My mother was losing her battle with ovarian cancer when Mark asked me to marry him. Because she likely wouldn’t make it to our wedding, my thoughtful husband-to-be went out of his way to include her in every secret and elaborate strategy he had for his proposal. Mark made sure my mom knew exactly where it was going to happen and when, and he lovingly elevated her role in the planning to full-on co-conspirator by involving her in the ruse to get me exactly where I needed to be that day. Mark and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this year and I remain just as grateful today as I did back then for what he did for me, but especially my mom, two decades ago.
Mom didn’t live to see us get married but she was very much part of the wedding. Most couples also want their loved ones to be part of the ceremony and celebration. Below I share five opportunities for including those you’ve lost in your special day.