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Inspiration & Expert Advice to Help You Create Your Own Wedding Ceremony!

Honouring Mum at the Wedding

Honoring a parent in a wedding ceremonyI have just received an email from a celebrant who was asking for some ideas for a young bride who would like to light a candle at her wedding in remembrance of her mother who died when she was very young. For a bride and groom this has to be one of the hardest challenges - that of having a parent who cannot be there especially when the parent has died.

Lighting a candle for her mum is a beautiful idea. On the wedding day it will be challenging to say the least, as there may be lots of ...'if only dad could walk me down the aisle... if only mum could...'

In the planning of what to say and do at the ceremony I would encourage the person (bride or groom) to focus on their parent smiling at them, holding their hand or recalling a memory that will make them laugh and smile. In the preparation I would recommend counselling or support to release the sadness, disappointment and grief before the wedding day. If it is necessary it is better to have a 'melt down' and a really good cry before the wedding day rather than hold it in.

And what to say on the day?

For the wording start by talking with the bride or groom as to how they would like to remember their parent on their wedding day. Ask what is their favourite image/story of a time with their parent. If they wish to light a remembrance candle ask what the light of the candle represents in regard to their parent. You may find that their answers will give you lots of clues as to what to write.

A few suggestions:

'There is a note of sadness today as Cara's beautiful mum, Sarah cannot be with us......

Sarah lives on in her daughter...Cara remembers ... (a story, image...)
Sarah's love, strength and compassion are clearly evident in Cara, and Cara's children...
Cara would be very proud to see her daughter so radiantly beautiful and would insist on everyone having a great time, dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves.

'... Cara feels very comforted knowing her mum, Sarah is watching over her...'

Cara and Brad are going to light this candle in remembrance of Sarah's beautiful radiance and how she still touches their lives in so many ways...'

On the wedding day remind the bride and groom to see their (deceased) parent smiling at them. I would recommend at least one rehearsal, preferably two with this part of the ceremony. Inevitably, there will be tears. Allow a few moments for this rather than rush over any emotion that comes. (I have not had any brides or grooms not cry at this moment yet everyone is different!)

A few key points for celebrants who may not have done a remembrance at a ceremony. Do not be afraid to smile caringly at this difficult time as you will be the strength they need. You may wish to lean over and place your hand on the bride or groom's hand, or have their partner hug the one who is upset or, just stand strong and firm, breathing in a relaxed manner (some couple's do not wish to be touched).

Have a glass or bottle of water on hand so if you need to you can offer a drink and also give the bride or groom a chance to blow their nose if need be.

Ensure you move onto something bright and uplifting (rather than going straight in to, say, the monitum...)

I hope this offers support to others who need it.

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