Remembering Lost Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day

The majority of married men and women would agree that walking down and aisle and saying “I do” were life-changing moments in their lives. But a wedding day is bittersweet for brides and grooms who have lost family members or friends who were dear to them.

Incorporating the memory of loved ones lost can bring a sense of peace to a bride or groom-to-be, and it also allows those who were left behind to feel that their friends or family members are there in spirit. Here at The Plunge Project, we’ve compiled a few meaningful ways to surround yourself with subtle reminders of your loved ones on your wedding day.

Altar for Lost Ones by Neal Patel

A Memory Table

Along with a guest book/welcome table and a gift table, create a memory table with photos and mementos in remembrance of your loved ones. Include candles and any other items that reminds you of them.

A Song

As a subtle reminder, play a song that reminds you of your friend or family member. Include a special mention in your wedding program. A beautiful choice is “Candle in the Wind” by Elton John. “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton is also a heartfelt option.

Something Old

Many of us have old notes or photos that we’ve held onto from our favorite people over the years. Incorporate one of these special keepsakes by pinning it inside your gown as your “something old.”

A Touch of Gold

Do you have a piece of jewelry that belonged to your grandmother, father, or someone else in your life who has passed away? Wear it with pride on your wedding day. When you receive a compliment on the piece, you will most-likely touch it, which will remind you of them on your special day.

Reserve Them a Seat

Just because a loved one cannot physically attend your wedding doesn’t mean they can’t play a role in it. Reserve them a front row seat by laying a rose or other reminder on it. Include a poem or song lyrics which hold special meaning to you.

The Bride’s Guide to Wedding Music

Music has a way of transforming moments into memories. An event that is seemingly forgotten can come rushing back with just a few seconds of a song from the past. Brides and grooms-to-be have a wonderful opportunity to set the tone for their wedding day using lighting, décor, etc. But one of the most overlooked – and incredibly important – aspects of wedding planning is to create a mood with music. If you’re perplexed as to what tunes to turn-up for those big wedding moments, The Plunge Project is here to help…

Beverly & Ryan’s Wedding by April Killingsworth

The Ceremony

Although many couples wish to incorporate modern music into their special day, the processional and recessional are a great time to include traditional songs. There are countless versions of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, and Pachelbel’s Canon in D is a simply beautiful choice. However, more current songs work well, too! I Choose You by Sara Bareilles is sweet and slightly upbeat, while Train’s Marry Me is an obvious, yet romantic option. (Psst... it also makes a perfect first dance song.)

Reception Entrance

If you don’t have an entrance song in mind, think of what feeling you want to convey when you walk into the room as Mr. and Mrs. That vibe will carry over into the entire event. One song that’s sure to bring tears to your guests’ eyes is U2’s Beautiful Day. If you want to get the party started right away, consider Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO. Create a fun-filled atmosphere with Queen’s Another One Bite’s the Dust. It will let friends and family know they can cut loose and have a good time (plus it will give them a good giggle!)

First Dance

If you and your sweetie have a song that has meaning for you, this is the perfect time to incorporate it. Nostalgia can play an extra-special part in a couple’s wedding. With that being said, many newlyweds may consider their first dance song their forever song, so take time to choose a tune you both adore. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel is a memorable song with a great beat, and Lonestar’s Amazed is a breathtakingly romantic song choice.

Father-Daughter Dance

It’s difficult to capture the love between father and daughter, but there are a couple of songs that certainly come close. My Little Girl by Tim McGraw is heartfelt and a definite tear-jerker, while Frank Sinatra’s The Way You Look Tonight is a classic that will let you and your dad show off your dance moves. As you decide on your wedding day music, don’t forget that these memories will live on forever. The day of your wedding, and for years to come, the choices you make today will be music to your ears and will live forever in your hearts.

Creating a Vintage Wedding

When brides begin the wedding planning process, they want to pull-off a unique experience they’ll always remember. No one sets out to create a cookie cutter wedding, but the limitless options make it difficult to stick to a distinctive theme. If you have a fondness for all things retro, why not create a vintage wedding that’s totally you? Here at The Plunge Project, we’ve come up with some simple (but completely effective) ways to achieve a retro wedding that you and your guests will also remember!

Photo Credit: Tom Leuntjens

Bridal Style: A tea length swing dress is perfect for a vintage bride. However, any bridal gown can be transformed with accessories, makeup, and a retro hairstyle. Consider donning red lips or a smoky eye on your wedding day, and choose a wavy style or braided updo to create a glamorous vibe. A brooch or flower can be added to put a picture-perfect finishing touch on this vintage style.

The Girls: Choose bridesmaid dresses with a retro feel. If you’re not adverse to patterns, polka dots or floral designs work beautifully. Halter dresses or full-skirt options are often not difficult to find. Choose a hairstylist and makeup artist who are comfortable creating that vintage look, and treat your favorite gals to a flashback makeover!

The Guys: Once you’ve decked out the ladies, it’s time to think about the gents. Bowties, thin suspenders, vests, and hats can convert a basic tux into antiquated perfection. Add a pop of plaid to complete the retro vibe.

Bring on the Bling: Not only can a retro bride deck herself out in ‘diamonds’ and pearls; she can use them to decorate, too! Many florists are more than happy to incorporate these fancy adornments into bouquets and other décor, making this a fabulous way to add a flashback feel to your vintage wedding.

Photo Credit: Karen Morgan

Music Matters: The right music can transport wedding guests to another era. “I Wanna Be Loved By You” will take friends and family straight back to the roaring 20’s, while “In the Still of the Night” is ideal for a 50’s celebration. Lists of top love songs can be found for each and every decade online. Mix and match, or choose one era and go for it!

Small, subtle touches will ensure you create a memorable vintage experience you and your guests will never forget.

Money-Saving Menu Tips for Your Wedding

Out of all the expenses that come with planning a perfect wedding, the food often takes over the budget. It’s understandable that you want your guests to leave your reception full and filled with great memories. The good news is, you can feed them well and still save on the spending.

Plan your wedding early in the day: Rather than serving a steak dinner, you can offer a light brunch to guests. Bonus: You will save on drinks, as simple champagne will pair perfectly with your meal.

Champagne by Bethan

Don’t be afraid to DIY: Do-it-yourself can go way beyond craft projects when you choose to serve simple hors d’oeuvres and snacks to family and friends. A nice spread of cheeses, crackers, cookies, fruits, and veggies makes for a great starter. Finger sandwiches can also be served, but don’t overthink it. Consider what you would love to dive into at a wedding, and go with your gut! More often than not, we remember simple and delicious over elaborate and tasteless.

Make it Interactive: If a fancy, multi-course meal is not in the cards (or the budget), opt to offer stations instead. Food stations allow your guests to build a meal that they’ll love; your only concern will be having a couple of friends or family members keep the stations stocked, fresh, and hot (or cold). Some fun ideas for food stations? A baked potato bar, burger bar, taco bar, sandwich bar, coffee bar, waffle/pancake bar, sundae station, candy station, etc. There is something whimsical about this approach to a meal. Replace the fine dining with fun dining!

Have Your (Cup)cake & Eat it Too: Some brides and grooms are forgoing cake altogether to make room for pies and other desserts. But if you prefer to keep the tradition alive, save lots of money by serving cupcakes. Cupcakes will allow you to offer a variety of flavors, and the displays can double as decorations.

Wedding Cupcake Centerpieces by Clever Cupcakes

Serve It Up with Love: One service many brides underutilize is help offered from family and friends. When someone meets your engagement announcement with, “let me know what I can help with,” be honest about your cost-saving plans, and assign them a simple job. People love to know they’re helping, and your wedding is not the time to shy away from generous offers. Let your “staff” know you’re thankful for them before, during, and after the big day, and let them know you’re happy to return the favor.

No matter how you decide to cut food costs, try not to stress. Your wedding will offer an overall experience, not just a meal; serve what you like, serve it with love, and you’re sure to have happy guests!

DIY Lighting for Your Wedding

With so much emphasis on the dress, the cake, and other exciting wedding planning elements, one very important component is often overlooked.. the lighting! Wedding reception lighting not only transforms the physical space; it sets the mood for the most important day of your life. And creating that ambiance doesn’t have to blow your wedding budget. DIYuplighting offers beautiful, affordable lighting you can set up yourself to customize the tone of your special day.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

It’s understandable that the thought of DIY lighting may be overwhelming to some brides and grooms-to-be, but the set-up instructions are really quite simple. The rentable lights have seven built-in color options, plus they’re completely customizable to create the perfect mood for your wedding.

One welcome side effect of DIY lighting is the cascade of color that shines throughout the room. As you can see in the photo above, the entire space has been transformed, from the ceiling to the illuminated table settings.

While creating the perfect ambiance is essential, we understand that color scheme and theme are incredibly important to couples in the wedding planning process. This Orlando ballroom was customized using a mix of preset blue uplighting and custom sea green to create an underwater Atlantis theme. The result? Stunning.

Set the Mood with DIYuplighting

The affordability of DIYuplighting is what really impressed us here at The Plunge Project. At only $17 per light, an ordinary space can be transformed into a wedding-worthy venue. This 10x30 tent in Glendale, California looks picture-perfect with only eight uplights:

Transform Your Venue

The proof is in the pictures, and we just love how simple DIYuplighting makes the entire process. From checking availability online, to the easy set-up, and pre-paid return shipping label, DIYuplighting is our top pick for beautiful, affordable lighting for your dream wedding.

A Little About Us

From before the aisle to after the plunge, the Plunge Project is a wedding and lifestyle blog for real women. The Plunge Project is a place for the detail-oriented woman to find ideas, inspiration and advice for everything that comes after that one little question, “will you marry me?”

From walking down the aisle, to building a home and entertaining, to keeping the spark alive (and one day even having babies…but we’re still getting there), the Plunge Project is written for the stylish, savvy, DIY loving, bargain hunting, detail-oriented, do-it-all woman who never lets a limited budget limit her style.

The Plunge Project’s mission is to provide wedding inspiration, stylish party ideas, unique DIY projects, tasty recipes and real world advice to the real woman.


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