Our Favorite Ways to Honor Those Who Can’t Be At Your Wedding

Show them that you want them to still be part of your big day

Updated 07/28/17

Jessica Byrum

Narrowing down your guest list is hard. Even harder? Knowing that some of your most cherished guests won’t be able to make it. Whether you’ve lost a loved one or they won’t be able to travel to join you, here are some of our favorite ways to honor those who can’t attend—and make it feel like they’re still a part of your big day.

Celebrating your wedding without someone you really care about is tough, but there are a few ways to honor those who can't make it to the wedding.

Save a Chair

If you’ve lost a loved one, consider saving a chair for them at the ceremony by placing a reserved sign on the chair in their memory. When you walk down the aisle, you can pluck a bloom from your bouquet to place on their seat in their honor.

Frame a Sign

In the event that you have a few deceased family members or friends, a sign that reads “In Loving Memory” or “Wish You Were Here” followed by their names, is a sweet way to mark their absence and can be placed at either the ceremony or the reception.

Display Photos

Whether it’s a deceased family member or grandparents who aren’t fit to travel, sharing photos from past family weddings is a great way to honor your heritage and give special attention to anyone who may not be able to attend. These are a lovely way to decorate the table with your guest book and card box—guests can peruse the images as they consider the perfect message to leave.

Skype Them In

For friends or relatives who can’t attend your wedding, you can still make them feel like they were there by having someone in the front row call them on Skype or FaceTime so they can watch the ceremony. Just be sure to have the call muted so background noise doesn’t affect your proceedings!

Request a Video Toast

If the absent guest is a sibling or member of the wedding party, ask them to prepare a toast and film it to share at the reception. It’s a sweet way for them to share their well-wishes, even if they can’t do so in person. You could even have them don their finest wedding attire for the clip!

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