Skip to main content

Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

All in the Family

Jan 25, 2018 05:00AM ● By Kimberly Boney

Ways to Include Family Heirlooms in Your Celebration

February 2018
By Kimberly Bonéy
Photos courtesy of Amber Smith

There is something monumentally special about seeing a family heirloom, one that has been loved and treasured over the years – one that has lived amongst a single family for generations – incorporated into a wedding celebration. It’s a sweet way to pay homage to your loved ones and a lovely way to add a vintage aesthetic to your nuptials without breaking the bank. Get those familial ties out of the box in your attic and into the hearts and memories of your guests for a lifetime.

• Honor the influential people or places in your life by creating a tablescape in their image. Use vintage photo frames with black-and-white images of your loved one or your favorite place, and include a story about why this person or place is so important to you. Name the table after the person or place of inspiration and have a calligrapher write the name on cardstock or papyrus. Imagine how much more memorable it would be for your guests to sit at “Grandma Olive” or “La Jolla Cove” as opposed to “Table 1” or “Table 7.”  

• An old sewing table, buffet or vanity doubles as a sweet spot to have guests leave you a few words of wisdom for your love journey. Add to the ambiance by including a collection of photos, a floral arrangement and candles in mason jars. 

• Ask family members to loan you pieces of china, platters, cake plates, silverware and old, patinaed candlesticks to set a stunning table for your guests.  Don’t panic if they aren’t perfectly matched. The so-imperfect-it’s-perfect melding of elements is sure to lend character and authenticity to the scene.

• Stage an antique settee and an old steamer trunk as a coffee table in prominent place at the reception. It could serve as a unique alternative to a traditional Mr. & Mrs. table, as it is an ideal place to steal a few kisses with your love – and a few minutes off your dancing feet. If you’d be more comfortable at a classic bride and groom table, the vignette could work wonders as a place for guests to snap beautiful and fun-filled photos at the reception. 

• At some point, most women have given at least a fleeting thought to wearing their mom or grandmother’s wedding dress down the aisle.  Typically, the style, size or condition of the dress are the biggest obstacles to making this happen. You can still bring a bit of your personal history with you down the aisle even if wearing the dress in its traditional form isn’t an option. Use a portion of the fabric from the gowns in a custom made garter belt. In fact, make two – one to keep and one to toss. 

• Vintage brooches and pearl strands on loan from family members and friends incorporated into your bouquet or affixed to glamorous tea length gloves will elevate your “something old” to next level status. How’s that for carrying pearls of wisdom with you? 

• If you are looking for an out of the box way to corral your wedding cards, consider a vintage bird cage or an old mailbox. Both have proven themselves to be quite adept at holding beautiful things.  •