With smartphones and the internet, you have access to thousands of photos from your big day. But when you want to share the memories with others, a wedding album can make it easy. Once you decide you want a wedding album, you have a few more decisions to make: the size of the book, album cover types and designs, paper materials, etc. You need all that info sorted before you start designing the album spreads with your favorite album designer. We recommend Moments, our best album design software. To take the stress out of the big day, here’s a comprehensive guide about all those little decisions.
Album or Photo Book
The first decision you have to make is if you want a photo album or photo book. Photo albums are high quality photography mounted on thick cardstock while photo books are digitally printed, much like you would print a digital image at home. There are a lot of differences between the two.
Once you decide if you want a wedding album or photo book, your next decision is what size you want it. Regardless of your choice, there are popular sizes across types (in inches):
8 x 8
10 x 10
12 x 10
12 x 12
11 x 14
Photo books are also available in the following sizes (in inches):
5 x 7
7 x 5
8.5 x 11
Wedding albums are available in these additional sizes (in inches):
14 x 14
Wedding albums are typically square while photo books come in a variety of dimensions. Typically wedding albums or photo books have about 20 pages and hold about 40 images. When deciding on the right album for your wedding, consider how big of an event you plan to have. A bigger event will call for a larger album with additional pages.
Wedding album covers come in a variety of options, depending on what style you choose. Both are well suited to leather or hard covers. Photo books are also available in photo covers, featuring a picture from the wedding, and soft covers. Think about the mood of the wedding when choosing your cover. If your event is modern and fun, a photo cover can reflect this. If it is timeless and classic, a leatherette, genuine leather or premium leather cover may be better suited. Whatever you choose, it is up to you and will keep your memories safe for years to come.
You also have the option of personalizing your album cover even more. With photo books, you can print personal images and wedding information like names, date and location. With a photo album, this comes in the form of engraving. Your message can be engraved onto the cover, typically the lower right corner, with information about your big day.
The page materials will partially depend on what type of album you choose. If you choose a photo book, pictures will be digitally printed similar to how you print images at home. Obviously, these pictures are printed in a higher quality than your home printer can deliver, but you are still sacrificing quality compared to developed images.
Wedding albums use negatives of images on light-sensitive paper that are then developed in a dark room. These images are developed much like pictures from a roll of film. These result in higher-quality images and are then mounted on cardstock.
Once you consider the printing style of your pictures, you will need to decide what kind of paper these pictures are printed on. Glossy paper results in shiny, vibrant photos. However, they produce glare and can show fingerprints if not protected. Matte paper is the opposite of glossy and provides a more even finish. However, these pictures may seem dull compared to their glossy counterparts. This style is the preferred choice of many professional photographers as it highlights the beauty of the image itself. If you want a happy median between the two, luster paper is your solution. It is less shiny than glossy paper reducing glare and visible fingers and is more vibrant than the subdued colors that you get with matte paper.
Whatever you choose, we hope this guide helped you understand your options. Congratulations on your big day! And we hope you include us in your planning.