Wedding keepsakes beyond the photo album

Published date: 12th February 2019

Beyond the photo album and indeed the video, what helps keep memories of your big day fresh in your minds and maybe in those of your guests too? Not everyone has the wad to follow the lead of Lakshmi Mittal, guests at his daughter Vanisha’s wedding (big several days in that case) reportedly receiving diamond earrings as keepsakes. But you don’t need silly budgets to capture the moment, indeed truly personal thought put into it rather than a demonstration of wealth is more endearing.

If you want to give guests keepsakes there are companies dedicated to supplying such, with some very clever ideas on offer. Innumerable variations on the theme of a scrap- or note-book (where MOHs, bridesmaids etc can jot down their memories and stick pictures in) exist, easy to personalise or available in fancy formats with names printed on.

We’ve talked about presents for key members of the wedding party in another post, but there are simple items that can be presented to all guests: memorable ones seen lately include engraved charm-bracelet locks for the women attending, photo-blocks of the bride and groom as kids, bookmarks (including some delightful homemade ones – great idea if the budget is tight), scented cushions again homemade, with date and initials sewn on, and little sweetie jars for kids (the jar or tin clearly the keeping thing there!).

But the wedding is really about the two of you, and it is helping to keep your memories fresh that in the end matters most – it’s a nice day for your friends and family, and maybe the most important of your life for you.

‘Beyond the photo album’ prompts thoughts that the best place for pictures is not necessarily in a book you’ll rarely see. Framing some of the best – a selection done as a montage, or a set of matching prints that adorn your walls – means you’ll see them every day. At the other end of the scale a silver locket can become an heirloom. Photos are not the only thing you can frame and display: fingerprint trees have been a big hit of late; and we love the idea of a wooden jigsaw, with each piece written on by guests (advice, a memory, a silly picture, a wish), framed for the wall or made into a little table top, or just kept as a puzzle.

That idea of guests writing a brief note is carried further with the classic guestbook available for inspired friends to jot down a thought during the reception or party. More immediate and maybe relaxed are wooden coasters on the tables, with your date and initials, and a couple of lines free for friendly words.

It’s not just words that matter on the day though, little souvenirs – maybe from your old/new/borrowed/blue selection, or the silver sixpence for your shoe – are important too. You can source beautiful keepsake boxes to hold these, from customised carved wooden jobbies to a shoebox you decorate yourself. Some families keep old traditions alive about preserving wedding cake – for christening the first child etc, though we don’t advocate eating something that may be years past its sell-by-date!

A particular keepsake of legal significance is the wedding certificate: instead of shoving that away in a draw somewhere, why not use a holder, or frame that too (the special licences for those marrying in church outside their own area are things of beauty)?

We have to say that along with the cute and tasteful stuff there’s lots of less appealing gear out there. And that we’d not want to know a couple whose entire house was decorated with wedding souvenirs. But it is such a meaningful moment in your life that sweeping it aside the day after seems equally wrong. And think of it as family history too – stuff to show your kids when they are planning their weddings.

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