top of page

Honoring Those Who Aren't Present

Updated: Mar 2, 2022

When most people think about honoring those who aren’t present at their wedding, they think of those who have passed away. Though this is the most common reason for a special mention, there are other reasons to give a shout out to someone. Especially now, in the midst of COVID-19, a lot of VIP guests are making the insanely difficult decision of RSVPing with regrets. Luckily, there are a number of ways to honor those loved ones without overdoing it, or bringing down the vibe.

Ways to Honor

  • Use the program. Using the program is a great way to low-key honor your absent guests. People can look at their will, and honor those they wish to honor in their own time and space. This is the number one way we recommend honoring a long list of loved ones; which can be helpful during this monstrosity of a pandemic, when many guests are not present for any number of reasons. We also find this style of honoring to be the most subtle, with literally zero drawbacks.

  • Use your wedding welcome sign. Using your sign has some of the same benefits as using the program; however, it also has some disadvantages. First, the number one purpose of your welcome sign is to welcome people; but the welcoming aspect could easily get lost in a cluster of names. Second, you should be mindful of the sign placement; this can be tricky, as a welcome sign is meant to be placed front and center. Nonetheless, you don’t want any readers to be in the way of foot traffic, nor do you want to ask someone paying their respects to get out of the GD way. That being said, if your honorable mentions top off at 1-2 people, using the sign is a great idea.

  • Ask the officiant. Asking the officiant to mention loved ones is another one of the most common ways to honor, but it is also the most forward. Honoring can be placed directly into the ceremony, with or without a moment of silence to follow. A major benefit to this approach is being able to share the moment with everyone in attendance. It also ensures that everyone participates in honoring, as opposed to a program or sign that may be overlooked by some. The one drawback, and I am just going to come out and say it, it’s sad. Death, if that is the case, is sad. Weddings are happy. There’s a lot of emotions flying around.

  • Use images. Honoring loved ones can easily become part of your decor. You can hit two birds with one stone and fill your gift table or sign-in table with beautifully framed pictures of family and friends. There are countless ways to include pictures, and it would be easy to come up with a unique way that reflects your style (hello, new Pinterest board idea). Anyone using technology to give a presentation during the ceremony or reception could also add a slide or two for this purpose.

Who You Can Honor

  • Those who have passed

  • Those who were unable attend due to. COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, illness, a new baby, military obligations, distance (overseas, other side of the country, etc.)


The KE Team


Photo Credit from left to right: New England Portrait, Dalton Smiley, Love and Perry, and KR Photography


Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.


312 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page