My fiance loves to take photos. He will take photos of meals I have prepared, the dog out on a hike, the new washing machine, and the plants we just planted in the garden. We have a plethora of photos from our time together. I wanted to honor this part of him by including photos at the wedding. After many sessions with Pinterest, wedding planning sites, and my own thoughts, I have narrowed down my options. Below are some of the options I discovered:
Absent Loved Ones
My first use of photos will be to honor family members who will not be at the wedding. I was close with my mother’s parents and would have loved to have them at my wedding, but they have both passed. Also, my father has had multiple strokes and is not in a position where he will be able to attend, either. I found many ideas of ways to honor deceased or absent loved ones at weddings, but I think the most important advice was to do what felt right for me and my family. My mom vehemently vetoed the idea of a life-size cutout of my dad even though I thought he would have enjoyed being at the center of things. So, I have settled on portraits on a table, probably somewhere near the entrance. Family members will see them as they come in and can keep them in their thoughts throughout the day.
Next, I want to use photos for centerpieces. I have two different ideas for including them. I haven’t decided which to use, yet. My first idea is to mix photos and books. When I saw this article on centerpieces, I was immediately drawn to the idea of books. Adding one or two small photos stacked on the books, it will make the centerpiece even more personal. My other idea is to add photos to a flower bouquet. Flowers can be expensive, but if you choose in-season flowers and order them in bulk, the price comes down. You can also use small votive-type vases with one or two blooms in each, surround a photo with them, and make a great centerpiece. It will be a little more expensive than the book idea, but the fresh flowers might make it worth it.
Photo Gallery / Timeline
My fiance and I have known each other for 30 years, but are just now getting together. It has taken us quite a while to figure out we belong together and I really want to celebrate our lives up to this point. We have worked very hard at life and becoming the people we are. My idea to celebrate our lives is a photo gallery. I love the idea of hanging photos from trees along a path, but it is not an option as our wedding and reception will be in one indoor location, that’s why I chose a destination wedding photographer for outdoor photography. I need a way to creatively display photos in a smaller space. An obvious choice is to hang photos on a wall, but the venue frowned heavily on this idea. Then, I found you can print on a removable wallboard vinyl. It will adhere to painted walls but is removable and will not leave any residue. You can print out the photos you want, place them on a wall and easily remove them after you are done. I am going to create photo timelines for each of us which will intersect at the different points in our lives when we were together and end at our wedding date.
There are several other ideas for using photos that I am not sure I will use, but I still love. The first is a guest book with photo pages. Guests can sign it and include a personal message, if desired, around the photos, much like a high school yearbook. You can easily create one using scrapbooking techniques, or create a fancier version using a photo printing service.
Another option is to hang photos along the aisle. This helps indicate to the guests which side is the bride’s and which is the groom’s, as well as provides more decoration. My only hesitation on this one is that I would prefer everyone to sit wherever. No picking sides on this day of the joining of two families.
Finally, include photos in your party’s favor. If you are sending guests home with a selection from a candy bar, have your photos printed on the bags. Another option is to wrap a chocolate bar with printed pictures.
Photos are so versatile and provide a brief glimpse back in time. At your wedding when the focus is on the future, photos provide the context of how you arrived at this point. I think everyone can find ways to include photos in their decorations. These are just a few of the ideas I have seriously considered for my wedding. I hope they have helped spark some creative ideas for you to also include photos in your own celebration.