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Mentioning a Deceased Parent at an Engagement Party

I am having an engagement party for a bride-to-be whose mother passed away 4 months ago. There will be 20-25 guests attending and, at some point, we will toast the couple. If the bride-to-be and her family will allow it, I would like to say a few words about her mother prior to the toast.

Would this be appropriate?

Advice from the Engagement Experts Team

The trickiest part in all of this is the fact that her mother passed away just 4 months ago.

Although it is completely appropriate to say a few words about her mother, it really depends on how raw the pain is for the bride-to-be and other family members.

Having said that, we're sure not one person attending the engagement party won't be thinking about her mother at some point during the evening and even discussing (amongst themselves) what a shame it is that she passed on so close to the party date.

No matter how painful, that is the reality and to completely ignore it would be, in our opinion, somewhat of a disservice to her and her mother.

However, the family has to be the one who decides. You are completely right in asking the bride-to-be and family first and letting them know your intentions. It is really up to them and if they give their consent then we would like to offer the following advice.

An engagement and wedding are all about the future and a next phase of life, so in saying a few words about the deceased make sure to only celebrate her life and all the good things that the deceased will bring to this new union through her daughter in spirit, and by having raised her. Focus your words on the future in context of honoring her mother rather than ever mentioning how much she is missed, especially on such a happy occasion.

Consider as well, including a picture of her mother somewhere in the room where all can see her in her prime, enjoying life. Or some other form of
tribute for a deceased parent that another reader asked us about.

This is a time of celebration and although the family has suffered a great loss, it's important that all friends and family members (including the deceased) celebrate life and the wonders and joy of starting a future together.

We hope this helps.

And.... Congratulations and best wishes to the bride-to-be!

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