with this ring: the guest book

I had intended to start my series of wedding posts in a more orderly fashion - but my craftiness and my impatience have gotten the better of me. After receiving the photo booth photos from Sun Shot Photography less than a month after the wedding and taking advantage of a Shutterfly sale to print them, it was only a matter of time before they were assembled into an album. So the first story of the wedding will start right in the middle of the occasion - at the reception.

More than a year before the wedding, Mom and I were at IKEA when I saw this delightful 8x8-ish binder. Immediately, I knew that I wanted to use it in some way for a guest book at our wedding. The purple color was just right, and the lovely tree silhouette seemed like it would go nicely with our intention to have an outdoor wedding.

Then, in the months leading up to the wedding, Wildcat Guy and I decided that it would be fun to continue using the antique frame idea from our engagement photos in a couple of different ways at the event itself. One of those ways was the guest book.

On an upended wine barrel, we had a stack of note cards (made from leftover scrapbook paper and trimmed using decorative edge scissors) available for people to write wishes, prayers, etc. on, and next to it, a variety of frames with which our guests were asked to frame themselves in front of a wall of the barn where our reception was held.

Looking back, I'm surprised at how little instruction we provided to the photographer who staffed the photo booth - "just take pictures of people holding the frames up," we told her - but I'm glad we left it so vague. She did a fantastic job of capturing a blend of sweet posed portraits and hilarious outtakes that beautifully represent the people who were there and the personalities they are in our lives.

Afterwards, the question became how to arrange the cards and photos in the album. I knew I wanted to keep it simple - not to worry about lots of embellishments or creative layouts - and I also knew that, because there were plenty of pages in the album, I had room to spread the items out. After seeing some artistic gallery books online, which made intentional use of white space as frames for the images, I had my inspiration.

Do I wish the cards had been slightly larger, and that I'd printed the photos as 5x7's? Sort of. There were days - before and after I assembled the album - when I worried that the 8x8-ish dimensions of the album pages made for too much white space. But most days, I like the simplicity and elegance of it, and this is a lovely keepsake that I'm thrilled to have.

And if I had to choose a favorite portrait? It would be this one, of my mom and dad. Mom has changed into comfy clothes to clean up, and Dad's face is a few shades too red as a result of the beer and/or wine that he had. But they are so happy! Okay, maybe because this day was coming to an end - but still. They have been married for 31 years, and they enjoy each other's company this much. What better example could I ask for?

Where I am: home
What I'm reading: The Ten Trusts by Jane Goodall and Marc Bekoff


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