Making your own wedding album
Wedding albums have been around for a very long time and for good reason. Sure, we have Facebook and Instagram to share pictures, but let’s face it, there is nothing better than having something to hold in your hands when it comes to reminiscing and sharing the special moments of your wedding day. They really are a must-have keepsake for married couples.
Years ago wedding albums were basically a simple album with a collection of prints that were slipped into protective sleeves. Fortunately today, wedding albums are much more stunning and creative and we now have technology online so you can make them yourself! You have the choice of cover materials, custom personalization, size, paper and page thickness, and best of all, images are printed right onto the pages with amazing photographic clarity.
The wedding album layout itself has also changed in that it’s actually more like a book, telling your wedding-day story as it unfolds. Modern album designs outline the most import aspects of your day, which makes it so much fun to put together. There is no better person to tell your story and personalize your wedding album than you, so don’t let the process intimidate you. Today’s software makes it so easy to do. No Photoshop skills are necessary!
Interested in designing your own wedding album?
Of course, your photographer can put together a wedding album for you, but there’s something about being involved in the process that makes it much more meaningful. And not only does doing it yourself bring a sense of personality into your album, it’s more affordable. Win-win!
Just be sure to choose an album with great quality and a classic look so when you pull it off the shelf 20, 40, even 60 years later, it’ll still be intact and have beautiful, timeless style.
If you’re curious as to how to go about creating a wedding album, keep reading for a simple step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Steps to Creating a Custom Wedding Photo Album
Step 1: Relax
First, take some time off after the wedding…but not too much time. The longer you put off working on your album, the more likely it won’t get created.
It’s probably safe to say that after the wedding you’ll still be reeling from all the fun, and you might also be ready for a good long sigh of relief. And that’s okay! Go ahead and take time to do that, then get ready to create a dreamy wedding album.
Paper is the traditional first-year anniversary gift, so why not make it your goal to have your album done no later than your first anniversary. You can share the experience of designing your book together as a couple to relive your wedding day. Then, your completed album serves as a perfect one year anniversary gift to each other. Perfect!
Step 2: Pick Out Your Favorite Photos
Preview your proofs or digital copies and choose 20-30 that immediately jump out to you as potential album inclusions. Create a folder on your computer to keep track of your favorites. You might feel overwhelmed looking at all the photos from your big day, so enlist help from your spouse/sister/mom/etc. if you need to. Also, keep in mind that choosing the images is the most time-consuming part. It doesn't have to be done in a day and you really just need 75 – 150 images total to have a nice size album.
Step 3: Group Your Photos
After you have picked out your first-look favorites, you’ll want to group the rest of your chosen photos into categories, like getting ready, ceremony, the bride and groom portraits, family and bridal party, reception, details, etc. This will help your album story flow and will give “readers” an idea of how the day went.
Take your time with this step and look for a variety of photos (portraits, black and white, formal, casual) to add depth to your album. It doesn’t matter how many photos you put in each category, but keep in mind that between 75 and 150 photos will make it into your album as the final cut.
Step 4: Choose Your Wedding Album Style
Once you have your photos picked out, you’ll want to choose your book style and start the layout process. You can do this with help from a wedding photo book creator like Shutterfly, which allows you to upload your photos, choose a cover and book style, and layout your photos in whichever way you like.
Wedding photo book styles might include:
- Flush Mount Photo Album – Thick pages and bound for ultimate durability
- Layflat Photo Album – Features sturdy lay-flat panoramic spreads
- Hardcover Photo Book – Classic wedding photo book made with archival quality paper and inks
- Softcover Photo Book – Magazine-style book perfect for displaying on the coffee table
You can also choose from portrait, square, and landscape albums, as well as cover colors and text (or use a favorite photo as your cover design). If you need inspiration, think about your wedding style (vintage, modern, romantic, etc.) and how you can incorporate those colors and elements into your wedding album design.
Step 5: Layout Your Wedding Album
Once you’ve chosen your album style, it’s time to layout your photos. Many photo book creators offer premade templates that you can customize to fit your needs, or, if you’re particularly design-savvy, you can create your own template. Check out Design Bolt’s post on wedding album design for some inspiration to get you started.
Add decorative fonts and art elements, quotes, vows, poetry, and lyrics. Place one image per page or mix it up with one image on the left page and a couple on the right. Good album design typically has no more than 5-6 images per spread. This allows for your images to stand alone with some space so they do not look all crowded and bunched together.
Although you’ll want to stick with a loose timeline in order to illustrate your wedding day story, don’t be afraid to “interrupt” your timeline with fun shots and photos that pair well together visually.
Most importantly, don’t overthink the process or get caught up in perfection. Keep your extra design elements simple so that your pictures take the main stage and shine.
Alternative Step 5: Hire a Design Team
If you simply can’t find the time or creative energy to design your wedding photo album or just want a little extra help, inquire about any custom design services your photo book creation website might offer.
With this kind of service, you’ll provide the team with all the information and photos they need to get started. They’ll keep in touch with you throughout the process and will send you a sample to approve before it goes to press. It’s a simple way to get a wedding album you’ll cherish forever and still more affordable than hiring your photographer to do the same job.
Creating a wedding album is easier now than ever and there are plenty of tools to help you put together a photo book that’s affordable, durable, stylish, and tells your love story in a way that’s as unique as you are!
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