One of the most beautiful things about being a wedding and event photographer, quite simply, is the constant opportunity to see and document love. And many times, this love extends to those we have lost and miss. I’ve been touched by the beautiful tributes my clients have paid to their loved ones. I am taking the liberty of listing some of the most memorable for you to consider:

1. It’s truly moving when a small portion of the ceremony is dedicated to remembering those who have passed. It can be as brief as 1-2 sentences by the officiant, or more in depth by having a family member come up to say a few words. Lisa and Jon saved a moment of their ceremony to light a candle in honor her father.


2. Empty chairs reserved for those who have passed is lovely. I’ve also seen chairs with a ribbon across the chair or with a scarf of a loved one gently placed on the seat.


3. At Diana & Aseem’s recent wedding, they placed framed photos of their loved ones on select chairs in the front row of their ceremony, with a rose aside each photo.


4. Later at Diana & Aseem’s wedding, Diana’s sister surprised her with a sisters dance during the time of the reception that a father-daughter dance would have taken place. Not a dry eye to be found (including my own).

5. At Nicole & Mike’s wedding, a few framed photos of Nicole’s father stood aside the sign-in book and place cards. Memory tables are also lovely. In this case, I suggest using the same style frames for all photos. I’ve also seen memorabilia displayed aside the photos.


6. If you are presenting a slideshow, you can dedicate some slides to your loved ones.

7. Wearing or pinning a piece of jewelry, a photo or memorabilia of the deceased is an understated, yet beautiful way to remember them during your wedding day. I’ve also seen their names sewn into clothing or a simple handkerchief (alone or accompanying the bouquet).


8. You can ask your sibling, family member or honor attendant to include your loved one in their toast or speech.

9. If your loved one served their country or state, a bag piper is a fitting tribute.


10. In lieu of favors, it is beautiful and thoughtful to donate to a fitting charity in memory of the deceased.


11. You can ask your photographer to take a picture of you holding a picture of the deceased. For an upbeat and humorous approach, Meg & Brady made a life-size cutout of grandpa and boogied with “him” on the dance floor!


Email me anytime for topic suggestions and feel free to comment, ask questions and share. Thanks for reading!

Peace, Love & Happy Planning,
Dana Siles