Six Things to Preserve From Your Wedding Day

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Photo by Diana Edlinger Studios

Words by Samantha Simma

While weeks, months, and maybe even years go into planning your wedding, the big day often flies by in a whirlwind. You can cherish the excitement of this momentous occasion by preserving pieces of your wedding that will have you reliving the milestone for years to come. Photographs and video may be the traditional way to capture memories, but other creative avenues can transform special items into cherished keepsakes. These unique mementos will serve as a tangible reminder of the happiness and love shared on that special day with your special someone.

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Photo by Kristin Halsey

Wedding Day Printables

From save-the-date cards to invitations and programs, stationery and artisan-created paper offerings are easy materials to preserve. “The main way that people preserve stationery is by framing it,” says Cara Rank, owner of XOWYO Paper + Press. Framing printables in a shadow box allows you the flexibility to add accents such as jewelry, table décor, and other small keepsakes. Adding printed or written vows can make this time capsule display extra personal, too. 

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Photo by Hannah Hardaway

Food and Drink

Traditionalists love to freeze a slice of their wedding cake to break out on their one-year anniversary. If you choose to do the same, first, prepare the dessert for the freezer by removing any decorations and flowers. Next, chill the cake in the fridge for a few hours, and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Lastly, place your cake pieces in an airtight freezer bag or box. For a less perishable option, have a replica of your wedding cake made into a Christmas ornament. 

Meanwhile, alcoholic beverages can often be kept for years without spoiling. Select a bottle of the wine or champagne served at your wedding and stow it away for a later date. You can make this keepsake extra special by adding a custom bottle label signed by guests or your wedding party. When preserving wine, remember, reds keep better than whites, and vintage wines will last 10 to 20 years.


Commission a sketch or painting of your wedding venue. Ashley Wold, owner of Wild Rose JH, recalls, “I planned a wedding that had a live painter on site. She arrived hours before the guests and started to paint the scene. Then, she stayed and painted the whole day. [The end result] was an amazing painting of the bride and groom and their backdrop.” Once on display, this work of art will transport you back to the day and help you to relive each moment shared with your guests. 

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Photo by Diana Edlinger Studios


With some forward thinking, you can plan to reuse signage from your wedding. “If you’re going to have a big welcome sign, do something with just your initials,” recommends Sarah Condon, an event planner with Vibrant Events of Jackson Hole. “One couple used a mirror with details on the top that just said ‘Mr. and Mrs.’ with their last name, and now it’s in their guest bathroom. Another couple used a fabric welcome sign that’s now made into a pillow.” Similarly, Rank says, “We made wood block table numbers, and then the couple used the wood blocks [as props] to take monthly pictures of their baby.”

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Photo by Madison Webb


It’s common for couples to preserve flowers from their wedding day since the processes of drying and pressing are straightforward. Once dried—either personally or by a professional—flowers can easily be added to a shadow box, framed, or made into something else entirely. If you decide to have the flowers professionally dried, some companies offer resin casting, which preserves the original shape and color. Condon recalls a client who repurposed her flowers in multiple ways: “She found a company that made the flowers into resin paperweights, Christmas ornaments, book ends, and resin picture frames.” 


A standout item—the bride’s dress—needs special care to prevent yellowing as it ages. First, have it professionally cleaned. Then, you can either send it to a professional wedding dress preservation service, or you can do it yourself. Wrap the dress in clean, acid-free, color-free tissue paper. Next, place layers of tissue paper between the folds of the gown, and then store it in an airtight container away from sunlight and moisture. 

If it’s not important to you that the dress remains wholly intact, consider repurposing parts of it, or altering it for another occasion. Virginia Powell Symons, owner of Vibrant Events, cropped and dyed her own dress post-wedding. Condon, adds, “We’ve had brides make their dresses into lingerie and table runners.” 

Other fabric items from your wedding—perhaps the groom’s suit, table linens, and wedding party garments—can be repurposed and used for years to come on special occasions or holiday tables. Or transform these fabrics into a patchwork quilt or blanket. 

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Photo by Samantha Drew
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