How to Thoughtfully Include a Fallen Soldier’s Table at Your Wedding

We’ve had the privilege of working with military couples over the years. On this Memorial Day weekend, we wanted to highlight the Soldier’s Table which has meant a lot at weddings of servicemen and servicewomen.

The Fallen Soldier’s Table

What It Is:

This is a table set aside to commemorate those who have given their lives in service to their country. It is also frequently used to remember Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.

Many couples opt to share pictures of those they’ve lost rather than create this empty table. We fully support this as your wedding day is meant to be a happy celebration, not a memorial service.

However, we have seen the Soldier’s Table done well and wanted to share this for our couples who would like to include it. Many find it helpful and comforting to remember those who are absent while celebrating one of the best days of their life. It is up to you and we love to help you think through these concerns.

The Elements:

  • A small table covered with a white tablecloth.

  • A chair tilted against the table.

  • One full place setting.

  • White candle (traditionally a taper candle- but check with your venue’s restrictions)- representing the light of hope. Place it to one side of the place setting.

  • A long-stemmed rose into a simple bud vase opposite the candle. It represents the families who love and keep faith with the men and women who serve.

  • A ribbon tied in a bow on the vase. Yellow ribbon represents loyalty in waiting for those who are serving away from home, while a red ribbon symbolizes the memory of and search for those missing in action.

  • An inverted wine glass representing the fallen soldier who is not able to participate in the happy toasts at this event.

  • A lemon wedge on the place setting representing the bitterness of loss.

  • Salt sprinkled over the lemon represents tears shed for those who are missed.

  • This poem is useful in explaining the elements to guests. (free download)

Where to Place It:

The location of the table determines much about how it is received. Find a quiet corner where those who know you well, and know the meaning of the table, can appreciate it. We recommend the table be located behind or to the side of the guests when they are seated for dinner.

One wedding had three entrances to the reception area. We chose the quietest entrance to allow guests the space and time to appreciate it. 

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Make It Personal

However you choose to remember those absent on your wedding day, go with what best represents you both as a couple. This is the one day of your life were people are gathering to celebrate the two of you. Don’t let anything else overtake that focus.