We asked Vintage Retro and Rustic Wedding Invitations expert Adrianne of CottonTailPress for her expert advice on preserving your wedding memories. Read on to hear what she had to say:
Getting married is one of the most special events in your life. So many memories are made on your wedding day that’s its only normal to want to preserve that feeling of eternal bliss. Besides the photos, there are many items left over from your wedding that that you will want to put on display as a reminder of your most special day.
You will want to frame some of your favorite photos, invitations and other souvenirs. These are more than just paper mementos; invitations can become family heirlooms that will want to be preserved for generations. There are a few things you should that can help make your memories last as long as possible.
PICKING OUT A FRAME:
When you go to the store to pick out a frame you have a few choices, premade frames and custom frames.
Custom Framing can be expensive, but if you go to a local shop the framer will likely take great care with your memories and can guide you with picking out the best materials that will not destroy your memories over time. This is a great option if it’s in your budget to work with a professional.
Pre-Made Frames can fit anyone’s budget. Keep an eye out for a frame that comes with a mat. Many of the mats in pre-made frames are cheap and overtime will discolor your pictures and other items. See below for materials to pick out if you will be framing yourself.
MATERIALS TO CONSIDER:
Mounting: The backing paper or paper you’ll be mounting your photos to should be labeled “Archival” or “Acid-Free”. Cheaper papers are slightly acidic and will “burn” over time. Have you seen old pictures that have yellow or brown marks on them? That’s because the paper had chemicals and glue inside of it that over time will disintegrate and damage anything that is in constant contact with it. When you are placing your picture in a frame, take out the cheap paper that comes in the frame and discard it. You can easily find archival paper at any craft store.
Glue/Adhesives: Luckily with the explosion of scrapbooking it’s easy to find archival tape and glue. It’s important to prevent any long-term damage to your memories. Generic clear tape will over time eat away at the paper it’s adhered to. It’s important to note that everything your photo or memento comes in contact with should be of “Archival” quality. If you are framing an object like a veil or garter, don’t use glue, use 100% cotton thread and sew it to your backing material.
Mats: Mats server 2 purposes :
1) Its aesthetic, to give the picture or item a border from the frame.
2) It separates the photo or item from the glass. You do not want your picture touching the glass as over time it can stick to the glass and tear the photo if you ever try to remove it from the frame.
When picking out a mat make sure it’s an archival one. Many cheap, ready-made frames will come with a mat that is loaded with acids that will discolor and eventually damage your photos.
Glass: Regular glass can be affordable and easily picked up a craft and home improvement stores. If you are doing custom framing you have a few extra options: Non-Glare Glass and Museum Glass.
Non-Glare Glass has a sort of frost on one side to prevent the glare from windows and lights. Keep in mind if you used a mat when framing it will lift the glass ever so slightly off the picture so when you get up close you’ll see the frost and loose details in your picture. Non-glare glass only works best when pressed up against the photo.
Museum Glass has a film on it that repels UV rays. It’s some of the most expensive glass. Unless you are framing something of significant cultural value or placing your frame in direct sunlight the cost might not outweigh the benefit. Museum glass is the most expensive.
LOCATIONS FOR DISPLAY
Even after all the steps you’ve taken to preserve your memories, where you pick to display your memories has a huge impact on its longevity and survivability. A few simples rules will help preserve your frame’s memoires:
1) NEVER hang a picture in direct sunlight. UV rays are incredibly damaging. We’ve all seen stores who have outdoor posters that have no color left besides Cyan. UV light eat yellow first, then red. This can easily happen to your pictures at home. Make sure all frames are facing away from your windows.
2) Don’t hang anything special in your bathroom or kitchen. There is so much moisture lurking in there, it will find its way into the frame and cause mold/mildew and warping.
3) Don’t hang pictures underneath vents or areas with a big draft. Vents bring traveling air with that that moisture that can cause warping and moisture damage over time.
Photo Credits (Clockwise)
KateSaidYes – Pink Peony Wedding Bouquet
AlisaBenay – French Alencon Lace Bolero with Sleeve
CottonTailPress – Rustic Country Wedding Invitation Save the Date – Printable File for DIY
Since you can’t hang everything up there are a few items such as programs and menus that you may want to put in a storage box. To help make sure you memories last as long as possible, pick an archival box at your local craft store. Keep your storage box in a cool dark place away from temperature extremes. Storing memories in an attic or barn can cause warping and moisture damage over time.
I worked in the custom framing and fine art industry for years and I can tell you these few tips and tricks can help make your memories last for generations. ~Adrianne