5 Priceless Wedding Keepsakes That will Last a Lifetime

We have talked before (well I rambled, you nodded along reading, agreeing with everything I said because you’re awesome like that) about preserving memories and how on your 50-year anniversary, likely, the ONLY thing that will be left from your wedding will be your photographs. Except the dress that you lovingly have put away or your daughter wore to her wedding.  Below is a list of 5 ways to have something left from your wedding that you and hubs can still see 50 years later when some of the memories have faded.

Bride Digital Painting
Digitally hand painted, printed to museum quality canvas, textured with acrylic, then either wrapped or framed for a finished wall art piece.
  1. Wall Art & Albums – Well HELLO welcome to a photographer/artist’s article. You knew I was going there right? Artists began to use canvas around 1500. Portrait of a Young Man and His Tutor is an oil painting on canvas by Nicolas de Largillierre. It was painted in 1685 and is on display at the National Gallery of Art. 14183914_598771376972320_7037315761255350905_nCan you imagine? This memory of a simple young man and his teacher has lasted 330+ years.  How long do you want your memories to last?  Offset reproduction of artwork began in the early 1900s and continued with the printing of photographs to canvas. Phoenix Rhys Photography offers many museum quality wall art options and even digital painting services to maximize your investment for the next 100 or so years.


  1. Save your bouquet. Shoot girl, that thing cost HUNDREDS of dollars (if you’re lucky)! Sure you could dry your bouquet, but that memory will probably only be around for your 2nd or 3rd anniversary before it deteriorates. Enter pressed & framed flowers. Everlastings Flowers based in Hampton, New Hampshire can take your bouquet, professionally press it between glass, and frame it creating a lasting keepsake from your wedding!  They have some beautiful design options. Be sure to contact them BEFORE your wedding for instructions on how to preserve and ship your bouquet to them.   Contact them to find out more information if you have had a recent wedding.brideandgroomgilmertxphotography


  1. Consider creating a living keepsake by adding succulents to your bouquet or hair piece. Besides the fact that these bouquets are GORGEOUS, succulents can be planted in the couple’s first garden (or indoor/outdoor flower pot) and can live (or be propagated from the original plant) for years to come. Urban Succulents has some beautiful succulent bouquets.
    Photograph & Bouquet by Urban Succulents

    The price averages about $150 and it can be shipped to you.  Remember here in East Texas, we likely get TOO much rain and a little too much frost for most succulents to survive outside of a pot.  Be sure to talk with your floral designer about the type of succulents you would like to have in your bouquet to create a living keepsake. Also, learn how to preserve your succulents with Succulents & Sunshine HERE.


This bride made her bouquet from her mother’s wedding dress!

4. Use your wedding décor as home décor. This one is an oldy, but a goody.  Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately because we are now divorced) my 17-year-old engaged self could not afford a Hawaii wedding.  So I brought Hawaii to us with a Hawaiian themed wedding!  That’s right I had it all.  Grass skirts, coconut bras for the bridesmaids, tiki torches etc. It was very gaudy and FUN!  All in all, I think there was about 2K dollars’ worth of wedding décor that was mostly junk.  Nothing we had could be used in our home.  I encourage you, when you’re planning your wedding to stop looking at Pinterest and look inside your home.  That Pinterest perfect wedding you’re planning, is any of that ACTUALLY your style?

Signs & Image by Paper and Pine Co.


5. You worked so hard on your wedding vows. That DVD you ordered from your cinematographer  will probably be obsolete in the next 10 or so years.  So how do you preserve those precious words your husband poured out of his heart that one time (that you may never hear again…because…men…).  Hand lettered and framed wedding vows! Have your vows professionally hand lettered and framed for many years of enjoyment.  Make sure to use museum quality glass in your frame and to keep it out of direct sunlight to keep your vows in pristine condition.

Photograph, Artwork & Frame by Elle Luck Artistry


In year 2066, you and your love will be sitting on your couch in your home holding hands.  There will be a flowerpot sitting on the coffee table overflowing with succulents from the original succulent from your bouquet, reminding you of the expanding love from that day. Tyler TX photographer Your children grew up walking by and reading every day, your hand-lettered vows currently hanging on the wall in the hallway. Children, grandchildren, and even possibly great grandchildren will be seated around you both in celebration of this everlasting love.  You’ll be perusing your wedding album with a grandchild pointing and asking “Who’s that gamma?” And you will begin to tell them all of the beginning of your love story as a portrait of you and your love looks down from the wall smiling upon you both.


My Philosophy : Pictures are our way of capturing a sliver of time, a moment, so that we can tell it back to ourselves later. It’s my job to capture that moment for you in all its intensity and beauty so that you can hold onto it through times both bad and good.  My passion is storytelling, I just use a camera instead of a words.
Criss can be found floating around on her  Website,   FacebookInstagram, or Twitter accounts when she’s not running around the house in her cape or digging in the dirt in East Texas.




The Freeman Family’s Newest Member

Having photographed some of these family members over the summer, I knew I was in for a treat!  When Mom contacted me via her mother, to photograph her newborn baby boy and the family, I think she said something along the lines of “NO STUPID HATS!”  To which I giggled and thought…awe man when will I get to use the SOMBRERO as a prop!

Some of you who have previously had a customized session by me, probably can recall the look of abject horror I had on my face when you showed me a photograph you found on Pinterest with chalkboards, or scrabble letters.   I promise I really don’t make those faces on purpose. They just pop up on my face.  However, inside when someone shows me their inspiration, I’m screaming “OH MY GOD THE CHEESY PROPS!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!” So thank you for not calling me out on that, if you noticed. Then I calm down and start planning the “look” for your session and try to find the “look” you are going for by showing me these inspirational photographs. So to start off planning a session with a client who absolutely doesn’t want cheesy props makes me think I have found the absolutely perfect client!  I love you…….(too much?)

I had a reveal session planned for another client an hour away directly after this newborn & family session. Also, remember hurricane Patricia a couple of weeks ago that hit Mexico?  Yea the remnants from that went over the top of us the day of this portrait session.  Mom’s husband was so chivalrous when he braved the howling storm to help me get my gear out of my poor little cram packed Mustang.  And then again when he helped me cram it back.  My car still smells bad from all the wet gear that hung out in it for the rest of the night!

#BTS (behind the scenes) Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Freeman

Poor big brother did not seem to be impressed by my mad photography skills or his new baby brother but come to find out the poor little guy was fighting an ear infection!  He never even cried.  I want to lay down in the floor and scream if I get an ear infection and no way you would get a camera near me!  Such a little trooper.

tyler texas photography


Baby Cooper had the alertness of a two month old.  Which made for some great lifestyle photographs but he really, really did not want to miss anything!  So he didn’t slip off into baby never never land for very long. But that was okay because I’m quick with the camera.

newborn smiling - Tyler TX photographer
Baby Cooper looks like he is up to something!!

For someone who had just had a cesarean five days earlier and no sleep with a toddler and a newborn to care for, Mom was absolutely beautiful and Dad looked so proud of his little family.


Whatever kind of day I have had though, quietly sitting and taking photographs of newborns makes my day.  Especially with clients like these.   Thank you both for working with me to preserve these precious memories!

Tyler Texas Newborn Photographer

Phoenix Rhys Photography can be found floating around on her  Website,   FacebookInstagram, or Twitter accounts when she’s not out having fun with her clients.