Wendy Paris - TheKnot.com
Are you the sentimental types? Then incorporate your emotional sides into
your festive occasion -- and create some new mementos along the way -- with
these unique ideas.
1. Shower Yourself with Pictures
Start making memories before the wedding begins with a photo theme shower. Have
the shower hostess ask everyone to bring a photo-related gift. The presents
might be a memory-making object like a camera, slide projector or mini cam;
a memory-keeping object such as a picture frame or photo album; or a ready-made
memory, such as a collage of photos of you and your friends from high school
or a framed picture of you and your fiance. If most of your guests have been
friends for years, you could show a slide show of your shared past during the
party. Have a friend or relative on hand to take pictures of the event -- knowing
you, you'll want plenty of those!
2. Go for the Glamour
Take your bachelorette party to Glamour Shots, or a similar glam-gal photo spot,
for a chic set of prints you'll keep long after the wedding. Make this "last
night out with the girls" a full-scale frill-a-thon. If you still want
to do the more traditional night out at the bars afterward, you'll be made-up
3. Dinner and a Show
Put together a slide show for the rehearsal dinner. Pillage your old photo albums
for great shots of you before you met your beloved, during your early days of
dating each other, and now. Ask your sweetie (or his mother) for childhood photos,
and borrow any other good shots from both of your friends. Get slides made of
the prints from a photo shop and rent a slide projector (or use the one you
got during your shower!). Make a tape of your favorite songs -- or the tunes
that were playing while your were dating -- to play while you show the slides.
Or ask one of your photo-buff friends to handle the arrangements.
4. The Write Invite
Rather than ordering standard engraved invitations, why not incorporate some
of your own great art? Uncover that fabulous drawing of a bride and groom you
did when you were five, and do your invites on copies of it. Or unearth that
letter you wrote when you were 8, vowing to neverkiss a boy (except your
dad and brother), and reprint that along with a picture of the two of you.
5. Dinner and a Movie
Hire a videographer to make a video of your photos to show during the rehearsal
dinner or at the wedding reception. Make sure to give the producer a list of
the specific songs you want your photos cut to -- don't risk him or her choosing
the worst Muzak versions of the past decade's cheesiest tunes. (Of course, knowing
you, you'd never let that happen -- you'll need the actual versions
of the right songs!)
6. Silent Stars
If your parents took baby movies while you were growing up, you could create
your own video of the two of you as toddlers. Put it on a loop and let it run
silently in a corner throughout the cocktail hour and/or reception; your guests
will get to know you even better, and it's a great conversation piece!
7. The Making Of: Your Wedding
Instead of hiring a videographer during the wedding, why not make a video of
the planning process? Have one of your cable-access-genius friends follow you
around during the wedding preparations -- to the dress fitting, the stationery
store, the caterers, the hairdresser. Ask your friend to put together a 15-
or 30-minute "documentary" of the making of your marriage. Show it
at the shower, before your bachelorette party, during the rehearsal dinner,
or at the brunch the morning after the wedding. It's sure to make everyone laugh
-- especially you!
8. Blowing Up Baby
At the wedding, have childhood photos of each of you blown up into poster-size
prints and mounted on a stiff cardboard sheets or foam-core board. Ask all your
guests to sign the poster before they leave the reception. Attach a gold or
purple marker with a string for the signing. (If you have access to a scanner,
you can even combine the photos in the computer.) After the wedding, take your
posters back home and hang them on the wall next to each other.
9. Theme Shots
Why not give your guests some instant memories too? Hire a photographer with
old-fashioned costumes and a yesteryear backdrop for fun wedding photos. Guests
can don the costumes and pose in an Wild West saloon, an old-fashioned malt
shop, or a Victorian parlor -- it could even match the theme of your wedding.
The photographer can give your guests prints to take home. You can even have
individual cardboard frames printed with your names and the date of your wedding
to slip 'em into. Another, simpler option is to rent or make one of those stand-up
flats with the bodies of famous people or cartoon characters painted on the
front. Guests stick their own heads on top of the fake bodies (or stand next
to the "famous" figure). Have someone on hand with a Polaroid, or
just let guests use their own cameras.
10. Instant Album
Hire a professional photographer or friend to take Polaroids of all the wedding
guests, then slip them into a photo scrapbook you have ready right there on
a table. The photographer will insert the pictures on the spot, and ask everyone
to write messages to the newlyweds, creating an instant wedding album. You can
use any pretty scrapbook or buy a special photo book created for this purpose.
11. Wear Your Heart on Your Chest
You've seen those computerized photo t-shirt shops at the mall. Why not have
one at your wedding? Your guests will have an instant outfit to remind them
of you whenever they wear it. You can also affix these "photos" to
coffee mugs, plaques or plates. Depending on your budget, you can get the shirts
or mugs pre-printed with the date of your wedding.
12. Stand Atop Your Own Wedding Cake
Why let some ready-made bride and groom stand on your cake when you can do it
yourselves? Cut out a full-length pose of the two of you from a photo and mount
it on thick, solid board. Slide the board into a stand, and then stick yourselves
right into the frosting. Or go professional -- a lot of photo shops offer these
silhouette-style, solid photos.
13. Picture This
Use small picture frames as table-card holders. Slide the guests' table card
into the frames, and line up all the frames the way you would ordinary table
cards. Guests will take the frame with them to find their tables, and then take
the frames home. You can get surprisingly elegant, pressed paper, cardboard-backed
frames. (This is another place to use pictures -- affix the table number onto
the little frame, but instead of putting the guest's name in the frame, put
14. Parental Pride
Display your parents' and grandparents' wedding photos on the entry table, creating
a sense of history at your wedding and honoring them at the same time.
15. Scatter Shots
Help your friends and families get to know each other through a visual history
of your lives. Scatter handfuls of both your families' photos on each table
(or assemble a bunch on a big table in a central location, where everyone will
be able to see it), along with a card offering short explanations of the scenes.
Sharing your photos can help create the feeling of a shared past, something
your families will appreciate, particularly if they come from different states
or countries -- or are just plain different.
16. Share the Shooting
Depend only on a pro when your guests know so well what shots are not-to-be-missed?
Put a few disposable cameras on each table and ask guests to take pictures of
anything that seems interesting. When you develop the film later, you'll be
surprised by what you find.
17. Favor Them with Frames
Give picture frames as favors. Find unique old frames at antique stores, or
buy matching, elegant silver ones. If you have more eclectic taste, you're sure
to find frames that suit you -- in places from Walgreen's to upscale gift shops.
Or choose simple frames and decorate them yourself with ribbon, glitter, a mosaic
of old, cut-up photos or Shrinky-Dink charms you make yourself and glue on the
edges. In the frames? If you can dig 'em up, put a photo of you or your fiance
with each guest in them, so every guest's favor includes a picture of them and
18. Locket Up
Give your bridesmaids silver lockets, with a photo of the you and the maid inside.
Or leave them empty and let your friends chose whom to wear around their neck
(and close to their heart). Get real silver, if you can afford it -- or check
out antique stores for great, vintage buys. Present the lockets on pretty velvet
19. Album Envy
So your bridesmaids are admiring the slew of photo albums you got for your shower?
Return the favor, literally. You'll find a slew of styles, from a traditional
album to a photo cube to a Rolodex style with picture slots instead of business
cards. Slip in photos from your shower to start the collection. Grooms -- groomsmen
love pictures, too! Get a bunch of cool-looking albums, stick in a great shot
of you and each guy (from the bachelor party? or maybe not!), and hand 'em out.
ONCE YOU'RE MARRIED
20. Start an Anniversary Album
Copyright TheKnot.com 2003
Decide now to take a photo, or roll of film, on every anniversary, and keep
them all together in one anniversary album. Start with pictures of your wedding.
Each year, add a shot of the two of you that depicts the changes in your lives
-- your new house, your new car, your new kids. When your children get married,
they'll have plenty of old photos right in the album to use for their own Memorable-Through-Memories