Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful Thursday: Passing My Parents' 70-Year-Old Wedding Album to Heirs

Saving my parents' wedding album by making a photo book for their 3 grandchildren
On November 24, 1946, the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, my parents, Harry Burk (1909-1978) and Daisy Schwartz (1919-1981) were married at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City. Today would have been their 70th wedding anniversary!

After so many decades, their wedding album was pretty beat up-looking (see below). So I decided to preserve it and share it with Harry & Daisy's three grandchildren now, along with the story of their courtship and marriage. This is also an easy way to be sure that a single heirloom album can be enjoyed by multiple heirs for many years to come.

Here are the steps I took, little by little, to make a pretty and romantic photobook from the wedding album:

1. Remove each 8 x 10 inch photo from its sleeve in the binder and scan it at high resolution. (I could have scanned without removing the photos, if the album was too deteriorated, but not necessary in this case.)

2. Clean up the images electronically and upload them to a photo book website (I like Shutterfly but others are also excellent).

3. Arrange the photos in sequence, adding the story of courtship and wedding as captions. Also, identify everyone in the photos by full name and relationship (so these details aren't forgotten by future generations--keeping family history alive!).

4. Add a touch of color to each page for visual interest (younger folks may find an all black-and-white book a bit boring).

5. Press the "order" button to buy multiple copies for multiple heirs.

6. The original wedding album will be passed to an heir in the next generation, as designated in my "genealogical will."

On Thanksgiving, I'm feeling thankful for my parents' wedding 70 years ago.


  1. The page you shared is beautiful. Great idea, I like Shutterfly, too. They got almost all of my Christmas business this year. I'm thinking of doing some books for an upcoming family reunion, if its in the budget.

  2. Anna, I hope your reunion budget has enough for a book -- because family members will really enjoy having photos and stories to take home and treasure! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. Marian, that's a wonderful way to share that album with the future!

  4. The book helped me pull together so much of what I learned about my parents' courtship and the path to their wedding! It was a lot of fun challenging myself to identify every single face in the photos, too. (Actually, I only found out a year later who the one "mystery lady" was--she turned out to be a great-aunt.) Thank you for stopping by!

  5. What a lovely project and gift for their grandchildren! Thanks for sharing your project idea.

    Melissa Finlay

  6. Thanks for visiting, Melissa. I enjoyed making the photo book and hope to make others in 2017. Happy holidays!

  7. This is a great idea. Only one person can be the caretaker of the original, but that doesn't mean that everyone can't have their own copy.