Kienow Family History and Heritage

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Wedding Albums Revisited

Wedding Albums

It's been a while since Gayle and I were married, and I've been sorting through some of the photographs that didn't make it into our album and scrapbook, and even some of those that did make it into the book. (I've been following some of my own advice!) While I don't need the photographs to remind me it turned out to be a gorgeous day in May for an outdoor wedding, in spite of the rain we had that morning and the near freezing temperatures that night (important to know when you spend the night on a boat anchored in the marina that hasn't had it's heat hooked up). Nor do I need the pictures to remind me that the bride was beautiful and everyone seemed to be having a good time. What I do find myself puzzling over is the names of everyone in the photographs - and I invited them! I think we had a guestbook, and if everybody signed it, we might be able to match names with faces. But, I'm thinking many of them will remain nameless for the future generations that inherit our photos. And, if I can't name them, I also won't be able to tell my children why they were at out wedding, other than they were co-workers, or friends of co-workers, or friends of the family.

For those of you who are already married - how long has it been since you pulled out your wedding album and looked through it? Has it been 5 years? 10 years? 25 years? More?! Even if it hasn't been that long, are you able to identify all the people in the photographs? Have your children seen your wedding album?

Here's a couple of exercises to get started on:

  • Before you get your album out, make a short list of people you distinctly remember attending your wedding. Not just people in the wedding party, but other invited guests, too.
  • By each name, put a note about who invited that person (if they were invited!), and what do you remember about them?
  • Now, get out your photos, and find some photos of each person on your list. Devise a way to match people with photos (page number and photo position: "upper left", for example). Record this on your list of names, listing as many photographs for each person as you can.
  • Get out another sheet of paper and begin to go through your album, one page at a time. List the page and photo (again use "upper left" photo or whatever method you used in the first portion of the project) and then list the names of the people in each photo.
  • In addition to identifying all the people in each photo, each time you come across a new name, add it to your first list (list of names), along with the photo information. Each time you find a person previously listed, make sure to add the reference to their name.

You've now begun 2 lists (indexes) for your wedding album - one list sorted by name, and another sorted by photograph. One interesting variation is to have each person (the bride and the groom) do this separately, then compare and combine the results later!

Where you go from here has many possibilities -

  • Start to write the story each page contains. How are the people in the different pictures related? What is the common theme of the photos on the page?
  • Write captions for each of the photos (be careful about adding anything to a delicate album - perhaps just insert them as a separate page, or make copies of the pages and write the captions on the copy. Please DO NOT take apart any photo albums without carefully considering the damage that could be done to the photos.
  • Rekindle the old friendships captured in the photos. Call or write to some of the people who attended your wedding, even send them a copy of the photo for their albums.
  • Send a copy of the photo to the families of the people in the photo. Tell them about your relationship with that person and the occasion for the photograph.
  • Get philosophical and write down some advice you would give to a couple just getting married. Add it to the back of the album for future generations to find.

After looking at all those photographs and capturing many of the other details not recorded in them, write up a few paragraphs about the courtship and wedding, in general. What do you remember about the day? Who took the photographs? Was it a church wedding? What about the honeymoon - was there one? Where did you go? How did you get there? Where did you first live after you were married?

Well, how was it? As easy (or, as hard) as you thought it would be? Do you think you could do the same exercises for any other wedding? Next, try moving on to weddings you've attended (siblings, cousins, friends) and see what you can come up with. Then you might be ready for a bigger challenge - try this on a wedding you haven't attended: your parents (usually) or your grandparents. You might be amazed how much you can find out by doing this.


Last modified on 2005/11/29 by skenow

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