How to Recognize Deceased Relatives in a Wedding Program

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Remembering deceased relatives can mean a lot to both families on your wedding day.
Remembering deceased relatives can mean a lot to both families on your wedding day. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Your wedding day should be one of happiest days of your life. There's a chance, though, that some of your relatives will pass away sometime before the day arrives. Many couples choose to remember these relatives on their wedding day. One way you can do so is to mention deceased in the wedding program. A small mention in your program is respectful and can mean a lot to both families.

Make a list of the deceased relatives you want to list in your wedding program. Most people choose to only list members of the immediate family, such as parents, siblings and (possibly) grandparents. Whom you choose to list can be determined by the relationship you had with those individuals, as well as how long you want the list in your wedding program to be.

Decide where in the program you want to place the names of the deceased. Most people choose to place these mentions at the end. This is done to separate the melancholy portion of the program from the celebratory section.

Choose a format for your deceased relatives' names: either paragraph form or a list. If you choose to make a list, you may want to divide it into two columns. The first column can list names and the second can explain how the person was related to the bride and groom in such forms as “brother of the groom,” “grandmother of the bride,” etc.

Decide on a heading or introduction for this section of your wedding program. Possible headings include “We Remember” and “In Memory Of.” Instead of a header, you can also write a sentence or two, such as “We remember those who are no longer with us.” This sentence will then be followed by the names of your deceased relatives.

Tips & Warnings

  • Both the bride and groom should speak to their parents when making the list of deceased relatives. The parents may want to add a special mention of certain other relatives, such as their own parents, if they are deceased.
  • Try to keep the list of names and this section of the program as small as possible. Remember that a wedding is a joyous event. You shouldn't place a family obituary in your wedding program.
  • Recognizing a deceased relatively may cause some deep emotions in those who are still alive, but knew the deceased. This shouldn't discourage the gesture, but you should be aware of the potential for extra tears at the wedding.

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