Although weddings are joyful occasions, there will always be at least a hint of sadness when special people are not able to be in attendance. This is especially true when the bride or groom have deceased parents, grandparents, or close friends. There are a number of ways in which the names of these deceased people can be listed on the wedding program. It will make the day far more meaningful for all those who knew and loved those who have passed away.
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Decide together with your fiance which deceased people you would like to list in your wedding program. Parents should always be included, but stepparents, grandparents, siblings, friends, uncles and aunts are other people to consider.
Write a section honoring the deceased on the page in which you thank your wedding guests and those who have been instrumental in your relationship. It can be as simple as writing, "We remember with love those who are no longer with us," which is an option that would allow you not to list specific names. Another popular way is to write, "We lovingly remember (name or names), who is/are with us today in spirit and in our hearts forever."
List the names of deceased persons where appropriate in wedding programs, adding "the late" in front of the names. For example, if the bride's mother has passed away, the bride's parents would be listed as "Mr. John Smith and the late Mrs. Jane Smith."
Include the deceased person's name in a section in the order of service, if there is a special portion of the ceremony dedicated to that person. This may be the lighting of a candle, in which case it would be listed as "Lighting of candle in memory of Mrs. Jane Smith, mother of the bride."
Consider sending a draft of the program to your closest living relatives for their approval before it is printed. This is especially important if there are any deceased people whom you did not include on the program, as the bride or groom's parents may be offended if these people are left off the wedding program.