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Honoring Family with Your “Something Old” and Other Heirlooms

For many brides, wedding days are steeped in family tradition. And that’s really what it’s all about; a wedding is the creation of a new family unit! And as a Charleston wedding photographer, I love seeing the various ways that my couples choose to honor their heritage and loved ones.

In the case of many of my Charleston wedding brides and grooms, this means focusing on creating a party that their families and friends will enjoy. Since Charleston weddings are so often destination weddings, it’s so fun to see the ways in which my clients create a weekend full of activities for their guests so that their wedding creates new memories.

Another way that many brides and grooms choose to honor their family heritage in their Charleston weddings is by featuring family heirlooms as part of their wedding details. From vintage wedding bands to grandmother’s broaches to lace from mom’s wedding dress, there are so many different lovely heirlooms that I have seen incorporated into wedding design.

These sorts of wedding details add a vintage flair, but the meaning often goes much deeper than that! I love the way that heirlooms carry a piece of the past through to the present and beyond—to a momentous event (your wedding!) that is so focused on a beautiful future. It’s like a gap is bridged from the original love stories that created a family through to the current love story that is being celebrated at a wedding.

Family heirlooms don’t always have to be old to be meaningful, either! I have seen couples honor family members by sharing photographs of their family members who have passed away or lighting special candles to honor them. I particularly loved how one of my Charleston wedding couples honored a family member by attaching a photo to the bouquet, which was something the bride carried close to her heart throughout the day.

Another one of my clients had special cufflinks engraved to honor her brother who had passed. These little details pay tribute to a rich family history and are so thoughtful. And they are so special to photograph!

I love having the opportunity to feature these family heirlooms in photographs so that they are preserved beyond just the wedding day. Telling your photographer about the particulars of your family heirloom details ahead of time allows her to be conscious of them and style beautiful images, so be sure to pass that info along ahead of time! I am always grateful when my clients let me know of their “something old” before the wedding so I can keep an eye out for it while styling and shooting details and they are never disappointed with the images. 

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