In the Center of It All

Photo by Jon Limtiaco of Exposure Photography

While most girls spend the weeks leading up to their wedding finalizing hair appointments and seating charts, Emily was hitting the books to research the ultimate wedding gift for her husband-to-be.

“I wanted to give Steve (the king of thoughtful presents) a really good wedding gift!” Emily said. “We had agreed early on that by marrying each other we were also ‘marrying’ each other’s family.”


“Emily had been talking about this wedding present for months,” her husband Steve said. “The chart presents Emily and me in the center of a circle, and it radiates out to all of our previous generations of parents, grandparents and so forth.  Many of our grandparents have passed away, so it was very special to see a visual representation of them ‘surrounding us,’ as Emily and I begin to start our own family.”


Photo by Jon Limtiaco of Exposure Photography

It took Emily eight weeks to gather all the information for the chart, from Lithuanian naming conventions to missing maiden names. Most of it she found through Ancestry, but when she hit the inevitable dead-ends, she turned to the family for help. “Even though I wanted it to be a surprise for everyone, I did need to enlist help,” Emily said. But Steve’s family was happy to advance the project. “I learned a few key things about his family pretty quickly on my first few dates with Steve,” she said. “Most importantly, they put family first in all aspects of their lives.”




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