Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dream Wedding: Family Wedding Pictures

At our wonderful reception, there were so many little personal touches that I absolutely loved.  I don't think I could choose my overall favorite -- but one of my favorites is that we displayed our family wedding pictures at the reception site.

Above the pictures was a sign that read,
"And they lived happily ever after"
I got this idea soon after Chris and I were engaged when we visited our reception site and it was decorated for another wedding.  Above the fireplace in the cocktail area was a beautiful display of a picture of the bride and groom, pictures of both of their parents on their wedding days, and pictures of all of their grandparents on their wedding days.  I LOVED it and immediately knew that I wanted a similar display at our wedding.

Since I got this idea in late December 2010 and we were married in June 2011, I had almost six months to track down the pictures I needed and figure out how we were going to display them.

We love how these pictures chronicle not only our family histories, but the history of America as each picture represents a different period in our country and a different young couple beginning their life together.

This picture of Chris' paternal grandparents was taken at a family picnic (cropped from a group photo) sometime after they were married.  They both served in WWII and were married after the war, both in uniform, and on a military base.  This is the closest thing to a wedding picture we could find.
Grandma and Grandpa Miller
Circa 1945
Grandma Miller died in 1996, and Grandpa Miller has since remarried.  He and his wife, Pat, attended our wedding.

This picture is cropped from a group picture of Chris' maternal grandparents.  They were married as young teenagers (ages 15 and 16 -- is that legal?) and there was no wedding picture.  We think this picture was taken in their first year of marriage.
Grandma and Grandpa Holifield
Circa 1948
Chris and his grandparents before our wedding

With 63 years of marriage under their belt, here they are dancing at our reception

I LOVE this picture of my paternal grandparents.  While my grandmother's family did not have a lot of money, Nangie (what we call my grandma), was their little girl and when it came to her wedding, nothing was spared.  Look at this headpiece and veil!  Look at that huge bouquet, my young grandfather in white tuxedo and tails!  Even to pay to have this wedding picture taken was an incredible expense back then.  My grandparents both attended Northwestern University (a big deal back in the day -- especially for a woman) and my grandfather earned his dental degree there.  I just love this picture!  My grandparents divorced in the 60s, but they both lived very long, healthy lives.
Nangie and Grandfather Sanden
December 28, 1925
Nangie died in 1995 at the age of 94.

Grandfather Sanden lived to be 100 and-a-half years old and died in 2001.  The below picture was taken of his family at his 100th birthday party.

My maternal grandparents were young when they were married.  Ages 18 years old, they were married in their local church, and have a few wedding pictures taken.  My grandma Jacobs died when my mom was 16, so even as a little girl, I cherished that we had a wedding picture of my grandma and grandpa from their wedding day.
Grandma and Grandpa Jacobs
May 29, 1951
Here is my Grandpa Jacobs dancing with my mom at Chris and my wedding

Chris' parents had a big wedding with all their family and friends present.  I love the 70s tuxedo and haircut.
Mom and Dad Miller
March 23, 1978
Here are Mom and Dad Miller with Chris at our reception having a blast in the photobooth.

What an awesome, fun-loving couple.  Still happily married!

My parents were married in my dad's living room with only my brother and sister, a minister and a photographer present.  It wasn't a rushed wedding or anything, but both of my parents had been married before and a very small, family wedding was perfect for them.  The pin my mom is wearing in this picture was Nangie's pin (my dad's mom) and is the same pin that was pinned to my bouquet at my wedding.
Mom and Daddy Sanden
February 28, 1981
My parents were perfect hosts of our wedding... and they had a great time.

 I love this picture of them dancing the night away.

As much as I LOVED displaying our family wedding pictures at our wedding, what I love even more is that now we have these pictures gathered so we can display them in our home.
I love that we have these pictures in our home
For the rest of our lives, these pictures will sit out for our children and grandchildren to see.  We are a family that values marriage.  Not every marriage in our family history had a perfect story or a life-long ending, but married the one we loved, just as I hope and pray our children do.

They currently sit on top of my desk
Also, if our children ever want to create a similar display for their weddings, we've already gathered the pictures from our side of the family.  :-D

How did you honor your family at your wedding or what ideas to do you have for doing so?

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