Ideas to make sister's wedding special - bit sad at the moment(19 Posts)
I have looked at lots of the wedding idea threads and there are some great ideas, but our situation is a bit unusual.
In the last few months, and since my sister's wedding was booked, we have lost both our Mum and Dad. They were very happily married for over 40 years and their absence will make the wedding v strange.
Does anyone have any ideas for 'lifting' the day with some special touches? I am aware that special things that Mum would have done, now will not be.
Or do you have any ideas for the ceremony (civil) to mention them.
I'm just a bit worried that she may miss out, when they both deserve a lovely day and to make the most of happiness where they can find it.
006, how thoughtful of you. do you have close family friends/relatives of your parents who could fulfil some of their "duties" or speak about them? hope someone will be able to come up with some good ideas for you, x
006, I think it would be really lovely to mention your Mum & Dad, but somehow in an upbeat way - otherwise your sister may get a bit teary - given that it is such an emotional day.
DH added an extra toast into the speech section where he toasted absent friends. His family members had each lost a close friend over the previous year and he wanted to remember them without mentioning it explicitly IYSWIM.
Can you do the special things your mum would have done?
Is there any record of their wedding that will enable your sister to incorporate bits from it? I am guessing it was possibly a church wedding back then, so some of their readings or hymns won't be allowed in a registry office setting.
Could your sister have flowers like your mum's, wear some of her jewellery or maybe even have her dress remodelled, if you still have it?
Or how about a sixties theme, with maybe fashions or other touches from the year your mum and dad married? Hits of the period?
Perhaps their wedding photo on a table with flowers beside it might be nice.
It will be a bittersweet occasion for you and your sis, thank goodness you have each other to share your memories of happy times. That must be a great comfort.
the husband of a friend made one of those cut-up-photos of her for their wedding - she'd been through breast cancer treatment, and although this obviously isn't the same, everyone at the reception looking at the photos/messages was bittersweet and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. one of the most memorable weddings i've been to.
(meant one of those frames with cut-up-photos in it )
what about someone dedicating a speech to the memory of the parents. a friend of the family. it will be sad but very moving for everyone
at my cousins wedding last year he mentioned my sister and he also thanked me for going as he knew it was hard for me and i had had to travel so far. All i had done was moan about his wedding and after he said that I went into the toilets and cried for what seemed like ages, cried in the car all the way back to my mums, left the wedding early. Gosh weddings are such highly strung occassions. I really think how thoughtful you are being 006 will come accross to your sister, she is very lucky to have you xx I am very sorry you have lost both your mum and your dad so recent and so close together. that must be extremely hard
I like Marina's ideas a lot.
At a wedding we went to, the bride had recently lost her Mum and she had a framed picture of her on a sidetable, with flowers all around. I know it wouldn't be everyones' 'thing' but I spoke to the bride and she said it helped her to remember that her Mum was still there, in a way.
And at a wedding we went to this month the groom had lost his brother just a few weeks before - he mentioned him in his speech and we all drank a toast to absent friends. It was very moving.
Thanks for ideas - it is hard to get the balance right on what should be a happy occasion.
I think we will definitely do the photo thing. We have both wedding pics and a recent wonderful holiday shot.
My mum was so creative and thoughtful, she would have come up with clever gifts or touches - makes me fell a bit inadeqete.
006, maybe the crafty people on MN can come up with some special touches for you?
006, I was dreading the wedding I mentioned - where the groom had recently lost his brother (in very tragic circumstances). The brother's widow and young daughter were there and I think we all had very mixed feelings about how easy it would be to 'celebrate' when the death and funeral had been so recent. In fact, we shouldn't have worried - it was a happy day, very emotional too, with tears as well as smiles: but it was lovely and, in a way, healing.
I hope your sister's day is very special too - I think you'll rise to the occasion and your Mum and Dad would be very proud.
006 - my sister got married six months after our mother died and I got married a few months later so we thought a lot about this kind of thing too. Mum had taken lots of pictures of sis's preparations (in the coffee bar after trying on dresses, that kind of thing) and I carried that on just to have a record of the whole thing. We also gave each other little tea party showers - Mum was Canadian and would have done this for us - and invited older women, aunts and friends of Mums we've known all our lives, as well as very close friends our own age, and that was lovely to bridge the generations, talk about marriage and just have a laugh. Older women are often more open about loss and can be a real help when weepiness overtakes. The day before the wedding, as we were doing our own flowers, we also got a troupe of women (relatives, friends etc) over to do a conveyer belt, very simple flower arranging session, which was hilarious fun and so nice for gossip and to see people who had come for the wedding and really talk to them as there was not much chance the next day. Made us feel that Mum was joining in somewhere. One other thing - I took my bouquet to put on Mum's grave the day after the wedding which felt special and the right thing to do, so if your sis wants to throw her bouqet, get a small extra one made up for her to chuck and keep the other if she might like to take it somewhere that was special to your mum and dad, or to the cemetery.
Just to add to the essay - we both had special prayers for Mum incorporated into our ceremonies - I'm sure the registrar would be able to help you draft something appropriate and I think it really helps to acknowledge that such important people are missing on the day, even if it does mean you taking extra hankies for your sister - just also take spare powder, mascara and eye makeup in your bag so she can touch up before the pictures start being taken!
could you get hold of a laptop and projector, if there's a small room / alcove near the reception you could get a slide show together with lots of family photos (happy, smiling ones, ones that resonate for everyone) of your whole family
something that's a little infomral but brings their presence into the celebrations
Poor you - you must be going through it. My dad died only a few months before my wedding so I know a bit about how it feels. When it happened I nearly postponed but I am so glad I didn't in the end.
My sister pulled out all the stops to make the day special for me, despite her own grief. She made an incredible speech in place of him that was both funny and moving. The grief was very raw so she mentioned him only in passing, leaving me to propose a toast to him If you plan to make a speech I would suggest trying to keep it focussed on your sister and her husband for as long as possible. My sister was very careful to not say anything too upsetting and I was grateful for that.
But the highlight for me was when she sang 'I can't help falling in Love' , with a friend on guitar, at the end of the speeches and got all 180 people to join in. She announced that it was a song that she and dad had planned to sing to me and dh on the day as she knew it had special significance for us. It was a total suprise and I will never forget the sight and feeling of loads of people I love singing 'Take my hand, take my whole life too'. It was an incredible comfort and I was so stunned at her bravery at putting her grief aside to sing it alone that I was determined that I wouldn't lose it either. I'm not suggesting you do anything so dramatic (My dad and sister are/were both in the acting line so not unusual for them) But I think that the very fact that you are thinking about how to make the day special for your sister is lovely too. If she's anything like me, that fact alone will sustain her.
Thanks passion - what a wonderful gesture on the part of your sister - I can see how much it would have meant to you.
It sounds mad to say that your lovely idea made me laugh, but it was a family joke that I would get squiffy and sing Ave Maria ( I sing sooo badly) and your sister doing this so well was such a contrast! Thank you - I do need the odd laugh!
I think all these ideas are really valuable - what I plan to do is focus on the happy couple and make reference to our parents. As it is their day and all is still pretty raw, this is perhaps the best route.
Thanks to all
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