Thursday, January 14, 2010

Honoring lost loved ones (Thankful Thursdays)

It's times like weddings that make you realize how grateful you are for family and friends.  As much as I am starting to get a little nervous about the guest list now that our invites will be going out in a few weeks, it is so amazing to know that we have so many family and friends who want to share in our special day with us.

Our original guest list was about 300 on the extremely obnoxious side.  Our actual guest list is more like about 220-230 of those that we truly want to invite.  However, our venue (and our budget) can really only accommodate about 202 (200 guests of 10 people at 20 tables plus the two of us and a dance floor). 

So we are sending out invites to about 217 people and as the 'no responses' roll in, we will bump a few people up from our B list and send them out an invite.  That is assuming we get enough no's to do so.  And what if by some chance we don't get 15 no responses of those 217?  Oh man...then I'm stuck figuring out where to put an extra table or two at the reception (outside on the patio near the photobooth for a kids' table? behind the fireplace near the buffet? behind the DJ on the outside patio?) and having to come up with an extra $500-$750 for the caterer!  Ugh.

But I is about Thankful Thursdays and I am truly thankful for the people who have become or been an important part of our lives at one point or another who will come support Mr Fix It and I as we share our vows and our love with those we are honored to have attend.

However, there are also those who are truly truly important to us who will not be in attendance.  :(  Mr Fix It's mother passed away when he was in his early 30's - she had an unexpected heart attack. 

My own grandfather (right) passed away from heart problems during surgery when I was about 19 years old.  He was like a second father to me. 

I have also lost a paternal Aunt when I was about 10 years old and my paternal grandmother (left) died of cancer when I was very young.  These are people who Mr Fix It and I will definitely be thinking of come wedding day.  And so we wanted to honor their memory and share with our guests that their presence is definitely missed.

To do so, we created a special "In Memoriam" page on our wedding web site with dedications and photos.  In addition, we have decided to have a memorial table set up at the reception.  It will actually be next to the escort cards during the cocktail hour and then moved near the Photobooth for the remainder of the reception.  This table will have the following items on it:

*  Two vases:  A taller one engraved with the names of my grandfather, grandmother and Aunt and a shorter one engraved with the name of Mr Fix It's mother.  The shorter vase will have a floating candle in it and the taller vase will be filled with a bouquet of white tulips.  The taller one says "Lives of Love Remembered" and the shorter one reads "In Loving Memory."

* A digital photo frame:  Part of our package with our videographer includes a free digital photo frame they will load with photos we e-mail them.  We have decided to set this frame on the memorial table and fill it with photos of our lost loved ones.

* A memorial poem.  I found a poem online that we tweaked a little bit and printed up on some cardstock with a graphic design in our colors.  We will frame the poem and place it on the memorial table.  It reads as such:

We thought of you with love today,
But that is nothing new.

We thought of you yesterday
and the days before that, too.

We think of you in silence.
We often speak your name.

Now all we have are memories
and your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake,
with which we'll never part.

God has you in His keeping,
we have you in our hearts.

Makes me a little teary eyed just reading it.  Mr Fix It was very happy when I told him of the idea of a memorial table with vases and photos.  And my Aunt (my grandmother's daughter) was pretty teary eyed when she found out I was going to honor her sister and mother in this way.  It is something that we hope all of our guests will stop by and say a prayer as they think of both ours and their own loved ones. 

So ladies, what are your thoughts on a memorial of some sort?  Do you have a special way you are honoring your loved ones who are no longer with us? 


thehickbride said...

Thanks for posting this! I was excited to hear more about your memorial table! LOVE the poem, it's beautiful.

Kristy said...

the poem is soo moving! we are going to mention our lost loved ones at the beginning of the ceremony and are thinking about a visual representation of sorts as well. we are playing with the idea of setting out our parents/grandparents wedding photos and thought that combining and making it more of a family memorial to honor those here and gone might be what we ultimately do so that our families are ALL together in some way.

Bicoastal Bride said...

Your memorial table sounds beautiful, and I love your idea about using the photo frame to showcase photos of your special loved ones. As part of our anniversary dance slideshow, we’ll include photos of departed relatives and friends, as they were spouses of guests who will be attending our wedding. That way, we can honor the wonderful lives and marriages they had while they were with us.

Bee @ BP Wedding said...

I loooove those etched memorial vases! They are so pretty! We are definitely lighting candles for our lost loved ones. We are going to honor both of my grandfathers, Patrick's paternal grandmother, and his beloved aunt. I remember how hard it was for us when they passed away and it makes me so sad that these very important people can't be with us to share in all the joy & love on the happiest day of our lives, but we know that they are watching over us and will be there in spirit.

For our memorial table, I am planning to use the 3-frame luminary idea that you posted a while back. I hope you don't mind if I borrow the idea? Patrick and I were thinking that we could make one for each person, and since there are 3 frames, we could put a picture of the person in one frame, a picture of one of us with the person in the next frame, and a poem in the third frame. We just bought the frames last weekend so now I just have to find some good pictures and go get some vellum. Thanks for always posting about your great ideas! Your posts always inspire me. :)

LauraLou said...

I like that poem! We're doing memorial candles. I blogged about them here:

PartyPlannerGal said...

This is such a lovely idea. I blogged about this awhile back, and one of the commenters suggested leaving an empty seat with a rose on it for my dad (who passed away a little over four years ago) in the front. I think that and a bouquet charm, a note in the program, and a candle in the remembrance corner at our venue. As you can tell, I really want to make sure I feel my dad with me, even though he can't be there!

Chocolate Lover said...

The poem is beautiful! And I love the vases! We haven't decided on this yet.

honey my heart said...

wow. i really love all of your plans to honor those who are not able to attend. i'm sure your family will appreciate it and love it.

Anonymous said...

So sweet! I'm doing a lot of little things to remember my dad: I'm putting his picture in a locket in my bouquet, we're dedicating the ceremony to him, etc. Love reading your ideas!

Mrs T said...

All your ideas are lovely.

Mr B did a toast to absent friends in his speech for his Dad and our Grandparents. It was perfect for us.

Gracie said...

That's a really lovely gesture! It's special and I'm sure the guests will love it. It's a beautiful way to include those that are no longer here. Very touching.

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