How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony

How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony

Missing relatives can leave a huge hole in your ceremony plans. Whether it be that they just can't make it for a number of reasons or that they are no longer here it can impact your day in many ways. For whatever the reason they are missing still including them in your ceremony in some way can be a huge comfort, and there are many ways you can do this.


From pictures to poetry celebrating their absence, here are our ideas of how to celebrate your missing relatives and how to still include them in your ceremony and special day.

How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony


Music is a huge part of any ceremony so why not play their favourite song or a song that reminds you of them at some point throughout. You could even add this to your order of service and include the lyrics so everyone can sing along. For many people, music is a reminder of so many things so it can be a wonderful way to remember missing relatives.

How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony


Poetry is a special and emotive way to recognise missing relatives. The poem could be handcrafted about them, or it could be a poem or reading from their favourite book. There are many ways to use poetry within your ceremony.



Using photography is a classic and beautiful way to remember missing relatives. Depending on where you are hosting your ceremony will depend on how you would like to do this. You could have a table with your missing relatives' pictures on, or have bunting made to display them on walls.

How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony

Lighting Candles

The lighting of candles is significant and historical. You could light a candle next to their pictures if you choose to have both. This can be done at any point during the ceremony. You may want to light it at the beginning as a mark of respect that they are watching whilst the ceremony is conducted or you may want to do it in the middle or end of the ceremony and read a poem at the same time.


Saving Their Seat

Adding their picture to an empty seat or saving their seat is a prominent way to recognise the absence of missing relatives. This could be placed at the front or amongst the other seating as a mark of respect and remembrance.

How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony


If it's a case that a loved one cannot be with you on the day then today's technology can make it possible that they are there in some form. You can have a live stream of the ceremony itself so they can see the whole thing, or you could get them to do a reading via Zoom and contribute to your special day in a unique way!


Use Your Celebrant

Your Celebrant is there to help you craft your ceremony so if you feel like you want to acknowledge missing relatives but don't want a visual representation then they can help. You or your family and friends may not want to be involved for whatever reason so you could ask your Celebrant to say a few words or do a reading within the ceremony. They may have some ideas of their own too!

How To Recognise Missing Relatives In Your Ceremony

Recognising a missing relative is a personal thing and if you want to include something in your ceremony whatever that may be, it is more than possible! If you found this advice on how to include your missing relatives useful, we have lots of other tips and advice over on our blogs too. you can check them out here!

Jennifer Claire is the Founder of The Celebrant Directory and lives and breathes all things ceremony! After officiating big days for 10 years, she now focuses on giving you the tips you need to create your perfect celebration.

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