May 12, 2011

We're so vain: Displaying wedding photos

The hubs and I love to look at ourselves. A lot. Okay, not really, but I do love looking at our wedding photos, even 11 months (to the day!) later. When we first moved into the house, we felt weird about putting wedding photos up -- like it was vain. But heck, we spent all that money on the day and while I'm not going to bust out the "best day of my life" cliche, it was a pretty darn good time. Plus, our photographer Clare Norton took absolutely fantabulous photos that really go to waste just sitting on my hard drive.

I know some people probably feel that wedding photos are best left to a bedroom or another private area, and I totally get that. But I love having the photos around as reminders, and I like looking at other people's wedding photos when I visit them.

It still took us a little while to figure out how to display the photos. A blank wall next to the front door ended up being the perfect spot for a three-photo vertical frame we got as a wedding present. I opted to pick three photos that were more natural looking, not too posed and not just close-ups. You know, so people wouldn't feel overloaded by smiling happy wedding people. They're on the right in the photo below.

I also keep a photo on my bureau, in a Lenox True Love 5 x 7 frame. A cute story: We registered for and received a couple of these in 8 x 10. The hubs went out about bought the 5 x7 one and had it engraved with our names and wedding date as a surprise to me. He then put it back in its box and "hid" it in a big box with the other frames we got as wedding presents (but hadn't opened yet). I decided to do some unpacking and started opening all the frame boxes, and found one that had been engraved. 

Thinking a guest had done it, I felt super bad that we'd written someone a thank-you note and failed to mention the engraving. When I told hubby about it, he said HE actually did it. Woops. But it was still a very sweet surprise. The frame is reflective so it's hard to see the engraving, but it's on the top and bottom.

But this still wasn't enough wedding for me (crazy!). So, when I saw F & S's gorgeous wedding photo display at Our Little Beehive, I knew I wanted to do something similar in our empty upstairs hallway. I bought three frames at Michaels for 40% off and printed off three of my favorite photos using Shutterfly.

To hang the photos, I used my tried-and-true paper template method. I started by placing the one in the middle. It looked weird to center it vertically, so I just kind of eye-balled how high I thought looked natural (a little below eye level). Then, I put up the templates for the other two frames, focusing on keeping the spacing even between the frames. Sorry, no photos of the process, but it's pretty similar to how I made my map wall and gallery wall.

I got out my hammer, level, tape measure and picture hangers and got to work. Starting with the middle frame, I measured to make sure it would be centered horizontally. Once I got that one up and level, I used it as a guide to measure where the hooks for the bottom one should be, then the top one. I was ridiculously proud of myself for getting all three frames even and level without even making one errant hole in the wall!

(Is it wrong that all the wedding photos we display are just of the two of us -- no family, no guests?? Maybe we really are vain...)

I picked three photos that I thought had similar coloring; each one had lots of vivid green, which really makes me feel cheerful. Again, I avoided the posed formals and went with more natural ones to keep the arrangement from being too formal.

This wall is the end of our upstairs hallway and directly across from our bedroom door, so we get to look at these photos every time we leave the bedroom. Love it! We saved the bigger photos for a more private area of the house; we're the only two who regularly go upstairs, so it's mostly for us.

But once it was up, the hubs (who was really hesitant about putting big wedding photos up) said it looked so good we should move it to the living room so everyone can see it. But after all that successful measuring and nailing, I wasn't about to take it all down and press my luck by trying to do it again. Also, we don't have the paint for the upstairs hallway, so no way to patch the holes I made without repainting the whole thing. And I'm all set with painting for a while after our double-round in the office.

Speaking of the office, we did go buy our desk. But after the hubs spent two hours assembling it (and didn't even finish!), we encountered this:

If it were in the back or underneath, we may have overlooked it. But this is front and center. Luckily, the manufacturer, Sauder, has a five-year warranty and lets you order replacement parts online. In less than five minutes, I ordered a replacement top that should be delivered right to our house in just a few days. Between that and our purple paint mishap, I guess we should just assume this office makeover is cursed.

But going back to photos -- I do plan on turning the whole upstairs hallway into a family photo gallery, putting up photos, both current and old, of our families. And I'm still planning to do photo ledges in the dining room and would love to showcase more photos of our family and friends, not just the two of us. That redeems our wedding photo vanity, right?? :)


Amanda said...

I think there is NOTHING wrong with having pictures of you and Will all over the house! It's your house, you love each other, you worked hard for everything in your wedding day and beyond, so why not display it?

Also, who says photos are permanent? Change with the seasons! Or, if you have something like this near a guest room, you can swap the photos to ones of you with your guests when they come visit! :)

liz @ bon temps beignet said...

I think it's completely acceptable to flood your house with wedding pictures. I DID! haha.

PS: your nails looked great! : )

Mindy @ Heart Maine Home said...

Thanks ladies! I will feel no shame, then, in gazing at photos of myself.

The great thing about photos is that they are so easily switched out on a whim. Someday they'll probably be baby photos...

And Amanda, I most definitely put a photo of Leslie in the guest room when her and Christian came to visit!

And thanks, Liz!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get these frames? They are gorgeous!

Mindy @ Heart Maine Home said...

The three-photo frame is from Target, the silver frames are from Bed Bath and Beyond, and the black frames are from Michael's.