Don't wait until the last minute!

By Helen Sondag and Helen Sondag
January 24, 2020
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Courtesy of Heirloom Bindery

Even after the big day has come and gone, couples still have a few pretty important to-dos: There are the thank-you cards, of course, and then there's the wedding album. Yes, you'll get a digital file of all the snapshots from your celebration, but most couples purchase a bound book, too, either through the photographer or a separate company. "Most photographers give their clients printing rights to their images, so they have the option to create and order their photo album through another company or online service instead of ordering through their photographer," says Jenny Quicksall of Jenny Quicksall Photography. "However, couples who choose to order on their own will not be able to reap the benefits of having their photographer curate a beautiful design that truly reflects their wedding day."

Here's everything you need to do when creating and ordering your wedding album through your photographer.

Ask to see sample albums.

Usually, when photographers meet with clients, they'll give them sample albums to peruse. If yours doesn't offer these, request them. Pay attention to how the pages look and feel and the way the photos are laid out. These factors, as well as the price, will inform whether or not you order your own album through the studio.

Weigh the options.

Often, couples can choose a wedding package that includes an album, but ordering later is an option, too. Prices will vary by vendor and by specifications including size. Brides and grooms may opt to create and order online instead, but it can come at a cost. "When couples order an album through their wedding photographer, they can expect a smooth ordering process, a curated album design, and a high-quality product," Quicksall explains.

View and narrow down the digital gallery.

Anywhere from two to five weeks after the wedding, photographers will send a digital gallery containing all the photos from the day. No matter where you're ordering, your next step is picking out the pictures you want featured in your album (and don't forget frames!). Don't wait too long; it's best to curate your collection while everything is still fresh in your mind.

"For narrowing down selects, we give each of our couples a 'favorites' gallery of the best of the best images throughout the day," says Carina Romano of Love Me Do Photography. "It serves as a tool for our couple, but not everyone chooses the same photos that we choose. If, when we are making the layout, we feel that there are any repetitive images, we'll let the clients know and offer our opinions. We tell them to keep in mind that some layouts work better with horizontal or vertical images, so feel free in choosing more, and we will work with what looks best on the page together."

Review the draft.

Once selections are made, the photographer gets to work laying everything out and then sends yet another very exciting email with a draft, usually in PDF form. Take a look and provide feedback, and the photographer will make adjustments. "One thing that is sometimes hard to envision is how the book will lay verses the PDFs that we send," Romano explains. "We assure our clients that we would not make a book that we don't stand behind."

Customize your album.

Before the book goes to print, a few stylistic decisions need to be made: think the cover material, binding technique, text, and more. Try to take inspiration from the event itself, and from your love story for a seamless album with even more significance. "When our couples order albums through us, we have an ordering form through our website," Romano tells us. "There, they can pick the color of the fabric or leather. They can also choose to have their names and wedding date embossed on the cover. There are photos of what each fabric looks like, as well as the different fonts to choose from."

Wait for your wedding album to print.

"When the album design is approved and the couple has chosen the album cover color and material, your photographer will place the order for the album to be printed," Quicksall concludes. "After several weeks for production, the album is delivered to the couple."

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