A wedding is a momentous occasion that warrants special family traditions. Each family has its unique way of making the event unforgettable. Many find a way to link the event to the past, to honor and recognize their ancestors who made them who they are. Some pass down jewelry from generation to generation to be worn by the bride. Others pass down meaningful heirlooms.
In my family, we have a prayer book that has been passed down to each bride since the early 1900s. It has weathered well over the years - considering how old it is - and how far it has traveled. Although worn and, in some places, unreadable, it doesn't matter. Many brides on my mother's side of the family have written their names and wedding date on the front page, just moments before walking down the aisle and beginning a new stage of life.
I remember the unbelievable feeling of belonging as I looked over the signatures of my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother and aunts from their wedding days, and then added my own name. To realize that I was part of a tradition established so many generations ago to commemorate this important life event eased my pre-wedding jitters. I felt honored to be included in the lineage of those women who came before me. They may have lived their lives in different generations, but they each had similar hopes and dreams on the day of their weddings. I hope to have my children sign the same book and to continue the tradition for future generations.
Abigail Kingston, a young woman from Pennsylvania, was recently in the news for deciding to wear a family wedding gown handed down for 120 years! Her great-great-grandmother Mary was the first bride to wear the Victorian-era satin gown in 1895, and it has been worn a total of 10 times to date.
Grandmother Betty Govern, 89 - known as Nana Betty - shone brightly as a bridesmaid at her granddaughter Christine's wedding, in Pennsylvania. In her evening gown and bouquet, she stole the show and proved that you're never too old to be a bridesmaid!
At the wedding, she said, "You're as old as you feel and I feel young today!"
Their story was featured recently in the Huffington Post.
Weddings are one of the most important family events. They provide great opportunities to celebrate together, and begin new chapters in family story.
This week, I'm celebrating my own wedding anniversary, and I began thinking about all the memories shared with my husband and our excitement about our future.
The origins of wedding anniversaries date back to the Holy Roman Empire, when husbands crowned their wives with a silver wreath on their 25th anniversary. During the 20th century, other anniversaries began to be represented by materials such as “wood,” “pearl ” and “diamond.”
Thank you for the overwhelming and beautiful entries to our oldest wedding photo competition.
With your help, we've narrowed the vote down to the top winner, who will receive a one-year PremiumPlus and one-year data subscription to MyHeritage’s SuperSearch, our online database with access to billions of records.
With over 30% of the votes, photo 8 is the winner!
Congratulations to Rob Hoogenbos who sent in the photo from his maternal grandparents from their wedding in Rotterdam in 1910.
Thank you to everyone who participated in last week’s oldest wedding photo competition. All the entries were fantastic and captured the beauty and significance of the person’s special day. The oldest entry was from 1846!
With over 40 photos received, participation was above our expectations. It was great to see the lives of your families and the rich history brought to life with the stories that accompanied them.
Springtime is here and the wedding season is near.
Wedding photos preserve your unique family legacy and document memories in your family history research.
We want to know the stories behind your ancestors' wedding photos.
In February, our colleague Justyna received a stunning 1932 wedding photograph via the MyHeritage Polish Facebook page, from a member.
With that photo’s popularity, we wanted to see more of our members' family memories.
What's your oldest wedding photo of an ancestor?
Share your photos of your ancestors' weddings, a brief description of the people, and the date and place where they were married.
The oldest photos - with the most interesting stories - will be posted on our blog and our Facebook page. Readers will decide the winner.
One lucky winner will receive a one-year Premium subscription and a one-year data subscription.
Send photos by April 22 (with description, date and place) with the subject "Wedding Competition" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Do not send photos not your own or those for which you do not have permission to use. MyHeritage is not responsible for photos that may be transferred without the consent of the family. The competition is open to registered users at MyHeritage. Don’t have an account yet? Start your free digital family tree today at www.myheritage.com.
On August 10, five siblings from the Waldie family (Arizona, US) "tied the knot" in one shared ceremony.
The ceremonies were held back-to-back with guests enjoying lunch between the services.
Their father, Doug Waldie, said "They think we're crazy or that it's the greatest thing on earth."
The reasons for such a shared event are rather simple: Close siblings wish to share their special day, the guest list for the siblings' family will be the same, people only have to make the trip once if coming from long distances, women need to buy only one new outfit (instead of five), among others!
As family history researchers, we'd raise an eyebrow or two when discovering same-date wedding certificates for siblings. Genealogy aside, I'm sure it was an emotional occasion for all family and friends.
When locating dates of family events - such as marriages - have you discovered any interesting coincidences?
Have you discovered - or even attended - shared weddings in your family?
Australia has announced that it’s (i.e. the country’s) present to Will and Kate for their Royal Wedding will be a $25,000 donation, in their name, to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). (That's a picture of Will boarding a RFDS plane on the left)
Personally, I would have gotten the future boss something slightly bigger for his wedding but asking people to donate to charity in lieu of buying presents is a touching gesture by the soon to be newly-weds.
It should be said, this not something new and reflects a changing trend that I’ve noticed at Australian weddings, funerals and other poignant occasions.