – as well as businesses – have lost money in the form of deposits for venues, flowers, and more.

But all hope is not lost. There is a light at the end of this crazy tunnel; it is getting bigger and brighter as we close in on a vaccine and on being able to resume what can be considered ‘normal’ life. To make a short story long, this led me to thinking of the ways in which couples can honor their loved ones who have passed.

© Karolina Grabowska

Add A Sprig of Rosemary to your bridal bouquet

Rosemary signifies Remembrance, so adding a few sprigs of this herb to your bouquet, perhaps alongside your loved ones favorite flower, is a wonderful way to honor him or her.

If the passing of a loved one happens to be on the groom’s side of the family, incorporate rosemary in the boutonnières of the grooms’ party.

No need to worry about whether or not the Rosemary will ‘ruin’ the look of the bouquet or the boutonnières, it will actually add a fragrant beauty to it. Ask the florist – or be sure to have your planner ask the florist – to incorporate this herb of remembrance into your floral arrangements.


Include A Note of Honor in Your Ceremony Program, Within the Ceremony, or Other ways

Adding a sincere message in honor of a loved one who has passed is perfectly acceptable. In fact, it’s the perfect place for including a message. This way, everyone will see it, and your occasion will remain a joyous one.

To coincide with this, you could have a moment of reflection or a minute of silence at the beginning of the ceremony.

One bride included a beautiful poem about her father, who had passed a few months before the big day, in the invitations.

Seat of Honor


Honor your departed loved one by reserving a special seat of honor for them at the ceremony as well as the reception.

You can place their photo, perhaps a military hat, jacket, or other personal item of theirs in the first seat of the first row at the church or other venue where your nuptials will take place.

Your deceased friend or relative may not be physically present, but they will be spiritually present, so be sure to include them in your day just as the rest of your guests.

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how you’d like to honor and include your departed loved one. Perhaps a few more ideas to consider are:

  • Include their favorite song at the reception
  • Incorporate their favorite food or sweet treat into the menu or dessert table at the reception
  • Share an anecdote during the reception, perhaps in the form of a toast
  • Provide wedding favors in their honor
  • Arrange a memory table at the reception

I hope these ideas get your thoughts going on how you’d like to remember your loved one on your special day.

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