Honestly, I haven't paid much attention to Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday to honor one's ancestors. I think Halloween--my favorite holiday--overshadows everything else for entire months leading up to it.
This year, however, I've been paying more attention to holidays, since I feel obligated to teach my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders at the public Montessori school where I work about cultural traditions and celebrations from around the world (Labor Day, but the way, is a really inspiring holiday!).
I attended a workshop about Dia de los Muertos at a local store for Mexican folk art. I learned all about the tradition of making altars to honor one's deceased loved ones. I then worked with some of my students after school to create remembrance boxes (it's amazing what old shoeboxes can transform into!).
The whole process has really gotten me thinking about the healing and fortifying effects of celebrating loved ones who have passed away. I've read tidbits on various blogs about ideas for honoring one's deceased family members and friends at weddings, and I wanted to gather some of those ideas here. After all, weddings are about community, connection, and love. For some folks, it makes perfect sense to honor or highlight deceased members of our community during the gathering. I wish Matt and I would have done this.
Here are some ideas for how to do it:
- Memorial Candles: Each candle can have a specific person's name attached to it.
- Small Picture Charms: You can put a picture of an important loved one in a small picture frame (thanks to Ariel for the Etsy idea!) and secure it somewhere significant (on a tie clip, bouquet, sash, etc.).
- A Picture to Hold a Loved One's Place: This couple used a photograph to mark the place the groom's deceased brother would have been as the best man. So touching!
- A Place in the Ceremony Program
- Toast to Those Who Are Present in Spirit
- Poem or Song During the Ceremony
- A Special Song and Dedication During the Reception
What other ideas have you come across?