Annals of Personal Ritual: Self Portrait in Wedding Clothes Taken Every Anniversary

Fran Black

From an early age, our friend Fran Black has enjoyed creating her own very personal rituals, to collect memories in ways that feels meaningful.  At her first wedding anniversary in the 1970s, she and her husband John dressed in their wedding outfits and took a photo. It became a yearly ritual, at once a way of celebrating, and of creating a record over time that bears witness to their life together. Says Fran,

This custom has provided a strong incentive for us not to gain weight. Even though we still fit into our outfits , let’s say we are not quite the same shape we once were.

It is so interesting to observe the subtle year-to-year ageing, which adds up to the not-so-subtle changes between year one and year 46. The ritual celebrates our changing together. 

Recently, Fran came up with another idea that might add to the equation: Why not also take a nude photo every year and watch the transformation? She says she will try to remember that if she is born again but certainly will not start now.

In the meantime, we asked her for a sampling of anniversary photos spanning five decades, starting with their wedding in 1971 (above)…


Fran Black


Fran Black


Fran Black


Fran Black




3 Responses to Annals of Personal Ritual: Self Portrait in Wedding Clothes Taken Every Anniversary

  1. Phronsie 09.12.2018 at 6:24am #

    Wow, she gets more beautiful every year.

    Another advantage of doing this is that you have to fit into the clothes every year. Motivation to stay at a youthful size!

  2. Sondra Newman 09.12.2018 at 3:08pm #

    Wonderful idea!

  3. kimithy 09.21.2018 at 1:32pm #

    Oh lovely – what a fantastic idea, and I like the motivation to stay fit as well as enjoying and appreciating the aging process.

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