When and How to Include Absent Guests at Your Wedding


How to Include Absent Guests at Your Wedding

Brides and grooms are only too aware of the stresses involved with organising a wedding especially when it comes to matters of the RSVP.  No matter how much notice you give your invited guests, there are always going to be those that are unable to attend your special day. Geography can put more than just miles between you and, for example, a family member abroad. And under much more emotional circumstances, loved ones that are no longer with you will want to be commemorated in a way that is special to you, but appropriate to everyone else.

So just how do you include absent guests at your wedding?

Absent guests are inevitable, so here’s just some ‘no-show’ how-to’s that can mean the difference between giving yourself extra stress or working out a way to overcome an empty chair and creating a talking point that lasts beyond the cutting of the cake.

Missing Wedding Guests

  • Something Old – restore treasured family photographs, use them in your invitation, perhaps the images of both parents on their wedding day or why not set up a table of framed photographs of everyone who can’t be with you on your day.


  • Something New – Skype wall – long distance relatives can be just as involved on your big day and even play a part if you use some of the incredible communications apps and services now available. Skype is free, immediate and can be the bridge between thousands of miles. Check with your chosen venue for their wifi facilities beforehand. If you have a really organised best man or maid of honour (or perhaps give this job to someone else as a special project) ask each of those that are unable to attend, to send you a congratulatory video message. There are literally hundreds of free editing software packages available online to help you put together a really witty or emotional compilation of messages to play at the reception.

  • Something Borrowed – Brides or grooms can wear an heirloom, a treasured piece of jewellery, vintage handkerchief or garter from a friend or relative who can’t attend, this way you can keep them close to you all day and they will feel part of your special day too.


  • Something Blue – Commemorating the loss of someone close is a delicate issue. Whilst it’s quite commonplace to remember them in your wedding toasts, agree in advance whose speech to include them in and note that not everyone will know who you are referring to. Long-winded eulogies are not the best way to keep the attention of your guests. Some couples may even want to remember someone close by reserving them a seat at the ceremony. Done quietly and without too much attention drawn to it, it can be a sensitive and unique way to pay tribute.


We’d love to hear your ideas on how you included a treasured family member or friend, who was unable to share you day with you.

Big Boho Love

Bran xx


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    My cousin is no longer with us and growing up we always said we would be each others maid of honour. It’s going to be SO difficult not having her there. I’ve got a paper flower bouquet and the flower right at the top is made out of a poem my cousin wrote just before she died, it’s so special and even though I know she’ll be there with me somewhere, it’s a nice way to have a part of her walking down the aisle with me too xx


    I have bought some miniature photo frame charms to put pictures of both my grandfathers and my beloved auntie, who have passed away, in…i am having these tied around my bouquet so that they are close to me on the day. It makes me so sad that they won’t be there and I wanted to acknowledge their absence.


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