Moving forward with wedding planning after losing a parent

Guest post by Faeflora
Cladagh ring
As a memorial, Faeflora will wear her mom's cladagh ring at the wedding.

After experiencing an amazingly beautiful moment when my dearest asked me to be his wife, I am now trying to cope with the unexpected loss of my mom, and the deep need to move forward with my wedding.

My mom, who was also my very best friend, passed away on Good Friday. She was 85 and vibrant. She had an amazing social life and a network of very interesting friends. Mom was independent, beautiful, and loving. She was everything I hope to be as I age. Although we all knew she had some heart issues, no one knew that she would leave us this year.

My mom was a constant in my life, she always supported me, and she understood me in ways that no one ever could — that is until I met my partner, Neil. She was thrilled to hear that Neil and I were engaged. When she heard the news, she bought herself and friends a cake and toasted our engagement. Two days before she passed, she was out buying baskets for our wedding gifts. When I arrived in her home for the funeral preparations, I found a note with a list of shopping activities for the wedding — including purchasing votive candles and yarn to tie the decorations to the porch rails of our beach rental.

The question I have been asked constantly since the passing of my mom has been, “are you still getting married this year?” My answer has been emphatically “yes.”

My mom would have wanted this wedding to happen as scheduled. She would want us to be a family. She would want me to be planning the final details and enjoying the celebrations.

I am ten weeks away from the wedding and still receiving sympathy cards while I plan this event. Neil and I have decided on a double ring ceremony, and to honor my mom and my dad we will get married in their claddagh rings — a small tribute to two people who raised me to be the woman I am today.

I have never felt as grown up as I do now. I have never felt so aware of my life decisions and the importance of being a part of a family as I do now. Not having her at the wedding will be painful, but knowing that she was so happy that we were getting married is a beautiful gift. And I keep telling myself that she will be with us in spirit, and that at least she was able to be part of the planning.

This month I am learning balance. How to plan for a wedding to my dearest love and how to say good-bye to my beloved mom.

If you are looking for more balance between wedding planning and mourning your own loss, check out these posts:

Have you lost a loved one during your wedding planning? How are you coping? How are you honoring them at your wedding?

Comments on Moving forward with wedding planning after losing a parent

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I just lost my dad in March. Our last real phone conversation was me calling and waking him up from a nap to tell him we were engaged.

    I’m lucky in a way that we were already planning a long engagement and there was never any question about whether or not we would continue planning since it was so far away, but it feels hard because with every decision there is the moment when I think “I should call my dad and tell him we found a venue” or grieving the loss of being walked down the aisle by dad or hearing the song I had picked out for our dance. We’re making some plans to remember him on that day but it all feels a little empty knowing that there is really no way to honor a person who was so influential in my life.

    Even more so, I grieve the relationship that my future husband could have had with his father-in-law. They were a great pair in the times they were together and I was looking forward to a long lifetime of great times with the two most important men in my life.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, and I understand what you are going through. By age 15, I had lost my dad and both sets of grandparents. I am an only child and my mom passed away one week after I got engaged last month. She was my best friend in every sense of the word. I am just struggling with managing the estate and the thought of planning a wedding brings me to tears, but that seems to be what everyone wants to talk about to take my mind off of my loss. I just don’t know how you found the stregnth to push through.

  3. I am 2 days away from my wedding day and the unthinkable has happened. My future father-in-law was in a bad car accident. The doctors are giving him a 50/50 chance and everyone is distraught. We’ve spent countless hours, days, months and money planning for this day. Some thinks that the wedding should go on and others are saying it should be postponed. I am numb. I don’t know what to do or say about all of this. I don’t want to seem insensitive either way but I don’t know which direction to take. My fiance is stressed but hasn’t said how he want to handle this situation. It took a lot for us to get this wedding together financially and we would lose everything we put in to it should we postpone it. Nonetheless, I can’t help but think of how this may not be such a joyous occasion should our families disagree on whether we should proceed or not. I don’t know where to go from here. What would you do?

    • I feel like this is so personal to you and your family to decide that all of us in the interwebs can’t really choose for you.

      But I wanted to share the advice I gave to my friend after her father passed a week before her wedding. He’d want her to have her wedding and be happy, he had been looking forward to it and was excited about it, he wouldn’t want to be the reason things were cancelled. With that being said, I think with everything so close, it’s best to move forward, and maybe say some kind of prayer or well wishes for your father-in-law.

      Not knowing the families or situation, I think it’s ultimately up to you and your future hubby to decide and I feel like people should respect your wishes either way.

  4. I lost my mom in March,and my dad 4 years ago in August. I’m thankful he met my fiancé before he passed and told him to take care of his little girl.we got engaged in December and we wanted to have a wedding before she passed away but her dementia declined so fast that we didn’t get to make it happen.
    Dealing with my mom was harder I watched her last breaths. I haven’t mourned either of them yet but miss them terribly. What things ani so to make my wedding special for them.any help appreciated.

    I feel numb almost like it’s still not real

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