Your wedding day will be a fantastic occasion. Surrounded by your nearest and dearest, you’ll make lots of happy memories to cherish. However, it’s sure to be over and done within the blink of an eye!
So after all of the meticulous planning and joyous celebrating on the day itself, you’ll want the entire occasion to be captured. Photographing those moments enables you to look back on them time and time again and enjoy snippets even you might have missed.
Amongst the immeasurable amount of ways to display your wedding photos, there’s a reason why the traditional wedding album is still a firm favourite.
We’re going to be discussing whether it’s worth investing in a wedding photo album and if so, precisely why. So, if you’re on the fence or are simply looking for some gentle guidance, see what we have to say below.
You may already know I’m a big fan of printing your wedding photos. It’s one of the best ways to cherish your special day, in my personal opinion. And although printing a few photos to hang on your wall or office is a great way to do that, I love when couples opt for an album that tells the full story of the day. There’s just something extra special about holding it in your hands, carefully going through each page and reliving every moment.
To be completely honest, I didn’t realise what a professional wedding album was until I became a professional photographer myself. I always thought an album would be similar to something you could make yourself online through the many printing places available. Well, that all changed when I held my very first Signature Legacy Album in my hands!
After writing check after check for every wedding-related expense, the last thing you probably want to do is drop even more money to have your wedding photos compiled into an album. Do you need one? Facebook is forever, right? Wrong, swear the pros. Wedding photographers Liz Banfield, Jessica Lorren, and Olivia Leigh insist there’s tons of value in having a beautiful, physical collection of your wedding photos.
Are you a bride searching for the right photographer for your wedding day, or have you found the right photographer but are finding it hard to justify the price tag?
There’s no denying it: weddings are expensive! Even on a tight budget, the cost can be well over what you had originally anticipated. In many instances, the expectation of what we should pay and the reality of what we do pay very rarely if ever match. Some brides dream about their wedding day from when they where little girls, but never in their wildest dreams do they expect it to cost so much…. frankly, I blame Disney!!
It’s a common feeling for a couple when beginning the search for their wedding photographer to become frustrated in the initial stages of searching. After visiting some beautiful studios, and looking at some amazing photography, presented in some exquisite albums, you start dreaming about your special day. As you hold the photographer’s unbelievable studio sample album in your hands, you ask the question that has to be on your mind from the moment you opened up the album.” So if we were to get an album like this, how much will it cost?”. As the photographer explains the pricing to you, your heart sinks down to your stomach. You make sure that you keep your composure not to let on to the photographer that you are in a state of shock, and for the remainder of the appointment all you are thinking is, “Wow, I didn’t expect that”.
If you are confused and are considering taking a less expensive approach, then we hope that the information in this post will help remove the confusion in your search for a professional wedding photographer.
Table of Contents
- 1 Wedding photo albums – are they worth it?
- 2 5 Reasons Why Wedding Albums Are Worth It
- 3 Here are some things to discuss with your wedding photographer if you are interested in receiving a custom wedding album:
- 4 What Kind of Wedding Albums Can You Invest With?
Wedding photo albums – are they worth it?
As a modern bride, you’ve probably been bombarded by the HUGE amount of choice out there. It’s tricky to know what route to go down for the flower arrangements, let alone the photo arrangements.
If all you know is that you want the very best photographer, that’s fine! You’re off to a good start. Although, along with the very best photographers come high price tags. If you’ve spent a considerable amount of budget on your photographer, it may mean preceding purchasing an album or prints.
However, the brides and grooms we’ve spoken to all agree, it IS worth having your photos printed in some way. In this digital age, it’s easy to forget how beautiful physical images can be. Despite this, it’s still tricky to know what type of album – or photo display – to go for.
So we know it’s worth having printed versions of your wedding photos along with digital copies. We’re here to discuss your options, and we’ll also get opinions from some newlyweds on the subject.
If so, having one professionally designed ensures you definitely check this one off! After the honeymoon, it’s not uncommon for this task to get lost in the midst of everything else. Before you know it, you’ll hit your one-year anniversary. Then your two-year anniversary. Then all of a sudden, you have a three-year-old running around the house, and you’re wondering where the time went!
When you purchase a professional album, you won’t have to worry about getting to it “someday.” For my couples, we set a date right away for their album design meeting after their wedding! They join me in my office, or we use a virtual option. I show you a pre-design I made, and together we go through it. I help you swap out photos, add additional spreads, choose your cover and add that editorial touch to the final product. The whole thing takes less than two hours!
After your meeting, I take care of ordering it and having it shipped directly to your home – you don’t have to lift a finger. Instead, you get to focus on the important stuff. Like enjoying newlywed life!
My advice is to ask yourself this: if you know you want an album, and you want to save yourself all that time while getting a luxury product that will stand the test of time, a professional album is a great option for you! On the other hand, you may very well be someone who has always dreamed of making your own album. If that’s the case, I don’t mind at all! I would never want to take that away from you, which is exactly why I include a print release in every wedding collection. So no matter what, you can do what’s best for you!
I think it’s safe to say many of us have flipped through the pages of our parent’s wedding album. Perhaps you laughed at the crazy fashion and couldn’t believe how young all your family members looked back then. If you’re really lucky, you have even seen your grandparent’s wedding album, filled with beautiful and very formal black and white images. If you have never looked through an old family wedding album, we encourage you to do so at your next family gathering. Just a few moments will take you back in time and gives a little glimpse into your family’s history. It’s truly remarkable.
In today’s highly digital era, the wedding album is sadly not prioritised in the same way it used to be. Wedding photographers provide links and USB drives with hundreds if not thousands of photos from your wedding. In almost an instant, they can be uploaded and shared with your family, friends and nearest and dearest social media followers. You might find yourself wondering, should I buy a wedding album? While there are many benefits to owning the digital copies of your images, it can never replace a traditional wedding album. As technology changes, you might struggle to transfer your digital files to the most current medium to ensure you always have access to your images.
In reality, there are so few tangible takeaways from your wedding. You are having your best wedding moments captured and archived as a family heirloom is truly worth it. Keep reading to see why our answer is a huge YES when you ask, should I buy a wedding album.
That’s it! This is why we believe so strongly that each of our couples should not only invest in their wedding photography but also invest in a hand-crafted, customised wedding album that will last for decades after your wedding day has come and gone.
Simply put, your wedding images should not only live in an online, digital gallery for the next fifty years they deserve to grace the walls of your home and become a part of your home by sitting on your coffee table for decades to come.
5 Reasons Why Wedding Albums Are Worth It
Wedding Albums Preserve Your Memories In A Tangible Way
You may have all of the digital images living on your computer, and maybe a hundred or so on your phone, but how often will you go back to look through those images on a normal basis? We live in an age where just about everything we do lives on screens. Your wedding photos deserve more than to just live in the cloud. They deserve to be displayed and showcased proudly. They deserve a spot on your coffee table or in your living room. They deserve to be reminisced on, looked through, and shared with friends and family. You made a huge investment in your wedding day, so why not invest in preserving those memories?
It Stands the Test of Time
As technology changes and evolves, it’s comforting to know you’ll have a version of your album that’s compatible with the times instead of getting sucked into what Leigh calls the black hole of the internet. “Do you know where those photos you posted on MySpace 15 years ago are?” she asks. “I certainly don’t! Printing your favourite photos in an album allows you a chance to really showcase the best of the best in a beautiful storytelling format. It helps ensure you have a physical piece to remember your celebration.”
A traditional wedding album, purchased from your photographer or a designer they work with will stand the test of time. The photos are printed on high-quality photo paper and mounted on sturdy pages with precise binding techniques. After all, you most likely spent a decent portion of your wedding budget on a professional photographer so that you can have the highest quality images of your day. When it comes to displaying your wedding photos, it’s also best to leave it to the professionals. Those images should be showcased in an album that allows that quality to shine through.
Wedding Albums Tell A Story
When I’m designing an album, I always organise the images chronologically so they can be relived in the same way the day played out. From time spent getting ready, to the moment you read a note from your groom and cried, to your first look, your ceremony, and on, you get to relive each moment as you flip through each page. Displaying a large print of your favourite portrait is wonderful (and I highly recommend it!), but it doesn’t allow you to remember each special moment of the wedding day in the same way an album will.
Technology Is Unpredictable And Changes Over Time
Remember VHS and Floppy Discs? Those were the up-to-date methods of technology for saving images and videos within the last 10-15 years. Now, if you asked me to play a VHS video or insert a floppy disc, I’d have to find a specialist or send it to a lab to access the data. Imagine what technology could look like another 10, 15, or 20 years down the road. Wedding albums ensure and protect that your images will withstand the test of time. Even if a USB flash drive doesn’t exist in 15 years, your album will. Even if your hard drive crashes or your computer is stolen, you will still have the highlights of your wedding day preserved. Even as technology changes, a beautiful, hand-crafted album never becomes obsolete.
“When my clients have been forced to evacuate their homes due to hurricanes or fires, they say the first thing they grab is their wedding album,” says Lorren. “It’s an honour to work with my couples in creating something so deeply important to them.” Though the expense might feel like a lot when you’re signing on the dotted line, a wedding album is one of the few things that increases in value over time. But you don’t need to go all out to commemorate the big day, says Banfield. “If budget is a concern, think about doing an album with fewer pictures or even a box with your ten favourites matted inside. Getting the edit down to the very essence of the day is all you need.”
It’s an Heirloom
“A wedding album is essential for commemorating the event for generations to come,” explains Banfield. “As a child, I used to love to look at my parents’ wedding album. It was a window into their world at the beginning of their marriage that I will always treasure.” Besides, there are some moments that just don’t feel as warm and fuzzy when punctuated by the click of a trackpad, Banfield points out. “As a family, we sit together on our anniversary and look at our wedding pictures that were preserved in an archival album. I don’t think the same tradition would hold if all the pictures were just on the computer.”
Here are some things to discuss with your wedding photographer if you are interested in receiving a custom wedding album:
Because a wedding album is highly customised, it can come at some expense. Consider that your wedding album is a one-of-a-kind heirloom for your family! Discuss the price options with your photographer and understand the differences in quality and other factors.
Albums come in a variety of covers, including leather, vinyl, wood, cloth, photo covers and other materials. Some will also have custom inset photos and imprinting on the cover. Look at the sample albums provided by your photographer to understand the differences and the pros/cons of each option.
The Number of Photos and Pages in the Album
The greater the number of pages, the more expensive it will be. You want your album to tell the story of the wedding from start to finish, but you don’t need to include every image. Many photographers can create custom layouts of the images from wide double-spread panoramas to multiple image collages on a single page. Have your photographer show you sample albums to see what is possible.
What About Do-It-Yourself Wedding Albums?
As you talk to wedding photographers, you will discover that the most premium wedding album manufacturers are only available to wedding photography businesses. If you want the best quality albums with archival materials that will last the test of time, it’s best to have your album produced professionally by your wedding photographer. We have also heard from many clients how they always intended to “get around to it” but never find the time to do the work involved to produce a quality wedding album. It’s a lot of work to select the final images, perform the photoshop work to perfect each image, then design the layout and work with the album manufacturer to select all of the options. Talk to your photographer about the design process and the turn-around time to produce your album.
What Kind of Wedding Albums Can You Invest With?
Save up for a great digital album.
One bride, Helen, has already had her dream wedding and is saving up for an album from Folio, ready for her anniversary in July. Folio offers an excellent range of wedding photo albums depending on your preferences.
Most photographers will also offer digital albums and might give you the option to purchase a digital album at a later date.
Helen opted for a digital presentation case with prints. She explains, ‘Frankly, they cost around £500, but they’re worth it. They’re printed on recycled and sustainable wood-sourced papers and are printed right here in the UK.’
‘Your photographer will probably offer you a book similar to this, printed on photographic paper, which will last for a lifetime and make your photos look their best. They do cost, but they’re like pieces of art to treasure forever. Any good photographer will let you save up to purchase at a later date.’
If you can’t wait for your hand-made album from your photographer, or if you’d like a cheaper option try shopping around for a lower-priced photobook. Companies like Blurb and Bob Books make really stunning wedding video albums.
Often they are printed on paper which has a photo or linen covers. Every provider varies, but you can find more inexpensive options for £50 – £100. You can design your album yourself and choose your colour scheme and layout for an entirely bespoke product. Alternatively, you could ask your photographer to design it for a small fee if you’re not particularly creative.
Although you’ll save some pennies, this option requires time and organisation. Also, these books definitely don’t have the same image quality or longevity as the more expensive albums. However, if you’re creative and love some DIY fun, you’ll save a considerable amount of money.
Box of prints
Many couples are now opting for a box of prints rather than an album that you can flick through. The box itself is wrapped with an image, looks really smart, and is a fraction of the cost.
Although they look lovely and are more of a unique way to arrange your print photos, you can’t easily flick through them like you can with an album. Not only do you lose the fabulous layout of an album which makes them so special, but the images are also more likely to get damaged or lost.
However, the photos are of great quality and printed on proper photo paper. They make quite a nice stop-gap until the album is ready, so you have something to show your friends and family. They could also be sent out as little gifts for your loved ones.
Make your own traditional album.
John Lewis has some lovely ready-made albums to choose from. Not only are they a lot more inexpensive, but they are pretty and easy to use. Although here’s a tip, don’t opt for the self-adhesive pages, as the glue often lasts just a few years then dries and all the photos slip around!
Instead, it’s a great idea to buy an album with card pages and tissue in between. All you need are photo mount corners, and away you go! They are quite delicate, so ensure you’re careful as you insert your images so that you don’t damage any of the tissue.
If you’re the crafty type, you can completely make your own! This is a sure-fire way to ensure your album is exactly as you would like it. You can choose what type of embellishments you would like to add and make it entirely personal to you. Pick up a collection of fantastic supplies and get crafty.
But be warned, this is work for very careful hands! But it will save you a considerable amount of money that you could put towards an exceptional photographer. After all, it’s the images themselves that will be documenting your special day, so you want them to be perfect.
And finally, whatever you can afford, just make the most of your photos, and you’ll enjoy them forever! It’s easy to forget how wonderful print photographs are in this digital age, but we promise you it will be worth it.