Death in Family Before Wedding: What to Do


There you are, planning the biggest and happiest day of your life, then suddenly, a tragedy hits you and your family. There is literally no book in this world that can explain the roller coaster emotions you can get through when you are faced with the sudden death in family before wedding. We understand how you feel, and this is why we have complied some tips for you.

Should I Cancel or Postpone the Wedding?

No matter how we look at it, the decision to postpone or get on with the wedding lies in the couple’s hands, and here are some factors you might want to consider:

  • Familial Ties: Firstly, you have to assess your familial ties, along with the emotions that you are going through. If you are dealing with the death of your father or mother, the pain to go through the wedding without your parent by your side might be too hard both for you and your family. If, on the other hand, a distant family member that you are not really closely related passed away, you might want to push through the wedding, considering the effort you have put into the planning. 

  • Finances: Another factor you need to deal with when there is a death in family before wedding is your finances. If you have already made reservations, you have to contact your team and ask if there are associated fees if you have to reschedule the wedding. Usually, there are charges especially if you give a short notice, so you have to be financially prepared in case you want to postpone the wedding.

  • Spiritual Beliefs: In many countries, it is believed that the gap between the death of a loved one and a wedding should be one year at the least. This is to prevent negative vibrations caused by karmic connections between the bride/groom and the deceased.

How to Deal with the Emotions

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be emotionally depressing. No matter how happy you are that you can finally get to spend the rest of your life with the person you love the most, it doesn’t really neutralize the sadness and sorrow you feel. So whether you decided to postpone or carry on with the wedding, it’s important that you allow yourself to grieve. Grieving is grieving, and your circumstances won’t change the fact that you need to give yourself ample time to endure and finally let go of the pain.

Include the Deceased Loved one in the Wedding

Not because your loved one wouldn’t be physically there during your wedding, it means that they wouldn’t be able to share the joy. First of all, you have to stop feeling guilty about pushing through the wedding even if there is unforeseen death in family before wedding. I’m sure your loved one wouldn’t be happy to know that you called off the wedding because of their untimely death. You can always include them in your wedding by taking a piece of them with you as you walk down the aisle. Wear a family heirloom, include their pictures on the bouquet, light up a candle for them, pay tribute by offering them a prayer or honor them by releasing lanterns or doves—there are so many ways for you to remember them during your wedding day. All you need to do is to pause and offer a moment of silence for your loved one.

Real Stories

If you feel like you’ve been betrayed by the world because you need to deal with death in family before wedding, it may be comforting to learn from people who have actually been in your shoes.

The Couple Who Cleared the Air

We lost a loved one 3 weeks before our wedding. While we were in the hospital, we weren’t sure whether it is appropriate for us to continue the ceremony. All our invitations were already sent out and we had guests from other cities that are flying in to witness our exchange of vows. It’s a good thing that our local chaplain approached us at the hospital and advised us to keep moving forward and to not feel guilty about choosing to push through the wedding especially since we have already made all the arrangements. Instead of cancelling the wedding, we decided to recognize the loss by offering a moment of silence and wishing our loved one eternal peace and happiness just to clear the air out.

A Bride Who Lost Her Mother in Law Months Before the Wedding

Months before the wedding, my father got into an accident and was under a critical condition. Then, just as my father was recovering, my soon-to-be mother in law passed away. During these moments, I and my groom-to-be had to support each other. We decided to continue the wedding since we knew my mother-in-law wouldn’t be happy to know that we cancelled the wedding because of her passing. We invited relatives and friends who were close to the family on our wedding day. On the reception, my groom provided a speech for his mother, sending her his love and affection. Sorrowful it may be, but we learned that being with people whom we are affectionate with made it easier for us.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy, especially if you have always dreamt of walking down the aisle with your father by your side or if you have always wanted to go dress shopping with your mom, but unfortunately, you can’t now that they are gone. But remember, their love transcends through time and space, and no matter how physically unavailable they are, what matters is that they will always be alive in your heart and in your mind.