the details, part three: photo line

At some point during the planning process we decided to — get this — take photographs of ourselves from youth to present day and clip them to a string like laundry on a clothesline. It would be like our version of a projected slideshow, you see? Except using real photos! And in a fashion sort of reminiscent of your grandmother’s backyard!1

What’s that, you say? What? Huh? You’ve never seen anything like this anywhere else? Yes, I know. The beau and I are the originators of this photo line idea. We really should have started our own style blog; we’d most certainly be independently wealthy by now.

At one end of the reception courtyard we had this… structure. It was like a small pergola, just chillin’ off by itself. We briefly considered putting a table under it and then setting our desserts on top of the table, but we decided it wouldn’t make much sense to place the desserts in some kind of awkward wasteland on the opposite side of the dance floor, away from the rest of the food. So we decided to use the pergola to display our pictures instead.

On the morning of the wedding the beau got up and went over to the venue and wound some twine around the outer posts, then used miniature clothespins to clip the photos on the twine. I was initially concerned that the photos would blow away in a stiff breeze, but the flimsy little clothespins held fast during the whole day.

I would have helped him set up, but I was too busy getting my hair done and drinking mimosas during that time. Thank you, I appreciate your condolences.

The beau then topped off the look by hanging some fabric bunting above the photo lines. That’s right, I said fabric bunting. I commissioned my brigadier to make it for us, and it’s gorgeous. It’s only a matter of time before the wedding design mavens and home fashion gurus swoop in to copy this shit and paste it all over the place. And I’ll be busy laughing gaily and burying myself up to my neck in my millions, just like a grinning Scrooge McDuck going for a swim in his pool of gold coins. YEAH. JUST LIKE THAT.

Oh. What? Sorry.

The end result seemed to come together pretty well. I’ll let you judge for yourself:

Note: I love this picture of my parents.


Annnnnd one last neat one of our friends checking out the photo line whilst I loom like a blurry specter in the foreground:

All right. That’s that.

Did/will you put up photos at your wedding?

All photos by Christina Richards, except for the last one by Aaron Rosenblatt.


1 My grandmother still puts her laundry out on the line to dry. Underwear and all. My other grandmother, before she departed this rock, used to use an old-fashioned open-top electric washer that would agitate grimy water all over the floor before making you feed the clothes through a hand-operated wringer and hang them on the line. I used to help with this chore when I was a kid, and I loved doing it because it enabled me to pretend I was acting out a scene from Little House on the Prairie, if I simply ignored the part with the electric agitation. A few years before she died, my father broke down and bought her a brand-new washer and dryer set, and she was happy as a clam.

15 thoughts on “the details, part three: photo line”

  1. My grandmother also had one of those old washing machines with the hand-operated wringer when I was a kid, complete with the outdoor lines. And once they were dry, we’d stretch out and fold the slightly crunchy linens together.

    Our highly original alternative to the slide show was a guest book filled with old photos. It took lots of time to put together but it’s great when you get to have all those photos in one place. Yours even gave you a whole new fantastic collection of photos – of people looking at your photos 🙂

  2. Love the bunting touch! Ours was kinda a last-minute photo clothesline… We strung it between two trees (and started w/our respective grandparents, parents, us as babies, and then met in the middle w/the photos from the night we met). The only bad thing was, we had “full” size clothespins and not enough of them. The photos would… flap and twist and twirl in the slightest breeze. 😛 I like the mini pins better!

  3. So you’re telling me I’ll be terribly derivative if I do the photos-on-a-clothesline thing? I can deal with that, if it comes out looking like yours.

  4. We did the same clothesline thingy and loved it! It was really fun to see people, some who had never met before, talking about the photos and sharing stores! Really good way to start some conversations!

  5. No! I didn’t have uber-cool bunting or pictures on a clothes line or anything that freakin’ creative. Because now I’m certain my wedding sucked. Because yours so didn’t.

    Please excuse me while I go work through my wedding jealousy issues.

  6. We did indeed do the photo thang . . . there was a small entrance to the reception area that was “enclosed” by glass walls and it had a massive antique table that couldn’t be moved (not that we wanted to move it . . . ). We decided not to do escort cards, and ended up displaying photos of the two of us together that we’d taken over the past few years. They were flanked by our parents’ wedding photos, and when guests walked into the space, those photos were WAM in their faces. Now that I’m thinking about it, someone ended up lining the back of the table with candles so there was a glow about them. It was oh so magical.

    I mean, not really, but I enjoyed it.

  7. I am going to have to stop reading your recaps because each time I do, I think, “Oh, there’s another thing I didn’t know we needed but now realize we must have.”

    First it was signs. Now clothesline and photos. What’s next? What else must I copy, er, find inspiration from and make my own?

  8. I have to say, I know you think people aren’t enjoying these detail posts, but they are ESSENTIAL to me. It’s one thing to see photos of a wedding with lots and lots of pretty details, but to have things broken down like this, for someone to say, “here’s a closeup of x and here’s how we did it and the challenges we ran into” actually makes everything seem much more manageable. Otherwise I would run screaming from all of it and just have bare walls, bare tables, etc.
    It also helps to have it all so entertainingly written.
    So, Thanks!

  9. Wow. I love it.

    I had wanted to do a photo clothes line thing. I had big plans and inspiration photos. It it was on my list. And I wanted to do a slide show with photos. thankfully, I found a friend willing to put together the sideshow for us and it turned out great, then I ran out of steam and gave up on the photo clothes line thing. Probably would have been way too dark in our reception venue to see them anyways. I really really like yours though and the photos of people enjoying yours, so I will just enjoy yours! 🙂

    (PS. I had also wanted to put photos of various married couple in our families, but with divorce on his side, I decided that the marriage history photos were a bad idea for us. Oh well.)

  10. it turned out famously, lyn. that photo of your parents is beautiful! i know it might seem like there’s a lot of those out there, but yours really does look uniquely rad…just sit on that, i guess.

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