Wording Dilemma: Listing the Deceased

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Q: My father passed away several years ago. I’m currently planning my wedding and I’d like to honor him in as many ways as possible. I want to include his name on my wedding invitation, but I’m not sure how to appropriately word it. Can you help?     –Andrea in CO

A: First of all, my condolences on the loss of your father. I know that you are probably feeling his absence more than usual as your wedding approaches. Though he won’t be there to walk you down the aisle, he will be with you in spirit!

There are several ways that you can honor your dad on your big day! One of my favorite “remembrance” ideas is for the bride to wear and/or carry a possession of her loved one down the aisle with her. You could attach a pin, ring or photo charm to your bouquet. You could wrap a special piece of fabric around the base of your flowers. You could even have something small (like a cuff link) sewn into your dress. Once you start thinking along these lines, the ideas will come! In addition to carrying an item with you or on you, you may also want to display a small table of photos at your wedding reception. This table could honor just your father or your father + additional family members. Also, it’s quite common to include a note mentioning and/or honoring those that have passed on wedding programs. You’ll find your own special way to honor your dad and to feel his presence with you on your day.

As for your wedding invitation – it’s not necessary to include him. Some feel that parents who have passed away should not be included on wedding invitations. Their reasoning is generally based solely on logic (as opposed to meanness). Typically, wedding invitations are issued by the hosts of the celebration. Since it’s impossible for a deceased parent to host, they would not be listed. While I understand this logic, I happen to be a bit more flexible. I think there’s a compromise. If you want to list your father on your invitation – if that’s important to you – then that’s what you should do. Simply be careful not to imply that he’s hosting the event.  Here are a couple of different options for you to consider:

Wording-Wedding-Invitation-Deceased-Parent-EtiquetteUse the option that feels best to you and you won’t be wrong!

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One Response to “Wording Dilemma: Listing the Deceased”

  1. Melissa B.

    All are great options. We did #1, bc we paid for our wedding ourselves and our parents have remarried (that would be a lot of names listed). I can also see #3 being used as a memorial to her father. So sorry for your loss, Andrea.

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