I phoned my parents to let them know that I was using one of their wedding photos on my website. A few days later my mum called me back and said something so unexpected and insightful that I had to write it down! On the webpage you can see that my dad is wearing a necklace. My parents decided to exchange necklaces instead of rings at their wedding ceremony, and a couple years later the necklaces disappeared. They had been kept in a jewelry box at our house in Dublin, Ireland. It is suspected they were stolen, but whatever happened they were never seen again.
“You know the way you take photos of all those little details at weddings – we didn’t do that in those days,” my mum explained. “You never saw the necklaces...” She described the details to me – a sterling silver eagles’ claw with a small turquoise stone.
Being one of the youngest in our extended family, there’s a lot of history that stretches beyond my memory. For example, my Papa O’Connor died when I was two, so the only way I remember him is from tales my dad tells us, and pictures from our family vacation…
I would love to see the necklaces that my parents exchanged on their wedding day. I still don't know what they really looked like.
You never know what challenges life will present, but this phone call was a poignant reminder of why a wedding photographer is so important. The documentation of meaningful moments, and actual wedding details, could be the only way you pass on your family history.
Whether it’s the folks who raised you or the family you’ve built, the stories that we create are what make life. Humans use rituals and artifacts to create culture and weddings are a true expression of this.
Do you have a photo or symbolic item in your life?