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Credit: Chris and Sarah Rhoads

Everybody says it, and it's true: Your wedding goes by so quickly! The best gift you can give yourself (and any future kids or grandkids) is a book of mementos from that amazing celebration. And it needn't be a chore or another task you have to do in the midst of all the planning. Here are simple ways to get started.


Are you a scrapbook fan who likes saving tactile bits like a swatch of fabric from your gown? Or do you love the professional look of a digital photo book -- and the fact that you can make multiple copies for friends and family? Personally, I've got a scrapbook that's so overstuffed it's hard to lift, so I created a streamlined version for couples to fill out ($20, And I also love the ease of a photo book (Pinhole Press's custom-bound photo books also make great gifts). Choose whichever you find inspiring (or both if you just can't stop!).


Add details you want to showcase to the must-haves that you give your photographer. Then, you'll be able to paste a pic of your bouquet next to a dried petal in your scrapbook or include an image of your handwritten vows in a photo book.


Ask a pal to grab day-of keepsakes that you'll be too busy to snag: someone saved me a wine-stained place card that I love. And be sure to mail yourself an invitation! You can paste all of these into a scrapbook or photograph them for a digital version.


Along with images, you'll want to remember the words that move you; request that everyone making toasts give you their notes, whether they're e-mailed from an iPad or handed over on index cards. Years from now, it may be the sight of your dad's handwriting that brings that happy day rushing back.


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