by Christina Walker
You only get married once; preserve the big day in wedding scrapbook albums so you can cherish the memories and share them with others. More than simply wedding photo albums with a jumble of professional and casual photos, wedding scrapbooks preserve the photos as well as the emotions and mementos leading up to the biggest day of the couple's lives. Invest in beautiful wedding-themed scrapbook albums -- commonly white or silver and decorated with ribbons and flowers -- and get to work cherishing memories and creating a work of art with these wedding scrapbook ideas.
Courtship: The wedding couldn't happen without the courtship that preceded it, and dating offers lots of scrapbooking possibilities. Photos of dates, parties and dances are essential, especially if they are significant in the couple's history together, such as the first date or a formal dance. A great wedding scrapbook idea is to highlight the couple's first date; for example, if you first went out to a favorite fast food restaurant, decorate a page with stickers of hamburgers and french fries and a copy of the restaurant's menu, as well as any pictures of that date or copies of Facebook posts that set up the activity. Any and all dating pictures are appropriate and fun for this section of a wedding scrapbook. Photos of the couple at a sports event, playing games with friends or with a special place in the background are exactly the courtship memories you'll want to remember years later.
Engagement: Depending on the length of your engagement, this section might be smaller than the others in your wedding scrapbook album, but the professional photos taken during this period make it worthy of its own section. Include as many engagement pictures in your scrapbook as you want, especially your favorites. You might have subsections in your wedding photo album for his favorites and her favorites if you each prefer very different photos. Be sure to include a variety of photos -- color, black and white, different backgrounds, outfits and poses. Informal photos of the proposal day and the wedding ring give the wedding album some texture, while including engagement information, such as where the engagements were taken or the details of the engagement ring, gives this section of your scrapbook rich depth.
Wedding planning, showers and parties: Although wedding planning and showers happen during the engagement, they deserve their own section in your wedding album because they are full of interesting details. Keep the brochures for the DJ or band, wedding and reception venues, caterer, decor and every other service you employ. One scrapbooking idea would be to pair pictures of the decorated reception hall (pre-reception) with the brochures for the venue and decorator or the playlist of music with the DJ or band brochure. Remember the happiness and friendship of bridal showers and bachelor parties by keeping the cards and pieces of wrapping paper to decorate the pages listing gifts and givers. Hopefully, someone was assigned or took the responsibility to take lots of pictures! Last but definitely not least, include your full invitation in your scrapbook album. You'll want to remember the hard work you put into designing the announcement, and having it will help you give advice to other engaged couples when they need to choose an invitation.
The Big Day: Everyone looks forward to the wedding day with great anticipation, so make sure to include pictures and memories of all the setup, such as the bride getting her hair and makeup done and the groom fixing his cuff links. Because the wedding day is jam-packed with memories, try to organize the pictures in your wedding scrapbooking album by chronology. Include formal and casual pictures of the wedding ceremony, the wedding party around the venue and grounds, the luncheon, reception and wedding line. Everyone who came to the wedding and reception celebrated your marriage, but years later, you'll want to remember other things besides the wedding group and line, such as the cake, buffet, centerpieces, gift area and general decor. You'll especially want to keep the pictures of all the flowers; you may even want to give them their own subsection if you have lots of floral photos. One scrapbooking idea might be to dry the groom's boutonniere and a few flowers from the bridal bouquet and place them with pictures that prominently feature those arrangements. Decorate other pages in the wedding day section with extra dress fabric that the tailor didn't use, the groom's pocket handkerchief or the decorative pins that held the bride's hair. Going-away photos are also great to include -- if friends and family were able to catch up with the couple.
Happily ever after: The marriage story doesn't end with the wedding day, so leave room in your scrapbooking album for more pictures and decor that describe your life together. List the wedding gifts you received and who gave them to you with "thank you" stickers and wrapping paper bits. One page might hold your favorite wedding picture, and the blank pages following it will be perfect for annual photos showing the growth of your family.