At many weddings over the years, brides and grooms have displayed elegantly framed family photos at their receptions. Now the trend has gone high-tech, with those priceless family photos kept safely at home and a slideshow of those same gorgeous photos displayed on a digital photo frame. Wedding guests delight in seeing generations-old photos, many of which have been digitally retouched or enhanced by a photo editor to correct coloring and fix fading.
The digital photo frame has become a top decor choice for the reception, as well as for additional pre- and post-wedding parties, and it's used to display a variety of photos -- not just ancestral wedding portraits. Here are some fun ways to use your high-definition digital photo frame to show images at your wedding celebrations.
*At the Engagement Party
--Display photos of the bride and groom from their dating days. Gather everything from their prom photos to shots of them at college football games to pictures of vacations and their engagement.
--Display childhood photos of the bride and groom in a slideshow that can then be inserted into the wedding video.
*At the Bridal Shower
--Display childhood photos of the bride, showing her as a baby, in dancing school costumes, in Halloween costumes, in sporting uniforms and at milestone moments, such as her graduation.
--Display photos of the couple, especially if this is a coed shower.
*At the Reception
--Display courtship photos.
--Display the couple's official engagement portraits.
--Display not only family wedding photos but also fabulous casual family snapshots.
--Place a digital photo frame by the flowers set out in honor of departed loved ones, and display photos of those loved ones with family members. When you show happy family memories, it makes the remembrance display a more uplifting one, as opposed to a photos-of-the-departed-only slideshow that's seen more often at funerals.
*At the After Party
--Insert a flash drive or camera card into your digital photo frame and play a slideshow of photos from the wedding day that just happened. These will be candid shots from friends' cameras, so expect a few out-of-focus pics among the gems.
--If you're hosting a celebration after your destination wedding, share your gorgeous wedding images on a digital photo frame slideshow so that guests who missed the wedding can see them.
*Styling Your Photo Slideshow
Just as professional photographers do, you can create a highly stylized photo slideshow with artistic elements. For instance, your digital photo frame might have a fade-in/fade-out function that lets each image emerge from a white screen and then dissipate. You might take all of your digital images and show them in black and white, which lends a classy style to the photos.
According to The Wedding Report, 66 percent of wedding photos are chosen in black-and-white format. This elegant style could inspire you to create an all-black-and-white photo slideshow, which you can easily create using your photo software's editing functionality as you compile the images for your slideshow. Another similar option is clicking on the "sepia" photo format button to show each image in vintage-inspired coloring.
A great photo slideshow consists of more than 20 photos, yet not so many that guests crowd around the digital photo frame to watch the show for an extended period of time. If you do wish to display an extended collection of photos to a larger crowd, connect your image card or camera to a big-screen TV and just let the images play as a more dramatic background at the party.
*Be Sure It Fits Your Event's Style
Wedding coordinator Jenny Orsini of Pampered Bride Weddings says a digital photo frame should work with the event's overall design and theme.
"For example," she says, "if you're hosting a vintage-inspired bridal shower, showcasing a big digital frame smack in the middle of a lace-adorned table could look a bit off." Orsini prefers actual frames at weddings but does think digital frames are appropriate for engagement parties, showers or after-parties.
With well-chosen photos, your digital photo frame shares priceless images with all. Don't have a digital photo frame? Find one at Target, Best Buy, Kodak.com or other top retailers. Many bridal couples are adding them to their registries and using that gift at post-wedding celebrations.
Sharon Naylor has written more than three dozen wedding books.