You are getting married soon, and cannot help but feel mixed emotions about this upcoming major event in your life. On one hand, you are happy and really excited because you have finally met that special person that you want to spend the rest of your life with and are going to celebrate the love and commitment that you two have for each other. On the other hand, you are also feeling a little down because your parents will be unable to witness and be there for this once-in-a-lifetime affair because of age, illness, or inescapable scheduling conflicts.
You are already on an emotional roller-coaster and have many huge expectations for your big day: Is this the perfect wedding gown? Should I wear a wedding veil? Who do we invite? How do we cut back on the expenses? Add to all of that stress the absence of your dad and/or mum. Traditionally, in western weddings, the parents of the bride play major roles. For example, the father escorts the bride down the aisle, takes part in the father-daughter dance, makes a toast, and plays host at the end of the night, whereas the mother supports the shopping, wrangles bridesmaids, researches traditions and runs the last-minute errands. So, not having them will be a hole in the ceremony for all those traditional things.
Sure, not having them is awful but just because your parents are unable to show up at your wedding, it does not mean they cannot be a part of the occasion. Here are some of the ways you can honor your parent(s) who cannot be with you on the big day.
1. Look like your mom
If your mum could not make it to your big day, one of the best ways to honor her is to wear her wedding dress or one that looks identical. You can easily get custom wedding dresses online so even if her bridal gown is not in the most immaculate condition, you can still bear a resemblance to your mother when she was getting married. If you want to go a step ahead, why not incorporate her accessories into your wedding ensemble as well?
2. Reserve a seat
To feel as though your parents are with you on your big day and are a part of the ceremony, you can create a frame with their photographs and place it on one of the chairs in your ceremony. If you want, you can also write captions in the frame to inform other guests why your parents could not take part in your wedding ceremony.
3. Dedicate a speech
If you are going to make a speech during the reception, be sure to dedicate a part of it to your parents who could not be there at your wedding. Tell everyone how much you would have wanted for them to be with you during this special occasion. Share with people an unforgettable anecdote that your parents have told you about marriage, an inside joke that they always cracked, or a cherished memory that you have with them. You can also talk about how much you have been inspired by the kind of relationship and marriage that your parents have shared.
4. Play their favorite tunes
The music you pick for your wedding ceremony and reception offers a wonderful opportunity for you to honor parents who could not be there. You can have the choir/band/wedding singer perform your parents’ signature tunes or have them play your parents’ favorite kind of music as ambient music during the reception. If you are going to ask a band or wedding singer to sing their favorite song, have the singer/vocalist dedicate the song to your parents.
5. Go digital
With the help of online video services – like Facetime on an iPhone or Skype, you can now share your wedding experiences with your parents – wherever they are. They can easily attend (stream) your wedding ceremony and send you blessings over the Internet. When you are doing this, though, make sure you test everything ahead of time. It would really be a terrible experience sweating when the connection is not working.
Your wedding is an awesome time and deserves an amazing celebration. Of course, you would want your parents to be with you when you are embarking on your life with someone you love. But you can still avoid sinking into a bridal funk because you know there are many ways you can do to keep their presence alive and make them a part of the wondrous occasion.