This coming week is our second wedding anniversary which means our wedding was, like, AGES AGO, and I really should stop going on about it now but there are a few of things I wasn’t able to find advice on anywhere else on the interwebs that I thought I might share my advice for. Number one being what to do with all the wedding paraphanalia after the wedding.
Once the big day was over we had a couple of big boxes of leftovers (as well as all the glorious photos from family/friends and the official photographer). This included: a bag full of ribbons from our backdrops; scraps of fabric from my dress and the bridesmaids dresses; all the lovely notes and cards people sent us; all of the left over favours, menu cards and order of service cards; chalk boards and frames and way way more.
These were all things we had crafted ourselves especially for the wedding, they were the tangible elements to the whole day. I didn’t want to throw them away, but also I didn’t want them to stay stuck in a box to be forgotton forever. So, here’s what we did with some of them:
1. Give away framed photos as gifts
Our wedding was at the end of August, we got our photos back about a 8 weeks later, just in time to print them for Christmas. Now, we were aware that this could be seen as the biggest ego trip ever but we tried to be a little balanced and chose to give photo gifts to only our close family members who we were pretty confident would have liked a nice set of photos from the day.
We gave framed photos as Christmas gifts to our parents and grandparents, alongside more personal gifts and in all situations we gave one large photo which featured the gift reciever (e.g. Grandparents got a whole family photo with uncles, aunties, cousins and all) and a smaller photo of just Andy and I. My mum actually felt that two wasn’t enough and ended up with about 10 photos. We also gave Andy’s parents access to all of the digital photo files so they could print as many as they would like for themselves. Perhaps we underestimated how many photos our family really wanted?
We bought the frames inexpensively from Ikea. I always buy white frames for everything because I think a frame should be almost invisible to let the photgraphy or art shine out. These frames have just enough detail to be cute, but not too ornate.
2. Make a scrapbook
What better way to keep all of the cards and guest notes than in a scrapbook? I tried to fit all of the cards in the scrapbook but there were just too many to keep the scrapbook in decent shape so I created a wedding card book (with ribbon from the backdrops) for all of the cards that couldn’t fit. Now we have a lovely way to save the cards and notes forever.
Our scrapbook also features all of the printed material I designed for the wedding including save the date cards, invitations, orders of service and menu cards. I’ve ordered them in the scrapbook as you would receive them and included the envelopes and paper bags to try and display them as our guests would have seen them.
Once the wedding stuff was all in Andy used the rest of the scrapbook pages for our honeymoon. There are plane tickets, Ubahn tickets, museum tickets and more to document everything we got up to in Berlin.
3. Frame original artwork
All of the printed material I designed for the wedding featured a beautiful illustration of Andy and I by my talented wifey Taynee Tinsley. I printed this out onto card and it makes a stunning, personalised artwork for our walls.
I’m really big on personalised artwork in the home. Of course, it doesn’t have to be images ourselves, but concert posters, DIY artwork and crafts all make lovely additions to a home and make sure we look after them very carefully because they are so personal.
4. Frame anything else you possibly can
Continuing on the personalised artwork, I also framed a scrap of the patterned fabric that the bridesmaids wore (pink and green, of course!) and the button badges that we had as favours for our guests. These haven’t made it up onto the wall yet, I just need to find the right house with the right nook for them but I’m happy to keep them until then.
I also wanted to frame the scrabble tiles that Andy had on his cufflinks but unfortunately one went missing – I’m hoping to pick up a replacement when I can at a charity shop or vintage fair, one day!
5. Make a sillhouette
This idea I found in the Young House Love book that Andy bought for me the Christmas after our wedding. The book offers instructions to do this with paper and scissors but I went with the second option to make it in Photoshop. I’m sure most people could do a better job then I have but hopefully you get the idea!
The original photo was taken by our friend Sandra at the ceremony. She was able to shoot a different perspective while our official photographer was at the front for our first kiss as a married couple. It makes the perfect shot for a silhouette image, and another personalised artwork for our wall.
6. Print a wedding album
Yes, this is quite obvious, but in fact we didn’t do this till over a year after our wedding. I think we were still recovering physically, mentally and financially and time just flew by. Having all the photos as digital files also meant we were quite spoiled and barely noticed that we didn’t have a physical copy.
A friend recommended Albelli‘s website who produce beautiful photo books. I downloaded the app and spent a week of evenings choosing from the layouts that Albelli provide to produce awesome results.
We have kept a large version of the album for best, along with our scrapbook and other keepsakes. Again, we gave smaller versions to parents and grandparents, my sister even asked for her own copy which I wasn’t expecting (‘m sure she has probably drawn mustaches on all the photos). I also have a small version for myself to pop in my bag if I happen to visit friends or relatives that we haven’t seen since the big day. People still ask to see photos now, after almost two years.
7. MAKE AN ANIMATION!
Why did I not think of this before? I love this so much! Any photos that you have in a succession will all make the perfect animation such as the first kiss, walking away, bouquet toss (do people still do that?). I used Photoshop’s Animation panel in frame view because I’m old and for me that is the easiest way I know to make animated gifs.
Can you spot the moment when Andy’s mum puts confetti down my cleavage?!
All of these ideas have really helped to make sure the small details of our wedding won’t be forgotton. I love seeing our personalised artwork around the house and knowing we have some beautiful keepsakes forever.
Of course, we do still have lots more things we could be doing something with. I gave one of the ribbon backdrops to Taynee for her kiddies to play with, and I’m sure I should have those beautiful chalk signs up on my walls. Here’s some more ideas that I haven’t done yet: make a ribbon canopy over our bed, make ribbon artwork, turn our wedding song or reading into personalised art.
I’m really interested in doing something with the remainder of my wedding dress fabric but I’m not sure what yet. Perhaps a blouse? In fact, as have started dressmaking recently perhaps that’s not such a pie in the sky idea…