Looking for a unique wedding gift for a bride or groom? Create a family memory book! They’ll treasure it forever, and you’ll record and preserve some of your families greatest stories and memories.
Our niece Tori is getting married in November. I want to create a special wedding gift for this bride. She was very close to her grandparents and always imagined they would attend her wedding. Unfortunately, they both passed away in the last couple years and won’t be there.
While I can’t bring back her grandparents, I can give her a wedding gift to help her remember them forever. I’m working on a family memory book. The first half of the book is pretty special. It’s a collection of love letters her grandparents sent one another before they were married. Tori found them when we were cleaning out their home after they passed away.
The rest of the book will be a collection of wedding memories from everyone in the family. I’m asking for stories that involve Tori’s grandparents and any photographs they have. And finally, I’ll probably add a few of her grandma’s favorite recipes at the end so the new bride will have them in a handy place.
Gather your stories
Whenever I’m working on a book about a person (or people) who have passed away, I always try to find a first-person artifact — something in their own words. It could be letters, a diary, journal, video of them speaking, interviews people conducted with them, whatever you can find. While we’re on the topic, this is a good reminder to all of you who have grandparents — interview them and get their stories on video or audio!
When collecting memories, start with people who were in the same generation as the person who has passed away. In this case, both of Tori’s grandparents have surviving siblings who can provide a lifetime of awesome memories — starting with their dating years and wedding day.
Next, go to the second generation, the children of the people who have passed away. In my case, I’m asking my husband and his siblings to share memories of their wedding days and how their parents helped out. It will be fun for Tori to hear about the traditions her grandparents passed on, the preparations they helped with, and the mishaps and unexpected events that occurred.
Finally, gather stories from the third generation — grandchildren. It’s been my experience that grandchildren share the sweetest, kindest memories. They often have a very special relationship with their grandparents and remember them differently than their parents. Tori’s older sister was married several years ago, and will have photos and memories of both her grandparents being there.
Find your photos
Words and stories are important, but bring them to life with some great photos of the people you’re remembering. The book I’m working on will probably be the only place you can find all the combined wedding photos for three generations of the family. That’s a pretty cool family history to collect, not just for our niece, but for all of us.
Create your book
You don’t have to be a designer to create a beautiful book. My first family memory books were simple scrapbooks. I typed the memories and stories on sheets of white paper. My sister and I glued down the stories and photos of family members, added some fun stickers and called them a memory book!
I used a spiral-bound notebook with plastic page covers to create my grandpa’s World War II memory book. The plastic sheets kept the photos and rare documents safe, and easy for him to view. Neither of those books cost more than $25 in supplies.
You could use either approach for your wedding gift. If you’re envisioning a more professional look for your family memory book, you can design a hardcover book and use an online publishing company to print it.
If you’re not a designer or don’t have one in the family, you can hire Circa Legacy to help design your keepsake family memory book.
No matter what option you choose, a family memory book is the perfect wedding gift for a bride or groom in your life!