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Respectful Ways to Honor a Deceased Parent

Weddings are supposed to be joyous events, which can make it difficult to honor a deceased parent. Doing so in a way that does not compromise the upbeat mood of th event can prove quite a challenge to prospective brides and grooms.

The death of someone close is rarely easy to accept, especially when it happens close to a couple's wedding day. But there are many ways couples can honor a deceased parent at their ceremony.

* Display pictures of the deceased with the wedding couple so that the memory of these people can be part of the festivities.

* Set up a table with a special floral arrangement and photo with a placard that states, 'In memory of ...'

* Wear a piece of clothing or jewelry that belonged to the deceased. Cufflinks from a father or a veil from a mother.

* Ask the pastor or officiant to specifically mention the deceased in the wedding ceremony and offer a special prayer in that person's name.

* Add a memoriam line to the end of the wedding program. 'Today we honor Mary Smith, mother of the bride who could not be with us today.'

* Dedicate a special song during the reception in the person's name.

* A bride who will not be able to walk down the aisle with her father can choose to do so with her mother or another relative and carry something that belonged to their father.

* Set up a photo slide show that includes photos of the deceased. Choose poignant but upbeat music so that the moment is not overly somber.

* Light a candle at the ceremony for the deceased relative.

* Leave an empty chair and place setting at the reception for the person who could not be there.

* Display something that symbolizes the person at the wedding, such as a flag for a deceased veteran or an item that represents the person's favorite hobby.

There are many ways to remember a special loved one at a wedding without bringing down the mood of the event.

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