It is often said that there are two times when families come together - at funerals and at weddings. Unfortunately this is all too often true. It is also true to say that photographs are rarely taken at funerals and so family wedding albums often form not simply a record of the event but a very significant document in the life of any family.
For anyone of my generation who has lost both their grandparents and parents the memories of your family will often be confined to a few treasured possessions that have been passed down to you. Perhaps some items of furniture, china, a painting or jewelry. However much or little you have to remind yourself of your loved ones, you will also almost certainly have a collection of photographs and, more often than not, the family photograph albums.
For the bride and groom their wedding album is a treasured memory of their special day and something that they will take out from time to time to share with members of their family, their children and grandchildren or to simply share with each other. But, in the years that follow, that same wedding album will become a record of family history for generations to come, as well as an important document of social history.
For this reason, time and care should be taken over planning the photographs that you wish to have taken at your wedding and thought should be given not just to the usual photographs that any couple will wish to include, such as posed photographs on the steps of the church and the bride and groom cutting the cake, but also to photographs of the wider family and other guests.
The day belongs of course to the bride and groom and they should clearly feature prominently in the finished album, but it is equally important to include both posed and informal shots of the wider family including the older family members, who will often take a back seat and need to be encouraged to get in front of the camera, and the children, who are often herded off to one side to play while the grown-ups talk.
For any bride and groom their wedding album is an important part of the wedding day and quite rightly so. However, weddings albums represent a great deal more than just this single event and a little bit of extra thought in planning your wedding photographs can not only give you a wonderful record of the day, but also provide a true family heirloom.