Monday, February 16, 2009

Wedding Wording Etiquette: The Deceased

(click image to enlarge)

Many brides and grooms want to know how to address their loved ones who've passed away with their wedding invitations. Etiquette gurus dispute the answer which means more freedom for you to decide what's right for yourself. Many traditionalists say that the deceased should never be mentioned on a wedding invitation. Personally, I think having an "in honor of" section of the program or a tribute during the reception are the best options, but I can understand how brides and grooms would find it important to list the deceased on the invitation itself. I say, if it's important to you than you should definitely do it- it's better not to have regrets for the sake of etiquette.

If you will be mentioning the deceased on the invitation it's important to signify that the deceased is not actually the host- otherwise it may seem if they've sent the invitation from beyond the grave. In this case the host line should be from the bride and groom, regardless who's actually hosting.

Jane Roberts
daughter of Mr. Daniel Roberts and the late Ms. Lilian Roberts
(notice that the deceased mother is referred to as Ms. and no longer as Mrs.)
Ryan Boxer
son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Boxer
invite you to their wedding...

Jewish wedding invitation etiquette allows for the deceased to be on the host line but uses the Star of David above the deceased's name, signifying the deceased in a non-obtrusive way.

Mr. Daniel Roberts and the late Ms. Lilian Roberts (Star of David symbol here)
invite you the wedding of
Jane Roberts
Ryan Boxer
son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Boxer...

There are many other ways to honor the deceased at a wedding. I love how Kelly and Christopher honored their late father during the reception. (Photo by Twin Lens as featured by Style Me Pretty.) Not only did they have a memorial photo of David, but they incorporated his love of cigars as gifts to the guests- which I think must have made him smile up in heaven. It's a very tender way to remember the one you love and lost, similarly, you may want to write a loving tribute in your program.

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