When you and your significant other decide what guests you'll invite to your wedding, you may be painfully aware of the deceased family members who are unable to attend. While you can make a point of thinking about them during your big day, it can be nice to honor their memory in some way at the ceremony. There are several ways to do this, including by leaving some seats at the venue empty. This idea can be a poignant addition to your ceremony that may bring you feelings of comfort. Here are some things to think about if you plan to leave some seats at your wedding ceremony empty in memory of your deceased loved ones.

Consider The Placement

Think about how many seats you wish to leave empty for this reason, and then consider where you want the empty seats to be. There are multiple options that can work, so feel free to proceed however you wish. Some people group the empty seats at the front of the venue — perhaps at the end of the front row. If you're worried that this block of empty seats may look awkward, think about having some empty seats in various locations throughout the seating area.

Choose How To Mark Them

It's important to come up with some way of identifying these special seats so that guests don't inadvertently sit in them. You may wish to wrap a ribbon around the back of the seat to give it a special look. Another option is to make up cards that feature "In Memory Of" and each person's name and photo, and then hang these cards from the seat. Some people favor adding a personal item of the deceased person, when possible. For example, you might place the fedora of your grandfather on the seat that you're reserving in his memory.

Ask The Officiant To Mention Them

While a lot of your guests will notice these special seats and appreciate what they represent, not everyone may see them. Guests who seat themselves toward the rear of the venue, for example, may not see empty seats at the front. It can be nice to ask your wedding officiant to mention the meaning behind these seats at some point during the ceremony. When the officiant addresses the gathered guests, they can take a moment to point out that certain people aren't in attendance physically, but that they're in your thoughts during your special day.