We have all heard of the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” tradition, but there are so many more ways to incorporate precious family heirlooms into your wedding day. While there’s nothing wrong with sticking to those traditional 4 items, it’s also fun to think outside the box of things to make your day uniquely yours – and maybe even start a new family tradition in the process.
At Carmen’s wedding this last fall, her grandmother pinned her own wedding certificate into the bottom hem of Carmen’s dress. This was both a way of honoring Carmen’s grandfather who had recently passed, as well as reminding the newlyweds of the legacy of love passed to them from this set of grandparents who had been married for 70 years. (Sidenote: Her grandfather carried this tiny copy of his marriage license in his wallet for years. That may be the most romantic gesture I’ve ever heard of.)
One of the most popular ways to bring some of your family heirlooms into your wedding day, is by displaying your families’ wedding photos at your reception. This one (of course) is always a favorite of mine – because it quickly brings to mind the gravity of wedding photos. These images are cherished for years to come, and the thought of the wedding images I’m creating for you being displayed one day at your great-grandchildren’s weddings makes my heart flutter.
Lissa’s mother made her veil for her (which was a masterpiece – so beautiful!) and Lissa’s first time getting to see it was after she was dressed & her mom brought it over to place it in her hair. Again, this is a family heirloom in the making! I’m sure that veil will be loved again in the future by another family member.
Sam kept his loved ones close to him on his wedding day with their photos on a charm pinned into his jacket. Brides will often do the same with photo charms, or other special family items on their bouquets. Both are sweet ways to honor loved ones who aren’t able to celebrate your wedding day with you.
Emily’s beloved grandmother (& family matriarch) passed away before she & Geoff said their “I do’s”. Her grandmother had a beautiful fur wrap, which Emily brought along for her wedding day to get a few photos with & be (quite literally) wrapped in her grandma’s love despite her lack of physical presence with them. It created both beautiful photos, and tender moment for Emily to reflect on her time with her grandmother.
Amanda was undecided on which piece of jewelry she’d wear on her wedding day, so her mom brought along the entire jewelry box owned by her grandmother for her to look though. I couldn’t get my hands on that thing for a picture quickly enough. 😉
Duplicating a parent’s or grandparent’s wedding photo is another sweet way to carry on a tradition. This can be anything from a formal church photo (maybe your wedding is even happening in the same church as your parents) or something more fun like this next one. Kyle’s dad gave each of his groomsmen a pair of Converse sneakers at his wedding – and Kyle wanted to carry on the tradition. He and his groomsmen (and his dad!) tossed on their new shoes at the reception to duplicate this fun memory and photo op.
This next one is a special one for me. In 2011, I photographed Angela’s wedding & took the below image of her grandfather praying during communion. In 2014, I photographed her sister Caroline’s wedding – and seeing her grandfather in a similar posture, took another photo. Finally, this month my associate photographer Amber photographed Nicole’s wedding (yet another gorgeous sister to this crew) and we made sure she too got what’s now a special grandfather photo. This sweet “tradition” was simply formed out of paying attention to details as well as keeping the same wedding photography team for each siblings wedding. When we’ve gotten to know the family over all the years, it’s extra special to be able to pick up on things like these.