Honoring Loved Ones Who Can’t Attend Your Wedding

What’s the best way of honoring loved ones who can’t attend your wedding? There are a lot of options.  Sadly, some of the people you most want to attend your wedding won’t be able to.  Perhaps they have passed away, are older, or not able to travel.  Maybe they are ill.  Don’t forget to think of them on your special day.   Know they are thinking of you…



The photos above and below are lovely ways to keep absent loved ones in your thoughts, and the thoughts of your guests.  The photo above is self explanatory. But the fireworks below…well, I found a photo of some sparklers, and thought THAT would be a delightful, large, positive way to say, “You’re not here, but you are…”



The photo on the chair is a tried and true way to keep a memory alive.  This is an graceful option, and needs no sign or explanation.



What about remembering your loved ones, either absent or deceased in your welcome speech? (Traditionally given by the father of the bride).  In the photo below, you see three of my four daughters, myself and my husband.  My husband, father of the bride, is welcoming all. His speech was touching and eloquent.


Patty Cloherty photos

And my favorite of all?  Well, that would have to be the photo below.  My parents, who live in California, were not able to travel to my daughter’s New England wedding.  (Dad will be 98 this year, Mom is significantly younger), so what did they do, being the modern folk they are?  They Facetimed the wedding!  Thanks to our great family friend, Becca, they were able to enjoy the wedding. They opened a bottle of bubbly and joined the celebration!  And a special thank you to our photographer extraordinaire, Hannah Colt, for capturing it.


Hannah Colt Photos



First Look?

First Look?



Will you have a “First Look”?  New in the world of weddings – (or is it old, but new again?) – is the scheduling of a photo session of the bride and groom BEFORE the wedding ceremony.  In this scenario, tradition, superstition and caution are thrown to the wind in a trade off for efficiency.  The choice is made to get all their pictures out of the way pre-ceremony, so the couple can move right into the party  and join cocktail hour with their guests.



Some couples take it a step further and are opting to create “staged” photo ops of the bride and groom’s “first vision” of each other.  I think they’re romantic and beautiful.  Would I encourage my own daughters to do this?  No.  But then that’s just my personal preference.  Remember, when it comes to your wedding, there is no right or wrong.  It is what you and your groom desire.



Still not convinced?  Many brides say they’re are trying to avoid FOMO, (feeling of missing out), by taking photos pre-ceremony.   I remember waiting for a good hour outside at each of my daughters’ weddings to take photos.  Even I had FOMO! 🙂  I wanted to see my guests, to bask in their compliments and good wishes.  Others say they don’t want to be rushed post ceremony with the pesky pictures. But there’s something so very very special about the “real” moment when a groom sees his bride for the first time in all her glory.



Below is the photo my son-in-law’s aunt, the lovely Patty Cloherty, captured when Robert saw Maggie walk down the isle.  You just can’t manufacture that smile…

Or this…below…when my husband handed our daughter off to her groom. Robert’s smile is so sweet.  No actor is that good…This photo is a treasure.

Summer Bride


Guess what Ladies… If you’re getting married in the next couple of months – you will be one of the lucky ones… a summer bride!

While each season has it’s benefits, such as a beautiful winter wedding dress – click on the link winter wedding to see some beautiful options, or a variety of flowers for a spring affair, (click on spring wedding to read my post about some festive ideas for flowers, cocktails and more!), a summer wedding also has some pitfalls.  But if you’re prepared, you don’t need to worry.

I was reading an article on “She Finds” the other day, and it had some topics to address for summer weddings.  Half I’d thought of, or planned for my own daughters’ weddings, and the other half, which I’ll address in a future posts, I had not.

  1. Remember to have a can or two each of bug spray and sunscreen for guests.  Chances are you’ll spend at least some time outside, so take care of your guests. You can provide these items in either baskets in your outside venue or in the ladies room/gentlemans’ rooms.   Click on Ladies Room Baskets  or Men’s Room Baskets for more details.
  2. Consider ‘Fruit Centerpieces’ instead of flowers.  No wilting here!  Click on Fruit the New Garnish for more details.



3.  Consider personal fans for your guests, and better yet…make a wedding program into a fan.  I did this for my “Summer Wedding Daughter”  Click on, Program Fans for more details.


Mary P Karnes photos

4.  If you live in Southern California, you probably won’t have to worry about this next one… but if you like in the South, Midwest, or New England, take it to heart.  PREPARE FOR RAIN.  As you get within 10-14 days of your wedding, check the forecast, constantly.  If it looks like it could POSSIBLY rain, get a rain tent on hold.  Many companies have a “rain provision”.  This can include anything from making a deposit, and if it rains, the tent is yours for the remainder of the rental fee… but if you don’t use it, you are out your deposit — to renting a tent and making a gamble – i.e. you’re out the whole price of the tent.  If it looks like rain two days before, buy a couple of cute umbrellas for you and the groom.  Depending on your venue’s physical arrangement, you may want to purchase a few more for your guests.  It rained on daughter #2’s day… it happens…



Next time…a few more items I didn’t think of, but “Shefinds.com” did, and advantages of summer and fall weddings…

photo #1 Hannah Colt Photos

Seven Ways to Surprise Your Groom

Seven Ways to Surprise Your Groom …  Remember, it’s not just about you, this is your groom’s wedding too!

How about gifting your groom with a “Groom’s Cake”?





What is a “Groom’s Cake”? You may ask.  Well, if you’d like to read more about it, click on the link “Groom’s Cake” and you will be directed to an earlier blog post that will inform you!  🙂  Just a little bit of a teaser…it’s usually a novelty cake that has special significance to the groom.



Feeling particularly romantic?  Write a special note to your groom that he can open right before the wedding ceremony.  But be sure to entrust it to someone reliable — maybe a female member of the wedding party or a relative.  Sometimes the groomsmen are not to be fully trusted…

And if you’re not feeling creative, there is always etsy.com.  The photo above if from an etsy.com store- front.  I have long been a supporter of etsy.com for economical, creative products.



If you’re a VERY indulgent bride, you may want to schedule a cigar station, some even sport a cigar roller.  While considered by some in the wedding world to be passe, it is still done.  A word of caution, however, this CAN break up the party, separating the men from the rest of the wedding guests.  Always a bit of a kill-joy.



How about splurging for an exotic car for your “Get Away”?  While pricey, it’s sure to be a hit with your groom if he likes cars, and what man doesn’t ?


Mary P Karnes photos

A sentimental touch would be to have a hanky made for your husband to be out of your wedding dress. Easy to acquire the material, if you’re having any hemming done to your dress.  The above photo is a hanky made from my daughter’s dress.  She gifted her father and grandmother these special mementos.  Thinking back, I think her husband would have liked one also…



Don’t forget to schedule a few “alone” moments with your new husband to relish this monumental occasion.  You’ll be glad you did.



And finally, number seven on the “Surprise” list… yes you’ll have decided the song you’ll dance to as your first as man and wife.  But how about a fun, unexpected song from your courting days?  Sure to earn a smile from your groom!