With the awful events that have unfolded in Connecticut over the past few days, and with Christmas Day just around the corner, I’m sure there are many people out there who can empathise with having a loved one missing from their lives.
Significant events like Christmas, Birthdays and of course Weddings, can bring a lot of raw emotion to the surface. When I get married, the one part of the day that I am dreading more than I can explain is walking down the aisle.
I lost my Dad in 2010. He passed away suddenly at home one evening in August, without any prior warning; he was only 54 at the time. That horrid Wednesday will remain engraved in my memory forever, and it was a moment that has undoubtedly shaped my life ever since.
It always makes me sad when a happy event occurs in the family. This sounds backwards, but it’s because my Dad isn’t there to see it. He wasn’t there to hold my new niece, who was born earlier this year. He’s never seen my lovely house, or pass my driving test. He wasn’t there to congratulate me on my new job, even though I know he’d be so proud. And he won’t be there to watch me get married.
I’d always imagined that moment; walking down the aisle with my Dad. I sat next to my Dad when my sister got married, and we both bawled our eyes out together. I guess I’m just worried about how the day will play out without him there to guide me. He was always very good at giving advice; we would spend hours mulling things over, discussing all the options, imparting his words of wisdom to me.
I don’t want to spend my wedding day, which is of course meant to be one of the very happiest, grieving for someone who isn’t with us anymore. But I also don’t want to the day to pass without thinking of Dad, and pretending like everything is perfect. There are a few ways I’d like to incorporate my Dad’s memory into my wedding day, and I thought I’d share them with you.
A lovely suggestion from a fellow wedding supplier, and something I hadn’t considered doing before, is laying my bouquet somewhere significant after the wedding. Believe or not, we still haven’t sprinkled the ashes anywhere; two years on, it’s still too painful. But I know we’ll get there at some point. It’s likely to be in a special location down in Cornwall – Sennen Cove. This is my most favourite place in the whole wide world, and I always feel like I’m embarking on a pilgrimage whenever I go back there. I’m not a religious person, but I think Sennen is probably my spiritual home. Image sourced here.
I would certainly like to include some photographs of my Dad around the venue on my wedding day. He had such a lovely cheery face that I want to remember; he could always make me smile. I very much like the idea of using photographs as part of the table centrepieces. Image sourced here.
Brigitte and Graham’s wedding, who was featured on the blog a little while back, dotted photographs around the venue as part of the decoration, and I think the effect is beautiful.
There are a few songs that always remind me of Dad, and that also have good memories for several family members. I hope to include some of these tracks on our wedding playlist so we can embrace the memory of my Dad, whilst enjoying ourselves and having a dance. I might not be able to dance with him in person, but I can still do so in spirit! Image sourced here.
Make a donation
When my Dad passed away, we decided to fundraise on his behalf for his favourite charity, the RNLI. We managed to raise just over £1000.00 on the day of his service, and it was donated to our local lifeboat station to purchase a new lifeboat for the area. I know how generous guests can often be to newlyweds, but we’re already settled in our home, with all the bits and bobs we really need. Rather than creating a gift list with random kitchenalia, I will be requesting that guests can make a donation to the RNLI in my Dad’s name. Image sourced here.
I hope when the time comes for me to tie the knot, it won’t be too painful. More time will have passed by that point, and I know that my Dad will be looking down on me as he always does.