We (and by "we" I mean "me") spent hours, days even, going through our 885 wedding photos and selecting which ones would make the cut for the professional album our photographer, heidi-o-photo, was going to make for us. It felt impossible to narrow it down to 120 images, the max suggested by Heidi, and in the end we chose about 150 for her to use. That resulted in us paying to add seven additional spreads (our credit covered 10 10x10 spreads) to fit all those images. And yet, we still didn't get in all the photos we would have liked to have in our wedding album.
We received our album last week and it is gorgeous, heavy by the weight of thick, premium pages and a luxe leather cover, and the print quality is impeccable. And the album covers a lot of ground: the bridal prep, G getting ready, the first look, ceremony and reception, all the little details that were special to us. But what it doesn't have, what had to be left on the cutting room floor, are what I call the "people pictures": Family portraits, photos with our bridesmaids and groomsmen, and random shots of our loved ones throughout the day. While our pro album includes a handful of these photos, it is mostly (and appropriately) all about me and G.
But because our friends and family were an important part of our day, and our photographer caught some great shots of them, I decided to take those B-list photos and make a separate (and cheaper) album. There are lots of online services one can use but for this particular project I decided to take advantage of an offer for a free 20-page 8x8 hard cover photo book from Shutterfly that I received as a "thank you" for reviewing my wedding vendors on WeddingWire.
Our "Friends and Family" photo book arrived a couple weeks ago and I am thrilled with how it turned out. Of course it pales in comparison to the professional album, but the quality is good. The photos are bright and clear, significantly better in person than it was on screen, and the cover and pages are nice and sturdy. I paid $25 extra for lay-flat pages (a worthwhile investment, in my opinion) and sprung the 5 bucks for the matte-finish, fingerprint-resistant cover.
Actually creating the photo book was a fairly easy and straight-forward process. I sometimes had a bit of trouble finding the exact template or grid I wanted to use that would fit the photos I had planned, and making sure that grid complimented the one I wanted to use on the facing page. My perfectionist, Type-A tendencies contributed a little bit of stress to the process. I created the "rough draft" of the album over the course of several hours one evening when G wasn't home, but returned a couple times in the following weeks to tweak and edit. I'm sure others would have completed their album much more quickly! But in the end I was proud of the album I had created. And when it arrived on my doorstep I was even more pleased with the final product.
Now, all our favorite people from our big day are in one place that we can flip through whenever we want to reminisce.
Here's a few of my favorite spreads, if you'd like to see...
You can also flip through the entire digital album below!
Click "full screen" to view this photo book larger
Have you ever used Shutterfly? Or another online album-maker? I'd love to hear! I may make more photo books with my many iPhone and Instagram photos in the future. Even in this digital age, nothing beats seeing a photo in print.