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  • Writer's pictureSydney Schatz

How To: Start Your Own Wedding Heirloom

Recently, I had a bride ask me about heirlooms. She wanted to incorporate something that could become an heirloom that she could pass down to her future daughter or daughter-in-law, but she did not have anything that she felt was “special enough” – like a necklace, handkerchief or ring. This question got me thinking about heirlooms and traditions in general and where all of that starts because it has to start somewhere. These things do not just become traditions or heirlooms out of thin air. When I think of my family’s traditions, I automatically think of our Christmas Eve tradition when we have breakfast for dinner. My mind goes to this because of how it started. When my brother and I were very young one Christmas Eve my mom was super tired and figured mixing up batter for pancakes, frying up some bacon, and scrambling some eggs was going to be a heck of a lot easier than trying to make this big feast. So that is what she did. Us kids and my Papa loved it so much we asked her to do it the next year and the next year. And now, some 20 years later, we are still keeping on with that tradition and although I can’t tell you what the future holds, we have no plans to break it. All because a mom was tired one night and thought making breakfast for dinner would be the easiest option.

My point is that everything has a story and must have a beginning, even if that beginning starts with you. If you think about the pearl necklace that has been passed down the line for generations and has become so special to all the ladies in your family, who’s to say that if you had the chance to go back to your great-great-great grandma and ask her where she got it she wouldn’t say “oh, I just found it on the ground and thought it was super pretty” or “I bought it for a penny from a street vendor”. Now I am not trying to in any way diminish those heirlooms that do have the age old story of “my great-great grandfather brought it over with him when he immigrated and gave it to his sweetheart and they died very happily married”, but not every heirloom (or tradition) is going to have that kind of romantic story – and THAT IS OKAY because now you have the chance to create a story and be just the beginning for an heirloom that doesn’t even know how special it is yet!

Looyenga Photography

So where do you start? I would recommend thinking about what it is that you would like to pass on because there are so many ways to incorporate things into your wedding attire! It could be a necklace or locket that you and your future spouse picked out together. Think about maybe getting it engraved with a simple “est. 20__” so that when it is passed along down the line your great-great grandchildren will know exactly when this beautiful heirloom came to be. It could be that gorgeous pair of earrings that your future spouse got you for your birthday. Or even the pair that you saw as you were window shopping and thought they would be a perfect compliment to your wedding gown. It could be the handkerchief that you bought off Etsy or Amazon because you thought it was pretty and wanted to have something a little more formal than Kleenex when you are blubbering like a baby during the toasts. Or it could be a beautiful little charm that you just happened upon and decided to tie on to your bouquet ribbon.

Zach Nichols Photography

Everything in life is what we make of it, so if you want something to be special then make it special. Sometimes traditions just happen because you do them over and over and over again without really thinking about it as a “tradition”, but you best believe that when you STOP doing whatever that is you will miss it and think about all the great memories you had with it. Think about starting an heirloom in the same manner. You are the first one to experience amazing memories with this item, so when you pass it along to your daughter or daughter-in-law you can tell them all about those memories. Then let them know it is time for them to make their memories with this item so when they pass it along, they can tell their future children all about it – until one day those great-great-great grandchild will look back and realize just how special this heirloom is to them and their family. Without even knowing how it got its start.

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