Whether your parents' wedding was a big shebang in a castle in Ireland or a small gathering of family in their own backyard, odds are good that you've enjoyed looking at the photos of their special day since you were a kid. Why not take that same sense of nostalgia and incorporate it into your own wedding celebration? By turning to mom and dad for some wedding inspiration, you may be able to come up with traditions your own kids will carry on when they get married one day. While your parents may not remember many of the details, we're willing to bet their wedding day is something they'll still enjoy chatting with you about, and seeing elements from their celebration come alive in yours will surely make them smile.
Here, we share four ways you can incorporate aspects of your parents' wedding day into your own ceremony and reception.
Find out about their ceremony.
You probably won't be recreating the exact scene of your parents vow exchange, but you may be able to incorporate some of the elements from their ceremony into yours. Find out if they used traditional vows or wrote their own and see if there's a way to weave those words into your own vows if they're meaningful to you. You can also find out about any readings guests shared at their ceremony or if they opted to include any religious or cultural rituals that you could consider.
Do they remember any songs from the wedding?
Songs can be such a great trigger for memory that we'd be surprised if your parents don't at least remember their first dance song. Maybe they remember a song from the ceremony processional or recessional, or maybe the it's the tune they ended the night with? You might as well ask! And if that's a total fail, picking a song that reminds you of them dancing when you were a kid is always an option. Maybe save that for the father/daughter dance at your reception and invite your mom to join, too.
Have they kept anything from their wedding?
This is a big one. Parents are more likely to have tangible things from their wedding than they are to actually remember the details, so this might be an easier tactic to tie their wedding into yours. Things to look out for in the family heirloom department could be champagne glasses they used to toast or received as a gift, their formal cake knife, your mom's dress (maybe you can use a cutting of the lace to wrap around your bouquet or perhaps the fabric can be turned into a chuppah), or jewelry your mother wore to her wedding or received as a milestone anniversary gift. Dads might be a good go-to on the groom side for things like cufflinks, pocket squares, or a tallit.
Share the experience with guests.
Guests are always looking for things to check out at a wedding and we love the idea of having an old photo station where guests can look at vintage prints of your parents' and grandparents' weddings. If you have time to collect wedding portraits from both of your families, it might be a good idea to have them blown up to a larger size and framed so guests can take a look. While you're at it, it's not a bad idea to handwrite the names of the people in the photos so guests know which side of the family is which.