Your wedding memories are something to cherish forever, so it’s not uncommon for couples to keep sentimental keepsakes like the top tier of the wedding cake in the freezer for a year, the wedding dress preserved nicely in a box, or a photo album stored away. But, Fallon Carter of Fallon Carter Weddings and Events prefers to think outside of the box in the attic—literally.
“Think deeper and long term, and think how this piece can be integrated into everyday life and carry on into the future,” Carter says of creating wedding keepsakes. “I want to touch it, see it, feel it, and engage with it often, as that gentle reminder. As Marie Kondo says, when you pick it up does it bring you joy?”
Meet the Expert
Fallon Carter is the founder and creative director of Fallon Carter Weddings and Events.
How does one do that? As a wedding planner, Carter says she and others in her field are typically pretty tuned in to knowing which pieces of the wedding the couple might want to save. The menu, place cards, and guestbook are some easy ones to start with.
“Most of our couples do have some type of guest book and that's the most important thing,” she says. But, if you know you might want to display your guestbook at home after the big day, she suggests being a little creative and whimsical. For example, one couple she recently planned for is big into games, so they created a special ping pong table for the wedding reception and had guests sign that instead of a book. Now it's in their home to use and enjoy all the time. In another instance, the bride and groom were wine aficionados, so they kept the corks from the wine bottles to create a corkboard for their home. At Jewish weddings, sometimes the shards from the Chuppah glass get turned into pottery.
For bride Katie George, inspiration struck while scrolling Instagram, and she decided she wanted to keep and dry her bouquet to later display in her house. Now, it hangs pressed in a frame at the end of her hallway as an eye-catching piece when guests enter. “It’s all about the story you’re going to tell because these are usually conversation pieces when people come over to your house,” Fallon adds.
Feeling inspired? We’ve rounded up a dozen unique ideas for creating beautiful pieces from your wedding memorabilia to display at home.
Framed Bridal Bouquet
George used Designs by Andrea to create pressed floral art from her wedding bouquet. Each flower is dried and pressed and then the bouquet is reassembled and framed.
“Dried florals kept coming up on my explore feed on Instagram and I happened upon this one designer. Every single one of her pieces was stunning and I knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do. You spend a lot on wedding florals and too often then get tossed, so I wanted to make sure I kept them somehow,” she says. “It was definitely a bit pricey, but her work is incredible, and I get to look at a gorgeous piece of art every day that reminds me of my wedding day. I encourage literally every bride I know to do it. When you look at it it’s just incredible that someone can do this.”
There are many options out there for pressing your bouquet, but this is just one way to preserve your wedding flowers. You can also get them encased in resin or hang them upside down for a dried bouquet moment. Another option is to have them pressed and framed along with your wedding invitation or vows.
On the topic of florals, another option to commemorate your bouquet or arrangements is to have them hand painted with watercolor (or do it yourself if you’ve got the talent!). Etsy is a great place to look for artists who specialize in this. You can also search for artists on Pinterest, Instagram, or good ‘ol Google. Katie Jobling and Megan Carty are two artists who use acrylic paint on canvas if you prefer that to watercolor.
Chuppah Glass Art
Don’t just toss the glass after you stomp on it; create something beautiful and meaningful out of it. Many artists on Etsy will turn your chuppah glass into keepsakes like a mosaic display plate or a framed heart. Marcela Rosemberg Studio creates all kinds of bespoke pieces using broken chuppah glass, including a challah board, a ring dish, and a mezuzah. Additionally, a company called Chuppah Glass Art specializes in framed glass art. It’s not only meaningful but it's also a great way to upcycle material!
Modern Photo Collage
Framed wedding photos are probably the most obvious way to display memories at home, but if not done right, it can feel a little old-fashioned and—we hate to say it—cheesy at times. Black and white shots are always a nice option or you can choose to get a couple prints enlarged and professionally framed for a polished look rather than small frames on a mantel. We love this elegantly framed collage from the Minted x Brides gifting collection.
Live Wedding Painting
Instead of photos, go old school with an actual oil painting of your wedding day. You can always have one commissioned from a photo after the fact, but an even more special option is to have an artist come do it in real-time. You can choose a scene from the ceremony like the first kiss ring exchange, the moment you walk down the aisle, or your first dance. The family dance would also be a nice moment to capture and later gift to your parent or whomever you danced with.
Venue Sketch or Painting
Commissioning a sketch or painting of your wedding venue is another chic way to commemorate the day. Check out the letterpress venue art from the Minted x Brides gifting collection, or head to Etsy where you'll find a wealth of artists who will create custom-framed artwork.
Coffee Table Guest Book
Instead of a traditional guest book, have your guests sign a nice coffee table book of your choosing—preferably something that fits the theme, like a travel book about the wedding location, a book of love letters, or one with fun toasts. After the wedding, you will have a personalized coffee table book that you’ll want to display both for its design and also for its sentimental value.
Frame Your Vows
There are tons of options out there for framed vows. The most simple way would be to get your handwritten vows put in a frame together. But, if you want to go the professional route with printed vows, you could do a vintage-inspired design using a photo or something clean and modern that’s just text.
Retro Poster Art
Commemorate your first dance with a cool retro poster reminiscent of the 1950s. On Uncommon Goods, an artist named Alexander Doll personalizes a graphic of a couple doing the waltz to look like you and your spouse. The venue, date, and your names are added to make it look like a travel poster of a bygone era.
Wedding Song Art
Consider commemorating your wedding song with unique hanging artwork—sites like Minted will create custom framed lyric art to hang on your wall, and Wolf & Badger has some really unique scrambled lyric posters. (They only have a select few songs readily available, but if your song happens to be “At Last,” by Etta James, “Stand By Me,” by Ben E. King, or “God Only Knows,” by the Beach Boys, then you’re in luck.) Another cool way to show off a wedding song is with sound wave art, which shows not the lyrics, but what the actual sound wave of the song looks like. Many sites will do this, but we love this gold and white one available on Etsy.
Posters, prints, and paintings are great, but for a more modern-meets-rustic vibe, commission a piece of etched wood art. Made from walnut wood and cotton, this piece from Paper Anniversary is an elegant and subtle way to commemorate your wedding date with simple Roman numerals. Of course, you can opt to get your names, or whatever else you’d like etched into the wood instead.
You probably have lots of odds and ends from your wedding that you want to keep as memories. Things like place cards, the ribbon from your bouquet, cufflinks, and other sweet details are not as easy to display. Instead of throwing them into any old box in storage, get a really special keepsake box to display on a shelf. This kit from Anthropologie has everything you need to neatly organize your treasures. It comes with heirloom tags, pouches, ribbon, stickers, glass vials, and more.