Project Life: Documenting the Wedding

I wasn’t sure how to approach documenting our wedding in Project Life. I tend to think of Project Life as our whole lives, and there are so many events (like vacations, or ahem, a wedding) that could be (and probably should be) documented more thoroughly with another method. So I guess I’d say that my arbitrary rule about Project Life is to try to avoid overloading it with too much of any one thing. The wedding wasn’t just a weekend away or a fun party (although it was both of those things, really), it’s a Huge Life Event and obviously needed to be treated as such. However, because we had mostly “normal” days before and after, I really like how things came together in the album as a whole – because yes, there’s a lot of wedding, but you turn the page and it’s back to work. And that’s what our actual LIVES were like, so it makes a lot of sense to me.

There were SO MANY things I could have included in Project Life related to the wedding. SO VERY MANY. And they’re all important and noteworthy and worth saving…. but I had to draw the line somewhere. Could I have included other things, like the sign that the brewery put on the door saying that they were closed for a private event (because of course my parents swiped that on his way out!), or the inserts from our gift bags at the hotel, or a picture of those, or pictures of our families…. yes, of course. So many things. But I sort of wanted this to feature the highlights. (The things that didn’t make the cut are happily stored in our wedding box, a big hat box that my mom gave me when we got engaged. So the bundle of cards and rsvp cards and my veil and the official Event Planning Sheet from the brewery and our candles are all stored safely for posterity, don’t worry.)

The other executive decision I made was to include photos taken by our friends and family, rather than the professional photos. For one, we only have about ten preview photos from the professional photographers, and I really didn’t want to wait a few months to get the wedding documented in the album. Two, several friends posted some fantastic photos on facebook and flickr, and my dad took a ton of really great photos (as well as a bunch taken by my uncle using my dad’s camera) – and since these were the first photos that we saw, we’re really sentimental about them. (I’m thinking to make a big, thick bound photo book from shutterfly or blurb or snapfish or somewhere using the professional photos down the line.)

So here we go! (Click through to flickr to see bigger versions of these photos for more detail.)

Project Life: The wedding
The first batch of photos – our first look, walking down the aisle, sheer joy just after the ceremony ended, the bridal party, entering the reception (photo stole from Jodi), and me and my amazing Grandmother (I look all weird because I’d just cried like a fool while dancing with my father to Wildflowers by Tom Petty.)

Project Life: The wedding
I then used an 8.5×11 insert. The front side included our invitation and reception card, as well as the beloved black and white striped ribbon that was on my bouquet, the boutonnieres, and the centerpieces. We had a very small bit left over and it was such an integral part of the wedding look that I had to include it. The back of this insert included our save the date, a blank rsvp card and stamped rsvp envelope, the outer envelope that the calligrapher (Rachel Carl, who was amazing) addressed to us (yes, we actually mailed an invitation to ourselves. So I could put it in the album, duh.)

Project Life: The wedding
Next, I cut down a 6×12 insert (and sealed it with washi tape, because I still don’t have a sewing machine) and slid our wedding ceremony program in. I made these in Photoshop and printed them on cardstock, and was so proud of how they turned out.

Project Life: The wedding
This insert is probably my favorite ever. Dan and I wrote our own vows, and it was one of the most meaningful parts of the entire wedding. I was a little skeptical about writing our own vows – would we be able to convey the true importance in our own words? Would I be able to talk at ALL in order to say them? – but Dan was really set on writing our own, and I felt a little bit like (a) I had to see what he would say, since he’s not the kind of guy who gushes about his feelings super often and (b) it forced me just a bit outside my comfort zone, and that’s part of why I love Dan in the first place. We saved our real life wedding day copies of our vows (mine printed on a Project Life 4×6 grid card, his written on a torn out piece of paper from my wedding notebook the night before the wedding). I very carefully taped them together with washi tape and slid them into a landscape 8.5×11 insert, so you could see both sides of each set of vows.

Project Life: The wedding
This insert is so simple but probably a tie for my favorite, more because of how glad I’m going to be that I made myself do it in five, ten, fifteen years. In the week or so after the wedding, whenever I had down time, I worked on typing out the story of our wedding day in a Word document. As many details as I could remember. I wanted to write it all out as quickly as I could, before details that were so clear faded into fuzzy glowy happiness. I wanted to do this even more because so many people told us how much of a blur the wedding day was… I know that it won’t always be this clear in my head. I started with when I woke up, and ended with the end of the reception, just after the last song. It was 7 pages, almost 5,400 words total. I shrunk it to 9 point font so it fit onto four pages, and used two 8.5×11 inserts to hold those pages. I know I’m already missing details, and I don’t know what else I’ll do with that massive story other than have it here to read again whenever I need a jolt of happy, but I’m already glad that I wrote it all out.

Project Life: The wedding
And finally, the second page of photos from the reception. Featuring a photo of our first dance (stolen from Eleanor & Liz), a photo of the flickr people (using Cynthia’s fisheye, stolen from Summer), a photo of us cheesin’ about our wedding converse, our best man and matron of honor giving their speeches, views of us and the crowd from the balcony (I really, really love that one on the bottom right), and a screenshot after we made our marriage “facebook official”, mostly because of that insanely cheesetastic photo of me in pink plaid making my idiotic face, that seems to haunt me on facebook no matter what I do.

Five inserts is probably a record for any given spread for me so far, especially considering the spread is only for one day, rather than a week but… I am pretty freaking jazzed about it. And this is exactly the kind of thing that will make Project Life that much more worth it later.

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