There can often be much stress over the wedding favours and souvenirs we prepare for our guests.
We want our guests to feel loved and to have something special they can use to remember the day. Be it a candle, an ornate custom paperweight, a piece of seaglass collected from a special beach; these souvenirs should evoke feelings of love, joy, and reminiscence for our guests when they see them sat upon a shelf at home.
But this begs the question… What about you, the couple actually getting married?
Indeed, while you’ll have photos to reflect upon, beautiful rings to commemorate your marriage and, of course, your spouse to remember the big day, you should also leave the wedding day with a few souvenirs of your own!
(Instant) Memories of the Big Day
If you are the type to have dreamed of your wedding day since you were a child, consider setting out an interactive area where guests can leave well wishes for you and your spouse.
One excellent option? Leave an instant camera (plus spare film) out on a dedicated table with a beautiful guestbook and pen. Ask guests to take a selfie with the camera, paste it into the guestbook, and leave you a note.
This could just be their names and the date, it could be an inside joke, a piece of advice for married life, or general well wishes as you embark on the next stage of your life.
This adds a new dimension to your guestbook. By including photos, you’ll always have a visual cue to spur your memories of that time and place and the people who were there with you.
Embellish Your Vows
Most of us will read our vows from a sheet of paper. In that moment, even if you’ve rehearsed, having those specific words in front of you will ensure you say everything you wanted to say to your person in that moment.
That piece of paper is itself an incredible keepsake. The crinkly edges from where you, nervous as all get out, gripped the paper as you read your vows aloud, or perhaps even a happy teardrop or two will turn that paper into a perfect record of you two in that moment.
To save that paper forever, consider having a calligrapher or another artist render it before the big day (or hand write your vows yourself!). This way, rather than reading the most emotional words of your life in 12 pt. Arial font off a sheet of printer paper, you’ll have a gorgeous souvenir that can be framed and saved in your home forever.
Write Letters to Each Other
On the morning of the wedding, many couples will exchange gifts or letters.
This is a beautiful ritual that not only photographs well (for you out there with the itemized wedding shot list!) but records the many emotions you’ll be feeling on the morning of your wedding.
These letters, like your vows, should be kept forever.
Your vows are public proclamations of love. They are statements and promises that you make in front of your community to ground your marriage in a rock steady foundation from day 1.
These letters are different. These are private documents that you don’t need to share, ever, if you don’t want to. So you can use them to be honest, intimate, and to speak freely to the person you will spend your life with on the morning of your “I dos”.
It’s best to hand write these—even if your writing looks like chicken scratch—because these important words are best scrawled by the shaky, nervous, excited hand of the person committing to their partner forever in just a few hours’ time.
You could frame these letters, save them in a special place, or simply fold them and tuck them away to revisit in the years to come.
Save Your Champagne Bottle
When you finally arrive at the head table after your ceremony, we hope you’ll be enjoying a fine glass of champagne. Serve your guests other sparkling wine, or what have you—but make sure there’s an extra special bottle waiting to be shared by just you and your new spouse.
And then be sure to save that bottle and its cork. It doesn’t matter how expensive it is, or where it’s from—that is the bottle that you and your new spouse shared the day you were married. It is a simple reminder of the festivities and the joy you felt celebrating your new marriage.
If the bottle is too big to easily save, just keep the cork. It’s an easy way to commemorate the splendour of that very special day.
If you want to keep your champagne bottle but don’t want it to simply gather dust, consider taking it to a glass cutter. The glass cutter can transform your bottle into a new object altogether—from a lamp shade to an avant garde sculpture.
This way you’ll have a beautiful and functional objet d’art that can be part of your everyday life.
Special Champagne Glasses
While we’re on the topic of champagne, consider purchasing (and saving) your own special champagne glasses. Don’t use the caterer’s flutes; instead, splurge on a beautiful pair from a favourite brand or maker.
Share your bottle of champagne using these flutes, and then tuck them somewhere safe to come home with you.
These flutes can be used in regular rotation at your house, or set aside for special occasions. But every time you use them, you’ll remember everything they represent. You’ll recall holding them up as people gave speeches and toasts; the fizz in your glass with every new pour; and your new spouse reaching over to gently clink their glass on yours.
These also make amazing
that you can pass down to your children on the occasion of their wedding.
While we make a fuss over wedding photos and videos, the best souvenirs are the ones you can encounter in everyday life.
Framed vows, special champagne glasses, or those day-of letters tucked into your bedside drawers will surround you with reminders of that special day and all of the hope you hold for your future. Who says only guests deserve souvenirs?