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Traditions to Honor Family on Your Wedding Day

It’s natural that many couples want to take extra steps to honor special family members and even the whole clan during their wedding. Sometimes it may be an acknowledgement made to parents or other influential people during the ceremony such as having parents light an altar candle or handing a flower to each mother. Honor can also bestowed on those who are not present because of distance, illness or death, with a mention in the service or program. Here are a few ways we’ve seen special recognition offered.

Family Tradition

This could mean exchanging your vows in the same church where your parents or grandparents were wed, including the family crest on wedding invitations, or honoring the Southern tradition of having the father of the groom serve as best man.
Wedding at Duke Chapel in DurhamPhoto: Renee Sprink Photography

Physical Memento

Repurpose your mother’s wedding dress into a new gown or veil, or wear a generational jewelry heirloom. Carry your father’s handkerchief or don his cufflinks or watch. For your bouquet or arrangements, choose the flower your lost loved one tended in their own flower garden as your tribute. Wearing something from a loved one is a private way to remember them during your wedding day.
Grandparents photos in wedding

Photo: Azul Photography

Sounds of our Heart

Incorporate meaningful words or music into the wedding. Include a letter your loved one wrote with her advice on marriage, or read her favorite scripture passage. A special song that you learned as a child can play as you walk down the aisle. Dedicate a dance to someone who cannot be there with one of his or her favorite songs.

Taste of Family History

Have the caterer prepare a meal that is meaningful to your family. If you have two ethnic backgrounds, have samplings from each at food stations, or have the rehearsal dinner be themed to one family’s heritage and the wedding reception to the other’s. Perhaps there is a passed down recipe that could be shared with guests in the form of take home favors.
chicken and waffles at wedding

Photo: Riley MacLean Photography

A Walk Through Time

A presentation of old family photos is a great way to symbolize the union of your two families. Display in frames on a table or mantle and surround with florals. If you are able to secure wedding portraits of these family members, even better. This is something all of your guests will enjoy taking in.
Ways to incorporate family in your weddingPhoto: Casey Rose Photography

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