Have you ever noticed that the moment you announce your divorce, all of your friends and family (and distant social media acquaintances) suddenly become relationship experts? They’ve got endless advice on prime marriage counselors, divorce lawyers, and the best dating apps out there.
Despite the great wealth of wisdom, there’s one thing that no one ever thinks to tell you about this new season of life. When you begin packing boxes and divvying up assets, it won’t be the house or fine china that will leave you the most perplexed; you’ll find yourself wondering instead, “what am I supposed to do with all of our wedding photos?”
Before you toss them into the basement beside those old sneakers you haven’t seen in months, you may want to consider some more creative ways to repurpose them.
Here’s your guide on exactly what to do with wedding photos after divorce.
Save Them for Your Kids
While the photos may bring up some mixed feelings in you, your children will most likely see things a little differently. Depending on their age and understanding of divorce, your children may appreciate the sentimental value and be comforted by memories of a happier time.
For particularly young children, it may be a good idea to set aside a few of your wedding photos for a photo album or scrapbook of old family pictures. Your children will appreciate you passing these precious moments on to them, and ideally, will pass these heirlooms on down the line.
These photos can be especially heartwarming if your children were involved in the ceremony. You will realize how valuable these images can be when you look back on your little flower girl or ring bearer once they’re all grown up.
Sort Out the Ones You Really Want
Of course, you’re well within your rights to get rid of all the photos that don’t spark joy, but it would be a shame to throw out all of those stunning pics that don’t include your ex.
Take back some of the happiness of that day by sorting out your favorite photos and the memories that you made with loved ones.
Regardless of how things turned out, it’s likely that your wedding day was a truly special event in your life, one that family and friends celebrated right by your side. Rather than looking back on that day in anger or bitterness, it may be helpful to reflect on the time you got to spend with the people who matter the most.
If none of the photos taken with your loved ones are particularly nostalgic, you may want to consider offering these images out to those closest to you. After all, professional-grade photos are hard to come by and there’s a good chance that they would be happy to take these quality images off your hands.
Gift Them to Your In-Laws
If your friends and family members aren’t showing any interest in your wedding pictures, the next step is to reach out to your former spouse’s family.
Of course, the reception of this offer will depend largely on the state of your relationship with them, but done tastefully, this can be a welcome olive branch and a sign of no hard feelings between you and your ex.
Although you may look back on your marriage with a tinge of regret, it’s typically easier for the parents of the bride or groom to reflect on that experience as a happy time. From a distant perspective, they can appreciate all of the joy and love shared during that day while accepting that some things simply must come to an end.
While the conversation may start awkwardly, your in-laws are more than likely to give it some serious thought. All great parents enjoy relishing in their children’s special moments, and you will be offering them the opportunity to do so for years to come.
Split Them With Your Ex
This may be the most difficult option yet, but if you truly want to get rid of these marriage mementos, it’s best to leave no stone unturned. If your separation is particularly amicable, it’s a great idea to offer to share a few of your wedding photos with your ex-spouse.
Just as you would want to keep all of the photos taken with your family members and close friends, your ex will most likely want to preserve memories of his side of the family as well.
Once you’ve gone through the wedding albums and sorted out the images you’d like to keep, pass the rest along to your ex.
They just might appreciate the gesture of kindness, which will take some of the sting out of the tough times that you’ve found yourselves in.
Either way, you will have gotten a few steps closer to removing all physical reminders of your marriage and stepping completely into this new season of life.
Replace Them With Divorce Photos
If you’re in more of a celebratory mood, finally free from the struggles of your previous marriage, one major way to show off your newfound happiness is by scheduling a divorce shoot.
Replacing those tired old wedding photos with a stunning collection of solo shots will remind you of just how gorgeous you’ve always been.
Getting a divorce doesn’t mean that you’ve lost your spark—on the contrary—now is the perfect time to fan those flames and show everyone how you can rise from the ashes. Once you get a peek at your updated photo gallery, you won’t spend a single moment thinking about the past.
Feel free to invite friends or family to join in on the fun, smiling along with you during this transitional time in your life. You will feel so much lighter knowing that you’ve still got an incredible support system that will always encourage you to celebrate your health and happiness.
While this may be the easiest option for getting rid of your wedding photos after divorce, simple is sometimes the best way to go.
If you are already stressed out from the emotional exhaustion of arguments, custody battles, and court dates, you certainly don’t need physical reminders of how you got to this point.
This method works well if you just don’t have the time or energy to spend offering those unwanted wedding mementos to various family members. Rather than pouring through albums and albums of wedding photos, it would be much more practical to just toss them all at the same time.
You may be able to sell your old wedding dress, jewelry, and wedding shoes for a profit, but there are some things that no one else in the world will have a use for, not even you.
As joyful as you may have been in those photos, sometimes you’ve got to say goodbye to the old so that you can start looking forward to everything that’s ahead of you.