5 tips for creating a wedding album that’s 100% true to you
Just like anything you look forward to for a long time, weddings have a sneaky habit of flying by in a flash – something we can definitely relate to having attended hundreds of nuptials over the years at Tash & Will Photography (including our very own).
That’s what so great about professional wedding photographs - they freeze-frame time. Creating a permanent record of every little detail that makes your wedding day different and unique from every other – including those moments you didn’t get to see first hand. So, even after the dust has settled (and you’ve somehow managed to squeeze THAT dress into the wardrobe) you always have a permanent keepsake of the most precious moments from your big day.
It’s these kinds of images we love to capture at Tash & Will Photography, because we’re all about wedding photography that don’t just document, but actually tells a story too. And nothing does your big day justice more than creating your very own wedding album.
OK, WE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING: A WEDDING ALBUM? ISN’T THAT LIKE SO 1980S?
Yeah, we get it, we’re generation digital. Our photos live in our phones NOT on our shelves. But, here’s the thing – your wedding photos aren’t just any old photos, they capture the most important moments, of the most important day, of your entire life – a day you can relive over and over again whenever you flick through the pages of your wedding album. Not just days after your wedding has taken place, but for months and years to come too.
Now we appreciate a photo share as much as the next person. In fact we love it when our couples post wedding day photos we’ve taken online, but when it comes to print versus digital we’re pure traditionalists all the way. Sure you can store a billion photos in a cloud, but there’s just something about binding your wedding photos together in a beautifully handcrafted album that speaks to our souls and tugs at our heartstrings.
So if, like us, you love the idea of having a timeless keepsake that tells the story of your special day, here are our five top tips for creating you very own wedding album design…
1. EDIT LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT
When it’s your own wedding album it can be difficult to look at your images objectively – ESPECIALLY when it comes to deciding which photos to leave out. Remember, the point of a wedding album is to capture a curated version of your big day, not showcase every single photo (no matter how nice). So unless you’re looking to rewrite War and Peace, you’re going to have to do some creative image editing.
As a general rule of thumb about 30 pages (15 double page spreads) and 4-5 images per page is an ideal wedding album length. It gives you enough space to include all the key moments that took place throughout the day, without the album becoming overwhelming (or unbelievably heavy).
2. KEEP THE STORY ELEMENT FRONT OF MIND
One of the easiest ways to design your wedding album is by approaching it as if you were telling a story. Like every good narrative, your wedding album should have a beginning, middle, and an ending, so as you edit your images it can be helpful to question how much value each one adds to the story. Does it help the narrative develop, fit the timeline, and keep the flow intact?
For the story to make sense the album’s order should ideally follow the same timeline your wedding did and capture the rollercoaster of emotions that unfolded throughout the day. From the anticipation of getting ready in the morning, to the excitement of saying your vows, and the intimacy of your first dance - everything about your album should take the reader on the journey of your day, culminating in that all-important “and they lived happily ever after” ending.
3. DON’T DELAY – IT’S EASIER TO CHOOSE YOUR ALBUM IMAGES SOONER THAN IT IS LATER
Like a lot of things in life the longer you put off designing your wedding album the harder it becomes to complete, and the less likely it is you’ll find the “time to get around to it.”
With something as personal as a wedding album we find it’s always best to select the images as close to receiving them back from the photographer as possible. That way the day’s events are still fairly fresh in your mind, which makes it easier when it comes to selecting your favourite moments and organising the running order they should appear in
4. ENJOY THE PROCESS – IT SHOULD BE FUN
One thing’s for certain, getting stressed over designing your wedding album will suck all the joy out of it, making what you’re doing feel like a chore, instead of the chance to create a cherished treasure trove of warm and fuzzy memories.
Don’t feel you have to rush your album design. Take a night or two to sleep on it. Heck, take a week or two if you want to, and don’t forget to relax while you do it. One great approach (that a lot of our brides have found successful) is to sit down with your other half, over a glass of wine, and just enjoy reliving your wedding day, image by image.
And if you’re really struggling to get an album order together – ASK US FOR HELP – it’s what we’re here for. After all, creating your wedding album is an extension of your wedding so it should be an equally enjoyable experience.
5. TRUST YOUR GUT – CHOOSE YOUR FAVOURITES
Of course above all else you need to love your wedding album so while you’re selecting your images, if your heart is telling you one thing and your head another, give in to your heart. At the end of the day your wedding album is a celebration of your love, not only for your partner but also the friends and family you selected to share in your special day, and that’s the story every wedding album wants to tell.
So trust your own gut feeling and don’t include an image just because you think you “should” or because it might be what other people expect. Your wedding album should be as unique as your wedding day was, with the memories that YOU love the most immortalised. That way, as it’s handed down from generation to generation, the story of your day will be remembered and preserved honestly and authentically, exactly as you intended it.
BONUS TIP – AN EXAMPLE ALBUM LAYOUT TO INSPIRE YOU!
Now, we’re all about wedding albums being unique and one-of-a-kind at Tash & Will Photography but because we can’t help but be helpful we’ve put together a little example layout – just to give you some inspiration. Feel free to use as much (or as little) of it as you like and bend, break and shape it as you see fit (we promise we won’t take offence).
As a rule of thumb We usually recommend:
- 80 photographs for a 20 spread album
- 75 photographs for a 15 spread album
- 60 photographs for a 10 spread album
A Few Sample Layouts...
SPREAD 1: DETAILS & WEDDING VENUE
The first spread can be a natural place to include images of your wedding venue before your guests arrive, and some of the finer details that make your day your own, such as your wedding dress, shoes, jewellery, flowers, and so on.
SPREAD 2: PRE-CEREMONY PICTURES
This spread would focus on the candid moments that happen while the bridal party is getting ready, such as members of the group getting their hair and makeup done, and any pre-wedding traditions or gift exchanges that are planned to take place (FYI – it’s great to let us know about these in your photo brief so we can make sure we’re there to capture the moments on camera).
SPREAD 3: BRIDE GETTING READY
Examples for this spread could potentially include images of the bride in her dress and perfecting the final details, such as having her veil adjusted by mum, or putting in the “something blue” family heirloom earrings she borrowed for her big day.
SPREAD 4: GROOM GETTING READY
The natural next point in the story would be to include images of the groom’s party getting ready. Shots might include the groom fastening his jacket, fixing his tie and/or putting his cufflinks on, along with shots of his best man and others helping him prepare (and relax) ahead of the ceremony. Of course you might decide to have these “getting ready” images combined into one single spread to save space in your album – some couples prefer this option.
SPREAD 5: CEREMONY DECOR
This spread would hone in on the finer details of the ceremony’s venue, as well as any decorations or personal details that are part of the wedding theme and deeply personal to you guys (flowers, backdrops, etc.). It’s all about the “scene setting” with this spread, and helping to build up the anticipation before the wedding ceremony.
SPREAD 6: THE WEDDING CEREMONY
From the bride walking down the aisle with dad and the groom’s reaction as they approach, to the first kiss as a married couple and the newlyweds walking out to a hail of confetti, this spread would feature candid photographs dedicated to the ceremony proceedings.
SPREAD 7: BRIDAL PARTY PICTURES
For spread 7 we suggest including a page or two dedicated to natural photographs of the happy couple surrounded by their respective friends and family in the wake of saying “I do”, capturing the newlywed’s first interactions with their guests after exiting the ceremony.
SPREAD 8: FAMILY PORTRAITS (BRIDE’S SIDE)
A double page spread dedicated to formal photos of the bride’s family (self explanatory we thinks).
SPREAD 9: FAMILY PORTRAITS (GROOM’S SIDE)
As above (see spread 8) but featuring the groom’s family and friends instead.
SPREAD 10: BRIDE AND GROOM PORTRAITS
This double page spread is all about you guys – the happily married couple. We recommend using a 4 or 5 picture selection of your favourite images of the two of you together for these pages.
SPREAD 11: BRIDE AND GROOM - SUNSET PORTRAITS
We usually try and steal our couples away for a quick 15-minute sunset shoot, as the fading light creates a beautiful backdrop for wedding photography. These images are usually the most popular with our couples, so you may want to dedicate an entire spread to the photos we capture during this sitting.
SPREAD 12: THE RECEPTION DECOR
The idea behind this spread would be to showcase your reception venue, before the guests arrive, including any personalised decorations and details that were unique to your wedding only (centrepieces, top table decoration, flowers, menu cards, place settings, the wedding cake, etc.).
SPREAD 13: RECEPTION PHOTOS
This spread would show the reception in full swing, with images of the speeches (including any brilliant reactions captured on camera) as well as the other traditions that take place after the ceremony, from the first dance and cutting of the wedding cake, to the bride’s bouquet toss.
SPREAD 14: COUPLE’S EXIT
It’s becoming less and less common that the newlyweds leave the wedding party ahead of their guests, but if you are including this tradition as part of your big day these penultimate pages are a great place to include a few favourite photos of your send-off.
SPREAD 15: CLOSING SHOT
For the very last page in your album, you might want to use your very favourite image from your wedding day – the one that you feel most sums it all up, or you could plump for something offbeat and quirky, whatever floats your boat. We’ve said it once and we’ll sign off by saying it again – this is YOUR wedding album. So, just do you.
At Tash & Will photography we’re a married couple that celebrated our own wedding in a way that was 100% unique to us, and we love being there to capture the key moments as other happy couples do the same. Our style of wedding photography is natural, candid, and authentic. Resulting in professional wedding images that offer a true representation of the emotion and details that make each of our couples’ wedding days one-of-a-kind.
You can see some examples of previous weddings we’ve photographed in our online portfolio, as well as on our Instagram feed. Please feel free to take a scroll through and don’t hesitate to drop us a DM, email or an old-fashioned phone call, if you’d like to talk about photography for your wedding.