Weddings in Virginia: A Part of History

© Robert Harris Photography

Designing a wedding album has always been a very meaningful part of my job. The process involves many hours to assemble a  story that captures the spirit and personality of the day. Each completed book is as unique as the couples themselves.  The design process can take hours to come together; very similar to a hearty stew simmering on the fire, blending all of the flavors.  The result is a piece of visual  history that both captures the essence of the day as well as the times in which we live.

After photographing hundreds of weddings for over 25 years, I have noticed styles come and go, trends rise and fall, and musical tastes change.  The one constant in my work however has been the tangible books and portraits that find a special place in the personal history of every family.

Reading an article recently, its nice to see that UVA is working to bring back their yearbook after going out of print for about seven years. The growing  trend in 2008 was toward the immediate nature of social media and forgoing a permanent archive of the graduating class. Yearbook sales declined and finally the book was no longer published.   The window of years without a printed volume now forms a historical gap in the university’s history. Never will one find a printed history of the graduating class of 2011, or 2012, etc.  Some students realizing this  saddening omission and are once again working to revive the pages of “Corks and Curls”.

The unfortunate trend has also crept into the lives of  many couples as they planned their wedding in this same window of time. Seeking only digital images to post quickly on social media, the value of a tangible album that would have had permanence for generations was lost; including the c/d after being misplaced and forgotten until it could no longer be found.  We’ve heard many families speak of this regret.

I’m grateful we didn’t follow that trend as every couple we have had the pleasure of working with has an archive of their place in history. Sure, the album may collect a little dust through the years, but its nice to revisit  a special time in history when two lives came together. The reminder becomes a priceless part of  history, unlike the forgotten  c/d lost to the ages.




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