When we got married back in 2006, phones didn’t take pictures or video. However, small digital cameras were the thing and we figured that at least half of our wedding guests would bring one, using it to capture wedding moments from our wedding. Knowing this, and knowing we wanted to crowdsource our wedding memories (although we didn’t know it as crowdsourcing back then), we handed out blank CD Rom’s and postage paid envelopes. We then asked anyone who took pictures during our wedding to please burn their pictures onto the CD Rom and send it back to us.
Since we hadn’t yet started officiating weddings for others, that was our first experience in collecting and saving wedding memories and it taught us 3 important lessons that we used when creating our idea for a modern wedding time capsule. These 3 lessons are even more applicable in this modern wedding world since almost all your guests will have a decent camera/video recorder in their pocket. So, here are those 3 initial lessons:
1) For more, and more genuine wedding moments, look to your community.
A good wedding photographer will have a list of pictures you want them to capture during the evening and will also capture some unscripted moments as well. Unfortunately, they can’t be everywhere and they are usually focused on you (which they should be). While at the same time, your friends and family will capture many wonderful wedding moments that either your photographer wasn’t able to capture, or they captured from a different angle or view.
I can definitely say that the love and laughter we saw in our community’s pictures was so genuine. We also noticed that their pictures reflected their unique perspective at our wedding. Some were wonderful pictures of grandma from family who were hanging out with her while others were super sweet pictures of my best friend and her family from those that were hanging with them. Your community will capture so much of the genuine love and laughter of your wedding day that their pictures and video are perfect to put into a wedding time capsule.
2) The above does have a downside (sort of).
Of course, there is a bit of a negative to so many of your wedding guests having an easy to use camera in their pocket. In their desire to take those wonderful and genuine wedding pictures, friends and family will end up taking many not so great pictures. There will be the blurry and/or un-interesting… not really worth saving and definitely not wedding time capsule or wedding scrapbook worthy. And because modern smart phones make it easy to take lots of pictures and video, the number of wedding memories captured by your wedding guests could be quite large.
3) So, who separates the good from the not so good in regards to wedding pictures and video?
Find your balance between asking friends and family to go through the wedding moments they captured (before sending them to you) and you having to go through them. Doing this before you store them makes the experience of reliving them better. It is the reason people used to take the time to create a wedding scrapbook. And yes, you could just store them all but that will reduce the joy of the experience when you are reliving your wedding memories (going through pictures in which 1 in every 10 are interesting is just not as enjoyable).
You will notice from the title of this post that it is these 3 original lessons plus 1 additional that we wanted to pass on to you.
4) This last lesson is one we have learned from the over 900 wedding we have been part of which is not to rely on social media or some free picture share service to be your long-term wedding scrapbook, time capsule, or even basic wedding memory storage “device”. Sites like Facebook and Instagram are perfect for sharing wedding memories right after the wedding and may seem like the way to go, however, we have seen how few wedding guests use hashtags (even when they are unique to the couple); that many sites over the years start charging for their service or begin to limit the number of what you have saved; and even if your wedding memories are still there in the years to come, what is saved is hard to find and/or kept in low res.
Based on the lessons we learned, we recommend figuring out some way to collect those genuine wedding memories captured by friends and family and then storing them all in one place. If you would like to learn more about our well thought out and easy to use option, a love + laughter + community digital wedding time capsule, please click here.