What To Do With Wedding Photos After Divorce

Pay Attention To The Nudge

In life, there are answers to questions that are relatively easy. And there are answers to questions that are more complicated. “What should I do with my wedding photos” is a question that lands in the more complicated arena. After a divorce or separation, wedding photos not only hold a lot of emotion, but they’re also not easily replaceable. It’s not like you can run to your local Target and pick up a new set if you toss them out and then change your mind.

For this reason, many struggle with the decision of how to handle their wedding photos.

Hold onto them until you’re ready to let go of them. But, don’t ignore the nudge when you’re prompted to release them. Each and every one of us has our own journey through divorce and the physical items associated with our ex. For some of us, immediately clearing out anything connected to our ex is not only easy, but it’s also cathartic. For others, it’s a process. One that may take a year or five years or fifteen years. I was in the 15-year camp. I firmly believe that as long as we’re in possession of something, then it has something to teach us. When I moved from my apartment where I lived with my ex, I placed all of the wedding albums in a box and took them to my new home. They were part of my history, and it never occurred to me that I could or should release them. Fast forward four more years, I remarried and moved to a new home again taking the photo albums with me. They found their way onto the top shelf of my bedroom closet.
I received the nudge. The nudge appeared when I was doing feng shui work in my own home. In feng shui, every area of our home relates to an area of our life. And when we want to shift the energy in our lives, we look at where we can shift the energy in our homes. For me, this work led me to investigate my bedroom closet to see what may be blocking me from fully expressing myself. When my eyes landed on the old wedding albums, I knew I needed to deal with them. My relationship with my ex was one where I had never fully expressed my needs or desires in a healthy way.
This is where I tripped up. Rather than hearing the nudge and making a conscious decision about how to handle the wedding photos, I stuck the box in my son’s room who was away at college. And there the albums sat ignored for months and months. As I often tell my clients, when we ignore the whisper from the Universe, the whisper often becomes the freight train that can’t be ignored. For me, the freight train ended up being a box of moldy photo albums. Unbeknownst to me, water seeped in through the windows during a tropical storm, ran down the wall and onto the floor where I had placed the photo albums. Because the box was sitting in front of the window, it took me a month to discover that the water had not only damaged the sheetrock and the carpet, but also most of the wedding albums. After $2000 in home repairs, I was forced to deal with what I had been putting off. If you’re not ready to deal with your wedding photos yet, that’s okay. You will deal with them when you’re ready. BUT, if you have received the nudge in whatever form or shape it has arrived, then listen. Take the time to process your photos…and your emotions. There is the promise of freedom and closure on the other side. Here are a few helpful steps/questions when you’re ready…
  1. Get rid of all the moldy pictures. (If you’ve learned from my mistake, skip to #2.)
  2. Go through all the pictures and take out any that include just you or you and a family member/friend that you’d like to save.
  3. Go through the remaining pictures and decide if there are a handful of you and your ex that you’d like to save. For some, the wedding day is a part of their history that they want to remember. For others, seeing photos with their ex feels inauthentic. You get to choose.
  4. If your kids are old enough, show them the wedding photos and see if they want to keep any of them. For many kids whose parents were young when they divorced, the wedding pictures are an opportunity to see that their parents were once happy together.
  5. If your kids aren’t old enough, select a few photos for each of them and put them with their memorabilia. Your wedding is part of their history.
  6. If appropriate, offer any of the wedding photos to your ex.
  7. Release any remaining photos. I prefer to do this is a ceremonial fashion that involves safely burning as fire is an agent of transformation in the metaphysical world.
P.S. Fun fact….in feng shui, water is associated with emotions. And what happens to water when it’s stagnant? It becomes moldy. Just like our emotions when we don’t process them.

About The Author

Dorena head shot

Dorena Kohrs, aka the “Space Doula,” believes that your personal space (your home) is the window to your heart. It can make you feel welcome. No, more than that. When your home is aligned with you and your dreams, it can propel you forward to an abundant life. Many people don’t realize that their homes are in direct communication with the rest of their lives. Self Expression, Relationships, Career… it’s all connected to the home. That’s why it’s important to care for the energy of your space.
Website: Space Doula

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