I am thrilled to share our first DIY post in our Wedding Wednesday blog segment. Throughout the entire engagement, Rob and I created a plan for the wedding that reflected our vintage theme but also included personal touches. We were mindful of our budget and decided not to have flowers in the church for the ceremony; which worked because we were fortunate to be married in a church that is gorgeous without the aid of flowers, but we wanted to dress up the main aisle somehow in a cost-effective way.
Many couples incorporate wedding photos from their parents and grandparents into their reception decor, but I wanted to extend the concept and collect any photos I could from my the weddings of our aunts, uncles, great grandparents, even our siblings and bridal party members. The results were stunning.
Rob and I spent several months tracking down as many wedding photos as we could. We wanted this personal touch to be a surprise for our guests so we tried to ask as few relatives as possible as we gathered the photos and we didn’t tell very many people why we were collecting the photos. Instead, we vaguely said that we were working on a project for the wedding.
We both have somewhat large extended families (my dad alone has 9 siblings) and the more we dug around, the more beautiful photos turned up. We found many wedding portraits at my grandmother’s house. I’m not even sure who the people in the photos are (they were taken that long ago) but I loved looking at every single one of them. By the time we were done, Rob and I had collected 40 wedding photos. Some were expensive studio portraits, others were snapshots taken by a family member, but every single image was filled with love.
Here are a few photos from the collection:
Rob scanned all of the photos and saved the images to my computer. I cropped the photos and applied a filter in iPhoto to give the more recent images a vintage look. Here’s an example of my Matron of Honor’s wedding photo.
Once I had all of the necessary photos, it was time to frame them and get them ready to hang. This was a budget-friendly project. All of the 8×10 photo frames came from Dollar Tree. They were such a great bargain! I stocked up at Jo-Ann stores and bought packs of 5×7″ photo mats to place inside the frames. At the time, Jo-Ann sold a 4-pack of mats for an already low price and I saved my coupons to make it a real bargain. Unfortunately, they stopped carrying that amazing 4-pack a few months ago. Fortunately, I just found a 10-pack on Amazon for a really great price!
At this point, the frames were looking a little too basic and modern for my vintage wedding, so I added some ribbon as an accent. I hand-tied a bow with ivory satin ribbon (from Michaels) and hot-glued the bow onto the top of each frame. Then, I used a pretty lace ivory ribbon from Hobby Lobby (which has become my all-time favorite ribbon) and tied it in a loop through the triangle-shaped hangers on the back of the frame. I took one frame to church with a spool of ribbon ahead of time to test it out and determine the perfect length of ribbon. By tying these in a loop ahead of time, my wedding planner had the very easy job of sliding each pre-assembled frame onto the church pews before the ceremony.
The center aisle of our church looked so beautiful lined with all of the framed images of those who have gone before us and showed us such wonderful examples of how to love.
After the wedding, many of our family members went out of their way to tell me how much of a wonderful surprise it was for them to walk into the church for my to celebrate our marriage and be greeted by a photo from their own wedding day.
A few family members loved the framed photos so much, they took theirs home as a keepsake.
Rob and I still have a few dozen framed photos from the wedding in our condo. If you live in the area and would like to repurpose our frames for your own wedding, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will happily give them to you and you can easily swap our family wedding photos for your own.
See More of our Wedding
If you would like to see more of our wedding, you will love these posts. They feature some of our favorite wedding moments and show how we made our dream day a reality. Click any image to see more.