Our Wedding Scrapbook, written and illustrated by Darcy Miller, is a beautiful clothbound binder whose pages are edged with prompts to help you and your significant other create a keepsake book of your wedding. The handwriting in place of typing for prompts like “How we met” and “Our first date” make this book feel very casual and easy to complete. There are plenty of mostly blank pages – the page facing the “How we met” page says at the top “Our favorite things: places, songs, things we laughed about, movies, nicknames for each other, trips...” and leaves almost the whole page blank. Suggestions for items to scrap are typed vertically next to the spine and are difficult to see unless you are looking for them.
This book by its nature is limited. It includes a “family tree” that requests the names of the bride’s and groom’s parents and grandparents. I know many couples who would have difficulty filling out this tree, thinking about biological parents, step-parents, grandparents who remarried, and so forth. The Rehearsal Dinner page requests a list of guests but only provides about eight square inches of writing space.
At the other extreme, two pages cover “Planning the Wedding,” a drawn-out event I, even as I plan my wedding, would not have thought to document. Prompts include “Easiest and hardest decisions” and “Funny moments and mishaps.” The book contains a fill-in list of wedding gifts with over 230 places for names and gifts, if you can write small enough. There is no similar list for shower gifts, and in fact the book only allows for one shower (perhaps most brides have only one shower, but with relatives across the continent, I am facing the prospect of up to four).
The book beckons you to glue copies of your wedding invitation, shower invitation, RSVP card, as so forth. A summary of the wedding day begins with space for a description of the weather and includes space for the name of the president, world events, popular songs, and popular TV shows. Then the book gives a schedule of the wedding day for the bride and the groom, divided into half-hour increments. This seemed curious to me, as this book is clearly meant as a remembrance and not as a planner. The rest of the pages are devoted to the wedding, with one whole page devoted to the bouquet (“place photo of bouquet or place envelope containing pressed flowers and swatch of ribbon from bouquet”). The book provides places to list special songs, the menu, and a description (and photo) of the wedding cake.
The book winds down with several pages devoted to the honeymoon. The last pages highlight life as a married couple and contain a list to be filled in with the first 60 years to anniversary gifts to each other.
Scrapbooking aficionados will notice that nowhere does this book claim to be acid of lignin free. I think it’s safe to assume, then, that it is not. Archivists, take note. This book will be falling apart by the 50th anniversary, if not before. You will need tape, glue, of photo corners to attach anything to this book.
All in all, I found this book was exactly what it claimed to be. It’s a Martha Stewart publication, so I was a bit surprised by how much freedom one has in completing the book. However (and this is my gripe about every bridal scrapbook I’ve seen), it is difficult to adapt this book to an unorthodox wedding, or a wedding with more than one shower, or a wedding whose colors clash with the cream colored paper and doodled dresses and flowers. The book is exactly what it claims to be, and for the traditional bride who wants to try scrapbooking for the first time, this book gives just the right about of guidance, but many brides will find it difficult to fit their wedding into a “traditional” wedding scrapbook.