Weddings are special celebrations of life and love that we look forward to sharing with those closest to us. While some important people in our lives may not be able to experience this happy occasion, these loved ones can certainly be remembered and included in the wedding festivities. Here are some ways you can choose to honor loved ones at your wedding reception:

Floral Accents

Did your loved one have a favorite flower? If so, incorporate those blooms in the table arrangements. Enhance your current floral scheme by adding new texture, or create a stand-out moment with a large arrangement as a focal point to honor your friend or relative. Add an extra touch with candles to elevate the design.

vintage-inspired wedding table settings

Something Borrowed

Heirlooms can be stunning nods to family members in your reception decor. Mix brooches, compasses, watches, and other smaller items into table centerpieces to add dimension and vintage flair. Changing into a different reception outfit to kick off a wonderful celebration? Sew a piece of a loved one’s old shirt or favorite dress into the lining of your own look to have their memory close to your heart all evening. Embroider their initials into the fabric for an extra special touch.

Save a Place

Feel the presence of your loved one at your reception with a reserved seat at the table. Print a place card with their name to include in the table setting or create a reservation backing for the chair. If you are serving a meal with a menu or using a program listing events at your reception, include a short note for your loved one as a sentimental remembrance.

wedding reception memory wall

Sweet Memories

A picture is worth a thousand words, so including a memory table will speak volumes about the importance of loved ones on this special day. Arrange a table with photos, mementos, books, and other items that remind you of this special person. For a unique twist on a memory table, work with your reception space to install a memory wall for guests to interact with.

Nostalgic Soundtracks

Whether you have a DJ or live music for reception entertainment, playing a song for your loved one will surely make your wedding playlist even better. You may even dedicate a dance to them, depending on their relation to the guests and family. Guests can remember your loved one while enjoying the music and dance floor.

Lantern Wishes

Send messages to those unable to take part in your big day through a symbolic lantern release at the end of your reception. Once the sun goes down, have guests gather outside to send lanterns or balloons into the sky as a tribute to all loved ones no longer with you. Watch as the lanterns float in a stunning display to end the night on a high-note.


Wedding planning can be difficult, especially when there’s a loved one missing from the process. Add these small but meaningful touches to the ceremony and reception to help make loved ones a part of your wedding day, even if they’ve passed.

Learn more about wedding venues and planning services at our South Carolina oceanfront wedding venue. Connect with our Seabrook Island wedding planner to schedule an appointment.