Hello, Emma here! Right after my wedding, I made one of those hardcover photo albums from a big name print company that shall remain nameless. They did a decent job. But decent doesn’t really cut it when it comes to wedding albums. You want grandiose. You want exceptional. You want a buttery soft leather cover with professionally detailed layflat pages that totally rock out on your coffee table. My album? I loved it — but it was pretty basic. You know the kind, where you upload 400+ photos and it spits them out into collages. I should have known better, but I was on a post–wedding high! “Just get it done!“, I thought. And they mailed me a photo album that sort of left me with much to be desired. But what did I have to complain about? They did what I paid for: photos were inside an album. Case closed.
But in the back of my mind, I always sort of wanted something more. “But why order another album when I already had one?” I thought aloud to myself, and to my husband. Many times. Haha.
And then an opportunity presented itself to make my own DIY album for my wedding and I thought, why not, let’s give it a go. And I am so glad I did. Read to find out more about my experience with Shutterfly (note: not the company I used the first time around), see how my book turned out, and find out how easy it really is to do…
How to Make a Beautiful DIY Album for Weddings
1. Know what you want before you get started
What kind of book do you want to create? A long-lasting coffee table book with large photos and layflat pages? A few albums in a smaller size to give away to parents as gifts? Decide what you want before getting started.
2. Go big. Details are important
Don’t be afraid to pay a little more for what you want. That’s the lesson I learned from my first ordering experience. I skipped some of the better details because I didn’t think I really needed them. The leather cover? Layflat pages? Professional grade design pages? Check, check, and check. And I’m so glad I did.
3. Have all of your photos IN ORDER
Before you get started, make sure your digital photos are all arranged in the order of events. Otherwise, you’ll be pulling your hair out. Mine were slightly out of order, and I have to admit — that was the only time when I wanted to throw my computer across the room. Picking through ceremony photos and cake cutting photos and photos of dancing is tiring and will suck the time and energy from you. Just an FYI!
4. Make an account
I know, you have a million accounts but you’ll want to get a shiny new login at Shutterfly right away. This is because if you run out of time, get tired, need a wine refill or your computer battery dies, you’ll be able to pick up where you left off thanks to the loveliness of an online account. Get one — it’s free. You’ll even get free 4×6 photo print credits just for the heck of it when you sign up. (A nice bonus!)
5. Work a section at a time
You probably want to go ahead and get the album finished already — but don’t rush like I did the first time around. Take your time. Work a section at a time. Start with your design pages. Then figure out what kind of cover you want. Then ease into the photos of getting ready before the ceremony, let it flow into the ceremony itself, then tackle the rest. This guarantees sanity. Not to mention an awesome, totally cohesive book by the end of it.
6. Go through the album and double and triple check
Once your pages are all set, save it. Go back through it. Flip through the page layouts as if you were viewing your wedding photos for the first time. Do they tell the story? Do they include photos of all the most important people in your life? Does the album flow, with images appropriately placed where they fall in the story?
If not, just edit! It’s so easy to edit before you commit and order. Besides, you can’t go back once it’s printed.
7. Relish in the beauty that is your new photo album
Enjoy it! Wait for that gorgeous album to arrive on your doorstep and feel accomplished knowing you just made an awesome DIY album that totally rocks. I mean, it feels buttery smooth (especially if you went with the leather cover, like I did) and those layflat pages are pretty amazing, you know? Be happy that you learned from my initial mistakes and now you have a BFF for all of your DIY album needs, even after the wedding.
So… Here’s My Book!
A preview of parts of my book:
How Shutterfly Makes it So Easy to Make a Beautiful DIY Album for Weddings
1. They’re SO EASY to customize
Enter in your details in the text boxes, upload your photos, and slide them into the appropriate boxes. Change it up if you don’t like it with ease! It honestly couldn’t be easier.
I’ve seen other photo album styles before and nothing compares to Shutterfly‘s unique styled pages. You can create an album that coordinates with your wedding theme, from vintage to classic to modern. There’s even idea pages you can use with options for adding your own text. I included the “Love is Patient, Love is Kind” passage in my book as its own page. I love the cute touches I was able to add like this — along with song lyrics on another.
You might think it’s going to cost you a lot, but you’ll realize just how amazing the price really is when you’re all done! The premium books begin at $99.99 (and it’s honestly worth every penny). Since you’re only going to order one wedding album to make your memories last from the big day, you might as well make it a good one! (And really, I should know.)
Other Ideas for a DIY Album from Shutterfly
Already have plans for your wedding album with your photographer at the design helm? Prefer someone to tackle the designing for you? No problem. You’ll love this DIY album for creating one-of-a-kind books for:
o Guest Book
Turn your favorite engagement or courtship photos into a one-of-a-kind guestbook for guests to sign and leave sweet messages inside.
o Parents / Gifts
Thank your guests with a special keepsake album featuring photos from the wedding.
Create a DIY album using your favorite engagement photos so you can take those photos OFF YOUR HARD DRIVE (finally!) and put them to good use.
Turn those honeymoon snapshots into a keepsake photo album you can flip through to relive again and again.
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What are you waiting for? Start making your beautiful photo album here! Feel free to leave your questions below in the comment box!
This is a sponsored post by Shutterfly. If I did not like my product, I’d be the first to tell you. We value our readers and only present honest reviews.