Wedding Wednesday Discussion: The Importance of a Wedding Album



Today I’d like to talk to you about wedding albums. A lot of the things I talk about on the blog are experiences and information I pick up as a wedding blogger, or as  a wedding planner, or through talking to my industry friends. Other things are from my experience as a bride and today’s topic is one of those.

As you know I got married in Ibiza, my wedding photography is still a bone of contention, and something I would SO go back and change if I could. I really wasn’t prepared for how important the wedding photography was going to be for me after the wedding, and for that reason I just didn’t do enough research or allocate enough of our budget to this area. For this reason I am now unhappy with our photographs. I realise I talk about photography a lot on the blog and this is probably the reason, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did!

1 The Importance of a Wedding Album

After deciding a month before our wedding that getting a friend with a good camera to take the photos wasn’t our best laid plans, we got a couple of recommendations of Ibiza based photographers and went with the cheapest. We booked a 6 hour digital only package……Big Mistake.

  • The 6 hours didn’t include any of the wedding once the sun went down, which meant we had to rely on our rather drunk guest to take photos of our beautiful candle lit villa… the results were not good!
  • The digital only package didn’t give us any sort of album, just a disc of images to take back to the UK and do what we wanted with!

It was about 6 months later that I regretted this decision and wish we had gone for an album package. So today I want to talk to you about the importance of a wedding album.

2 The Importance of a Wedding Album

Folio Sample Album

Now I know photography can seem like a BIG expense when you first start planning your wedding, BUT an investment in a good photographer and the right photographer is money well spent; believe me I really wish I’d spent more.

I am all for choosing a photographer who lets you have the images on a disc so you can print away to your heart’s content and have a copy of all the images, BUT a good album is so important. Why?? Well I shall tell you

  • An album is what you will look at time and time again, you will get the album out and show relatives and friends. You will get it out on anniversaries and look through the pages, you will show your children and in years to come you will show your grand children. Looking at the images via disc on your computer or i-pad just isn’t the same.
  • Discs won’t last forever, they get lost, scratched, broken and with technology moving as fast as it is who is to say how long we will be able to use them for?
  • You may decide to make up your own wedding album with the disc. I did this and the results aren’t great. I made 2 albums. Album 1) I got a select few printed out from a leading photography shop, quite large and popped them in a  big album, you know the ones with the tissue paper in between. Yes they look OK, but the photos have already come unglued and the quality of the images isn’t  as good as it would have been from a professional album. Album 2) I designed my own album via an online photo book maker, you know the ones where you can design the background, the cover and add as many images as you like per page. This album is bad! I managed to get 300 images in one book, never a good idea. The book looks cluttered and badly designed and the image quality is poor. I have seen lots of these books and to be honest none have ever looked that great. Photo books are a fab idea for holidays, or birthdays but for a wedding album, honestly leave it to the professionals
  • You hired a professional to take the photos so why not hire a professional to print the photos? Your photographer will be able to print out the images into a book at a high quality that will do the original photo justice.

4 The Importance of a Wedding Album

5 The Importance of a Wedding Album

Cost of an album

Now I know there a many of you out there on a  budget and you may feel a wedding album is just one more thing to add to the ever-growing wedding budget. Albums can start at as little as £350 and go up to as much as you want to spend, depending on the size, make and how many pages you choose. The average spend is more like £550 – £700.  The beauty of the album is it’s something you  can order once the wedding is over, so not something you have to pay for straight away. You can choose the album 6 months after the wedding, with some photographers allowing a year to choose and pay for one. Why not consider using some of you wedding present money to put towards the album?

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Folio Sample Album

I asked a couple of photographers what they thought

‘I think photographs are meant to be experienced. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve rummaging through old boxes of photos. It wasn’t just the content of the photos that I loved – but the entire experience of discovery. What would I look at next? What would I uncover? If two photos were stuck together, I would carefully prize them apart so I could discover what lay hidden away. It was the smell of the paper and the brittle feeling in my hands. It was the yellowing corners and the names scribbled on the back in biro.
When you buy a wedding album – you are buying the experience that your children, grandchildren (and even ancestors!) will have with your memories. They will flip the pages and debate who was who. They will laugh at the fashions and marvel at how much they looked like you. This is just not the same when you are viewing photos on your computer or television screen. It all becomes image – you miss the experience.’
Jaye  – Tux and Tales Photography

‘In my opinion you just can’t compare an image on screen to a professionally printed image… there’s something about seeing it on paper, being able to touch it, having something physical in your hands. Seeing that finished product is magic and for me, well obviously I love to see my images printed in a beautiful handcrafted album. I know that it is going to be treasured and brought out at family gatherings. proudly shown off to friends and eventually passed down to the next generation so they can laugh at (and eventually copy) the fashions.  I chose about 70 images for my own album – I never even look at the rest that are sitting on a disc.  In fact it’s been almost 6 years, I don’t know if the disc even works any more… I think I backed them up somewhere… but I have my album, so I’m happy.  If you are considering an album most photographers will let you order up to a year after the wedding so all the big expenses are paid. Heck, get one for your first anniversary… it IS ‘paper’!’
Claire  – Claire Penn Photography

Treasury Wedding Album 9 The Importance of a Wedding Album


So what do you think? Are you married and did you choose to buy an album from your photographer? Or did you make the decision to only have a disc package? Are you currently looking into photography for your wedding? Have you considered an album? Or if you are a photographer – what are your thoughts on wedding albums, do you offer just a disc only or an album package? What do you find is the most popular these days?

I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on the subject!



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    Rachel VK

    Tehehe – I recognise those sample albums! :-)

    We went for it on our photo album – they’re our memories and it seemed like the best way to cherish them was to wrap them up in peacock silk and have them physically. We can’t wait to see the finished album!

    Alex Davies

    Thank you for writing this article. I think it’s so important to have an album to show the pictures of your most special day. Will DVD players/Facebook be around when your grandchildren are born – I don’t think so. My biggest piece of advice – budget for an album before your wedding because if you don’t it’s unlikely that you will ever get one afterwards. The money will always go on something else.

    Samantha Jones

    As a photographer, I offer packages which include both a disc and an album. I want to make sure that my clients images don’t sit on a shelf, on a disc, and never get viewed. Then get lost in a home move or scratched or damaged beyond repair. I know exactly what my parents wore at their wedding because they had an album. The same with my grandparents. The additional expense is worth it – after all, you are paying for a bespoke design to be made by a professional who will get the job done.

    Martyn Norsworthy

    This is a fab post, yes we pro’s take a lot of time and investment in equipment to capture your day to the smallest detail. i use an amazing Photo Editor to make sure we deliver the very best images we can. the album is VERY important as this is when the photos truely come to life and tones etc you cant see on a pad or screen come to life. the photos will have depth and the Album will give you something to share with people. We offer Albums form 295-895 and they can be purchased anytime after the Wedding, we also supply a hard backed proof album of all images roughly 650 of them so that designing your album is easy as you’re not losing any as they are all in your Proof Book.
    Wedding Photos are photographed with an Album in Mind…… x

    Helen Cawte

    Such a great post Kelly! An album is such an amazing way to store and view your wedding photos in a beautiful way. So many of my couples don’t go for an album and I find it such a shame. I love my album and will never regret allocating a good amount of money to photography. x

    Emma Godard

    As a photographer, I offer a bespoke design wedding package and want my work to be shown off to its best. DVD’s and USB’s are great and come as standard in my packages, but you cant beat showing your beautiful wedding photographs off in a lovely album.

    Joanna Wallington

    I also had an album created by my photographer but we nearly did not have it! our photographer took some amazing photos which we saw when we browsed through the proofs but he then disappeared leaving us with watermarked proofs only. We found him again 3 years later, he had gone on a sabbatical to another country without telling anyone. He was so apologetic when he realised he had not actually produced our album but the finished product was worth the wait so all’s well that ends well :-)
    I definitely recommend an album, mine is still in the cardboard box he supplied it in and I carefully put it back away where it is dry and safe whenever I have been browsing through it.


    As a bride to be who is very passionate about photography it wasn’t even an option not to get an album after the wedding – and I can’t wait to get it! Infact I’ll be getting an album very similar to the ones in the photos above because Claire is our photographer!
    I’m sure for some couples the photographs arn’t going to be that important, they want to focus on other aspects of the day and I understand that (mostly!) but a couple of years down the line when you want to look back on your day how lovely would it be to be able to get the album out instead of going onto the computer and hunting down the folder you’ve saved them in. Even if you get the cheapest album they offer, choose your favourite photos to keep and at least that’s something you can take to show people or get out when you have visitors. Maybe it would be a good idea to ask a family member to get the album as a wedding present?
    And I totally agree with Kelly about the DIY online photo album! I did that with some wedding photos I took at my cousins wedding (luckily not to give to them!) the photos were great on the computer but when it arrived they just did not look right at all!

    Katherine Ashdown

    What a fabulous post. I think an album is something that becomes more precious as time goes on. It is n expense that too many brides decide to cut out… if you just paid 10-20-30K for your wedding then this is the final product, the final piece in the jigsaw and in my opinion (bias I know) an album is worth its weight in gold…!

    James Thorpe

    So very true, modern albums are beautiful works of art and not the same as the jaded old album designs of yesteryear. YOU really can have an input into the design and content of your album and don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for revisions! In the grand scheme of a wedding the additional expense is not that much when you consider the joy it can bring for years to come.

    Kim Stewart

    Great post Kelly, we had our photos on a disc which I’ve now misplaced when moving rooms around. We had one of the online albums made up which is ok but isn’t the same as a beautiful album.

    Joanne Withers

    Great article with honest advice. I find that couples never get around to ordering their album, despite the best intentions in the world. Life takes over. So I would recommend having it in the budget in advance and then the design can be worked up straight away for you and you don’t have to keep it on the to do list.


    Really good advice Kelly! The photography is so important to me and given the amount of thought and budget squeezing we will be doing to sort out our photography for the wedding, you are right that we should budget for a professional album as well. Might have to do it for our first anniversary though (ssh, don’t tell Tim!) x


    Thankyou for this! I have just shared on my FB page. Today I feel people rely too much on digital images and forget a) how beautiful prints are and b) how vital they are. I have my grandparents wedding photo from over 50 yrs ago, I have it because it is a print…….I hope I can educate my clients into realising they need to have an album as well as the digital media. Melanie x


    We got married in June and I got digital only photos.. Photographer was Joanne Grant and she was excellent! We received a beautifully encased DVD of all our images set to music and also received another disc containing all the images. We have enjoyed many hours of viewing the DVD both together and with family and friends. I have since selected some of my favourite photos and have ordered them professionally printed from Joanne. But I have also made up two books myself as a present for each set of parents and thought the quality was very good. Before the wedding I felt under pressure to choose an album containing a set number of photos that I hadn’t even seen yet but Joanne totally put me at ease giving me this great option and I can still order an album if I want one! So I’m delighted I took this approach. The quality of the photographer is the most important element not the size of the album you get at the end! And we definitely got a good one..


    Thanks for this post! Almost 6 months since our wedding now and still not chosen photos for the album- even though it’s included in our photographer package so technically already paid for! I think the real problem is whittling it down- we had 880 photos taken and can only put 60 in the album!!

    Pete Cox

    Great post, really love how you big up albums. I always gutted when couples don’t go for albums and just have the photos on a disc not being presented anywhere.

    Nathan @ Artemis Stationery

    Interesting article – I do see that if you can fit it in the budget then it is a great keepsake and there are lots of things competing to be that essential item you shouldn’t cut costs on. Wedding videography being another. But great images are priceless. The way people interact with images and their memories though is always evolving. If you just have a digital package like any images you take of holidays of course you’ll have to port them forward and maybe also put them somewhere in personal storage on the cloud. I’m finding that the way I interact with images has changed. While when on a desktop yes the images would sit there and be occasionally looked at. But devices change, and I look at photos on tablets lots. So easy! There’s also the other edge that now there are print yourself services which offer large savings, probably not as great quality but they are an option if you want something physical but are struggling with the cost and you have high enough res versions of your photos.


      As a photographer, I offer packages which include both a disc and an album. I want to make sure that my clients images don’t sit on a shelf, on a disc, and never get viewed. Then get lost in a home move or scratched or damaged beyond repair. I know exactly what my parents wore at their wedding because they had an album. The same with my grandparents. The additional expense is worth it – after all, you are paying for a bespoke design to be made by a professional who will get the job done.

    Gill Challis

    A great post and as an album designer, something that I feel strongly about. A professionally designed and high-quality printed album not only looks stunning but also brings all the individual photos together to tell the story and really capture the essence of your wedding day. It is great that digital photos can be viewed so easily but there is nothing quite like a physical wedding album!


    I got a digital only package and I printed my own album and I have no regrets. Early in the wedding planning I decided against including albums or prints in our package. I figured that the extra expense wasn’t worth it to me at the time and if I changed my mind I could always order an album later. Photography wasn’t high on my list of priorities. Once I received my photos, I realized how important photography is. It really is all you have left (I thought I would have memories at least, but the day was such a blur!). Luckily our photographer turned out to be amazing and the photos are beautiful. Shortly after the wedding, I decided to make my own album. I decided on using Milk Books. I waited until their Black Friday sale and I ordered a beautiful 11″x14″ 120 page linen bound album for $114 US. It is gorgeous and I would definitely use them again. I couldn’t be happier! It was a lot of work but I was able to customize everything and create exactly what I wanted. (I have heard so many stories of brides hating the albums designed by their photographer). And having all these digital copies means that I can always make a new album in the future. My advice: skip the album and spend more on the photographer. Once you have those beautiful images the photo album is easy.


      Here at Boho Weddings both Kelly and I are firm believers of paint good money for photography. After all in years to come you want good pictures to look at! Thanks for much for your comment Melissa! xxx

    Green Antlers Photography

    Literally writing a blog post about the importance of wedding albums. It is especially meaningful as I printed our wedding album only 4 years after the wedding and sad I didn’t make it sooner. But so happy I did!

    Rebecca Edmunds

    I can sympathise only too well. I asked my cousin to take my photographs as she had recently completed a photography degree and I assumed at the time that this made her eminently qualified!

    I am now a professional photographer myself and so having beautiful images that I can look back on is really important to me. Having a photography degree is a very different thing to being an experienced wedding photographer. Knowing where to be and when, having found your style, being able to work discreetly and capture all those little moments as well as being able to organise group shots takes experience. I too wish I could go back and invest in my wedding photography.


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