Ways to Honour Loved Ones on your Wedding Day
Weddings are the perfect opportunity to honour those closest to you,
and to communicate your love and gratitude to them.
See if some of these ideas might work for you,
or be inspired by them to come up with your own amazing plan!
When choosing your bridal party, don’t be afraid to pick the people
who really mean the most to you, regardless of their age or gender.
Maybe your dad really is your ‘best man’, or one of the grooms best friends just happens to be a girl.
Go for sincerity over tradition.
On your Order of Service, include a few sentences about each member of your bridal party.
Tell your guests why they’re special to you or include a funny story about them.
Dad’s are often left out of wedding planning
– especially when conversations about makeup and undergarments freak them out!
But as I often tell my brides on their wedding day:
“You might be about to become Mrs …, but you’ll always be your daddy’s little girl.”
So remember to ask his advice whenever you can.
Offer him specific tasks, such as organising the cars or the wine.
Tell him early, that you can hardly wait to hear his reception speech.
We know it’s the day of the bride and groom, but Mother’s of the Bride
are often especially emotional and needy of reassurance.
If possible, allow some special time with just your mum as you get dressed.
Shut the door to everyone else and fill your mum’s ‘love tank’ by inviting her
to help you into your gown. She’ll be much more relaxed and enjoy the rest
of the day if you patiently give her this privilege early on.
As your wedding RSVP’s are returned to you,
take the time to write a personal note to that person,
to later be attached to their wedding favour.
The impact of this personal gesture will be huge.
Working on these, one at a time as the RSVP’s arrive,
gives you time to truly reflect on that person’s role in your life.
And it saves a last minute rush job too!
Wrap the handle of your bouquet in fabric from your mother or grandmother’s gown or veil.
Incorporate an heirloom pendant as part of your bouquet
- maybe something your mother or grandmother wore on her wedding day.
Sew a secret message into the lining of your gown
– it might be words, a heart made from your mother’s gown,
or a special pendant or heirloom that you can ‘carry’ with you throughout the day.
Write or sew a short message to the inside of your groom’s tie or vest.
Write letters to your parents expressing your love and gratitude to them for their years of support.
Give them to them on the morning of your wedding day
(and make sure your photographer is ready to catch their emotive reaction!)
Give your new mother-in-law a special piece of jewellery engraved:
“Thank you for raising the man of my dreams.”
Give your young flower-girl, a hanky with words like the following either sewn or written on it:
Today you are young, but the years will pass by
and soon you will be a bride, in the blink of an eye.
So here is something for the day you will say,
'I need something old for my wedding day'.
With all our love, (your names and date).
If you have special guests traveling from out of town, provide them a personalized welcome bag.
Include a map of the area, a list of activities, some locally made snacks and even a bottle of local wine.
Talk to me about ‘reveals’ – I love to use these to make your day extra special.
They’re a wonderful way to honour parents, grandparents and bridesmaids.
Just get me started and I’ll tell you some lovely stories!
Send a special gift to your fiance on the morning of your wedding day.
Brides: consider scheduling a Bridal Boudoir
shoot in the weeks before your big day,
to create a just-for-him album or canvas. He'll love you all the more for this gift!
As guests are finding their seats before the ceremony,
and the groomsmen are waiting at the front,
have the groom walk back down the isle to escort his mum
and/or grandmother to their seats.
Instead of little flower-girls, have your grandmothers walk ahead of you scattering petals onto the isle,
at either the start or the close of the ceremony.
Have special people in your life sign the bottom of your shoes so that they’ll 'walk' down the isle with you.
Ask both parents to accompany the bride down the aisle, to acknowledge and honour them both.
Ask your celebrant if you can face your guests so they can watch
the love and happiness in your faces, and truly feel part of your day.
Instead of a ring pillow, tie your rings to grandma’s old family bible.
Instead of entrusting your rings to your best man, give them to your grandparents to hold during the ceremony.
The best man could collect the rings from them at the appropriate time, and present them warmed with love.
If you have children together or if you’re blending families, write some vows to say to your children.
Later, frame these words with a photo of the child with you on your wedding day.
I guarantee that it will be a token they’ll treasure for many years to come.
Present the child or children with a gift such as a bracelet, locket or piece of greenstone, as part of the ceremony.
A unity candle is a symbolic way of joining two families.
One parent and their children light one candle; the other parent and their children light a second.
They then bring the two candles together to light a third, bigger and more powerful candle,
to symbolise the joining of the families into an inseparable whole.
A sand ceremony is a beautiful way of symbolising two lives and heritages
coming together in a way that will be inseparable.
The bride and groom (or maybe their parents or children)
each pour a container of sand from a place of meaning to you,
allowing the sands to combine as they flow into a larger vessel.
Just as it is now impossible to separate the sand into their original containers,
so it is with your lives together.
You don't have to have your best man and chief bridesmaid sign your licence.
It's a lovely way to honour grandparents, or other special friends or family members.
Take the time to kiss Nana or shake dad’s hand as you walk back down the isle after your ceremony.
Personalise your photos with someone special in mind.
Maybe your dad’s a veteran fire fighter so let’s swing by the station on the way to reception.
Maybe your folks got married at a local church and
we can have a quick stop there to mimic their favourite wedding photo.
Have a think about places that are important to your loved ones.
They’ll feel totally chuffed that you thought enough of them to include them in this way.
Wrap your wedding favours in photocopies of the sheet music from your parents/grandparents wedding.
As a wedding favour, write your own 'newspaper', pointing out and thanking your special guests.
Create signature cocktails named after the bride and grooms mum, dad or grandparents.
Toast each table, one by one, reinforcing how grateful you are to them for being part of your life.
Present someone very special with your wedding bouquet during the wedding speeches.
Add to your RSVP cards, a line such as:
What would you like to dance to? Add one song request ____________________
If you're happy to add this song to your playlist,
have your DJ announce the song with a short acknowledgement to the person who requested it.
Make your first dance to the same song your parents or grandparents danced to on their wedding night.
Plan your daddy-daughter dance.
Ask you dad to choose the song but keep it a secret until reception,
or consider one of these classics:
Isn’t She Lovely
– Stevie Wonder
The Way You Look Tonight –
Various versions – find the era that’s right for you!
Daddy’s Little Girl
– Michael Buble
I Loved Her First –
The Wind Beneath my Wings
– Bette Midler