Stories behind colourised wedding photographs

Love in full colour! Incredible colourised vintage wedding photos bring to life the triumphs and tragedies that befell the couples – including a wedding of a man who asked identical twins out on a date

  • Incredible colourised photos have brought new life to old love stories
  • One photo shows a teen bride who got married on sidesaddle a horse in 1902  
  • Ancestry website MyHeritage , who recently released photo colour restoration feature, launched a competition to find the best pictures

Incredible colourised photos have brought new life to old love stories, including a couple who got married on a horse in 1902 and rare mixed race marriage in the 1960s. 

Ancestry website MyHeritage, who recently released photo colour restoration feature, launched a competition to find the best pictures and stories from their members for their #LoveInFullColor campaign.

The competition resulted in dozens of incredible entries with stories from all over the world.

Here, FEMAIL looks at the best shots and sweetest tales. 


This photo was entered into the competition by Michele Hastings and it features her husband’s great-grandparents on their wedding day in 1902 in New Mexico. She said that writes that the bride, Dollie, was only 17 years old when the photo was taken. ‘She was visiting her aunt and uncle in rural New Mexico when she met her future husband, Jim. On this same visit, she fell in love with the horse pictured. Dolly reportedly told Jim, “If you will buy me that horse, I will marry you”. Which is exactly what he did, even though he wasn’t a fan of horses.


The second winner was submitted Karina: a photo of her parents on their wedding day in 1964 in Singapore. Her Dad came from Malaysia to study in 1954 at NSW University, Sydney, Australia. ‘He met Mum, who had migrated from Holland with her parents in 1957 — also studying at NSW Uni, Sydney. They met at Uni. She borrowed his badminton racket for an interstate tournament as hers was broken and she couldn’t afford to buy a new one — that’s how it started. Engaged in February, both graduated in April 1964 & were married in September that year in Singapore.’ Karina added that her mother made her own wedding dress — using nylon, foam, and metal wire to make the flannel flowers. ‘Things were tough for them at the time as they were also challenged with a mixed race marriage,’ says Karina. The diversity of their family history lives on in the second generation, as she and each of her three siblings married someone from a different country. ‘Their marriage lasted 52 years until my mother passed away in 2016, my father passing away 2 years later in 2018.’


This photo was submitted by Janice. Her mother Grace had an identical twin sister, Anne, and when her father — Charles — first met them at his church youth group at Riverside Church, Manhattan, he thought was seeing double. Not being able to decide which of the two to ask out, he wrote to both of them: ‘Dear Grace and Anne… or is it Anne and Grace?’ He invited them both to ride bicycles with him at Central Park on a Sunday afternoon, and only Grace showed up. The rest is history: Charles and Grace were married at the Riverside Church Chapel in July, 1945. ‘Charles had been serving in the Army and wasn’t quite yet done, so he is wearing his uniform in this photo that I enhanced and colourised at MyHeritage,’ writes Janice. ‘I had to use the MyHeritage [colourisation settings] to choose the alternative model, used manual rendering and adjusted the saturation level to get better color on Charles’s Army uniform, but I think this turned out great! The photo was taken at his mother’s apartment in uptown Manhattan where the wedding reception was held.’


This next one comes to us from genealogist Andy Likins featuring his wife Heidi’s great-grandparents, married in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1908: Heidi’s great grandparents, Christian Peder and Petra Ingara (Berge) Pederson, lived lives of adventure. They were married in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1908. For their honeymoon, they first travelled to Norway to meet Christian’s mother and siblings. Petra had been born in Norway, but the family came to the US when she was just two. Then they visited the Alps. (Note the cord to trigger the camera in the photo taken on a mountainside.) From there they sailed through the Suez Canal to Madagascar. Christian had been born in Madagascar to Norwegian missionary parents. Christian and Petra would work in Madagascar for the next four decades and raise a family of nine children. When they got married, Petra’s family was afraid that she would surely die young going to such a far off place, but she outlived them all, dying a few months from her 100th birthday.’


The lovely photo was submitted by Corinna Dallaire, and it features family members Jacobus and Elizabeth Hoogenhoud on their wedding day on June 20, 1946 in Holland. They immigrated to Canada the following year, owned several farms, and raised 6 children.

The photo below from Sandra van Heusden was taken in 1928 at the wedding of Sandra’s great-uncle and -aunt in Aberdeen. Sandra writes: ‘I had no good pictures of my Great Aunts and Uncles, so to be able to see this enhanced and in colour is fantastic. What a great tool!’

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