Congratulations! You're Mr. and Mrs (or Mr and Mr! Or Mrs and Mrs!) Newlywed! The ceremony went off without a hitch, the best man's speech wasn't too offensive, the meal was perfect and the band played an entirely original sounding cover of that song that you heard that one time after that argument and you decided it would be your first dance at your wedding. Meanwhile, your photographer has been snapping away, arranging beautiful tableaux of your guests, capturing all the details that you agonised over but now it's 9pm and they've packed up and headed off so you and your guests start seriously boogeying the night away...the bar is doing a cracking business and already one bridesmaid is in tears in the corridor whilst another has snuck off to the gazebo with a groomsman...
As the night wears on, even more priceless memories are happening but your photographer is finished for the day! And it's getting fuzzy and silly and OMG THE SPICE GIRLS! WE NEED TO DANCE!!
So how do you make sure that this surreal time of the wedding day, when the high heels have been discarded in a heap and the ties are loosened and the jackets are off, how do you make sure that these moments are preserved to be giggled and gasped over later without your sneaky photo pro still lurking??
Well, one route, if you're thinking traditionally, is disposable cameras! Leave baskets of them on the tables and develop them at once (though make sure nana isn't around for this, there's always at least one guaranteed down-the-trousers shot!) for some seriously surprising candid snaps.
A twist on the film-route would be to stock up on old-school Polaroid cameras. We all have aging relatives who have hung onto theirs or artistically inclined siblings with a stash of them or you can even snatch them up for relatively cheap on eBay. Newly produced film can be purchased through the Impossible Project (and you can always find deals via Urban Outfitters). Keep an old letter box or corkboard available for guests to 'post' the best shots! Whilst this option can tend to get a bit more expensive, it's fun to remember a time when the instantaneous ease of digital photography didn't exist and the anticipation of watching your photo develop was pure magic!
If you're more of a 21st century kind of couple and can't be bothered going analog, why not keep things simple and assign a unique Instagram hashtag for the big day? Leave small signs or postcards dotted around the reception venue (or even add a line on your Save the Date?) with the moniker and urge your guests to take as many photos as they want (after your photographer has left for the day of course, nothing worse than your aunties stepping into the aisle as the bride makes her entrance and blocks the groom's view - and that memorable shot! There's a great post about unplugged wedding ceremonies here) but make sure they hashtag the heck out of the photos for a kind of futuristic social media wedding album to look back on in the days following your wedding! (Make sure you decide on something quite original so your photos don't get mixed up with anyone else's!)
And last but not least, the ever popular photo booth! I've never seen so many people willingly queue up to get their pictures taken as I have at a wedding with a photobooth! Go vintage or even hire an old Airstream or keep it simple and stick to a tripod, goofy wigs, and gonzo glasses. No matter what, be sure to include a book for your guests to stick a copy in and write a lovely message to the happy couple.
Regardless of the route you go down, there will always be a creative way to remember the details of your big day...you're creating memories together, indelible imprints, snapshots even, that will stay in your mind and remain present in your stories for the rest of your lives together. You couldn't forget these moments if you tried because they happened on the day your life changed forever. Savour them, hold them close, this is the beginning of an amazing adventure.