Dinner had been eaten and the presents unwrapped. The night was seeming to come to an end as we finished celebrating the annual ‘Gustke Family Christmas’ with my dad’s side of the family. I can’t remember exactly what was said, or who even said it, but one way or another, someone brought up my parents’ wedding. It might have been a comment about my dad’s mustache on his wedding day (you should see photos!) but before we knew it, my parents’ wedding album was out on the dining room table and all 14 of us were gathered around looking through images of the two of them (and their parents and siblings) on their wedding day over 30 years ago. The page-flipping quickly turned into belly-laughing and story telling as my aunts, uncles, and parents reminisced about the day. Us “kids” … we were laughing, too — commenting on how good our parents looked(!), joking about the trends and fashion, and pointing out photos of people we recognized from our parents’ young adulthood. This scene went on for about an hour, postponing the departure of my extended family from our home. After everyone had finally left, my dad turned to us and said, “Now that was a fun night!” — then he grabbed his cocktail and ventured off to his “man cave”.
The truth about this story is … it was such a fun night. I haven’t seen my parents, cousins, aunts, and uncles bond and laugh and tell stories together like they did around the dining room table that night in a long, long time.
For the adults, it was a reliving of some great memories they had shared together decades and decades ago … perhaps ones they had even forgotten about. And for us, their children, an opportunity to, yes, make fun of our parents, but also to learn and understand them more, and to get a glimpse of what life was like for them when they were our age, falling in love, and starting new chapters of life together. As silly as it may sound, that night is one I will not forget.
A few weeks later, I found myself reflecting yet again on the experience and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “It was all because of that wedding album…” If my parents’ wedding photos would have never been preserved in that photo album, the moments of that night would have never occurred. I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves, do you really think we would have all gathered around the computer screen to pull up files from folders of a past wedding day? While I believe those files are extremely important in and of themselves, I just don’t believe they would have helped to create such an intimate experience like we had that night around the dining room table. At least it wouldn’t have been the same. We were holding that album in our hands … passing it around … touching and pointing to the memories in a tangible way. And it was beautiful.
That experience around the table … after the dishes were washed and presents unwrapped … it changed me a little bit. And truth be told, now I can’t wait for it to be us one day. With our siblings, our nieces and nephews, and our children : )
We love offering KISS Books to our clients for their album needs. We not only believe in the extraordinary quality of these albums, but we believe in the company — its founders, mission, and generosity.
Each KISS wedding album is made using exemplary photographic printing techniques on the finest Fuji Crystal Archival papers — and the pages are so thick! This combination makes these albums true heirloom pieces that will endure the decades and allow for those “dining room table” moments down the road : )
Additionally, the pages lay (beautifully) flat, so you don’t lose any of the image in an unsightly fold. Each spread is presented seamlessly due to modern industry-leading binding and block- building processes. KISS builds all of their album spreads with a unique micro-fold that preserves the full impact of your design without discoloration in the crease.
Each KISS album is truly one-of-a-kind — printed, cut, stacked, and bound by the hands of one individual craftsman. You have the ability to choose the color of the leather for your album cover (from over 15 different choices!), and all leathers used are 100% natural Italian leathers selected by KISS curators for their grains, texture, strength, durability, and quality. And, let’s be real, they also smell AMAZING.