When you’re planning a wedding, sometimes deciding on a wedding album is one of the furthest things from your mind. The event hasn’t even happened yet so envisioning how you’ll enjoy the memories of it for years to come can seem super duper abstract. But if you know me, you know I love albums and I think photos shouldn’t just exist on hard drives. I want to share 4 reasons why you should invest in a wedding album as part of your photography package.
1. Tell your story in a tangible way over and over again
Many of us I’m sure can remember flipping through our parents’ or grandparents’ wedding album. I remember when Josh and I were engaged, his mom got out their wedding album for us to flip through together. It’s hard to imagine trying to share these memories with someone through a gallery of 1000 photos or through a Facebook album. A wedding album seeks to tell the story of the day from beginning to end. It’s not just a bunch of prints slipped into sleeves.
Just imagine pulling out your wedding album to show to your children or grandchildren (or heck, just to enjoy together after 40 years). It’s easier than ever to illustrate your story in a way that can be passed down for years to come. A wedding album is the window into the first chapter of your marriage, just like engagement photos are a window into the anticipation of being engaged and getting ready to commit to one another.
Every anniversary we have, or just any time where we are feeling a little down, Josh and I get out our huge wedding album (I went all out with it, y’all). It’s a whopping 70+ spreads of pure joy from our wedding day. Honestly we never watch our wedding video and we only look at our photos. I never look through the images on my computer, even though I do have them backed up!
2. Technology is ever-changing and albums stand the test of time
Remember when floppy disks were all the rage (maybe you don’t if you’re a Gen Z-er)? What about putting things on a CD disc? Apple has removed USB ports from their computers. Technology changes so quickly and we just don’t know what’s next. Photographers have changed the way they deliver photos so many times over just the last decade. Most now don’t even deliver a USB; they use digital gallery tools to send images. And social media sites aren’t great places to archive your photos…who knows if they’ll even be around! Ahem, MySpace!
But you know what never changes? A hard copy of your images in print.
One to of the key reasons why you should invest in a wedding album is to protect your investment. It’s much harder for an album to be corrupted or become completely obsolete. It’s my guess that people will continue printing photos and enjoy albums for many, many years since there is truly nothing like that tactile experience.
3. Enjoy your investment
Weddings aren’t cheap. Photography isn’t cheap. A wedding album is an extra expense, but it pays dividends over the course of its life. Photos are all you have left at the end of your wedding (besides a dress you’ll probably never wear again), so why not enjoy them over and over again?
Most couples forget to print their wedding photos. It took me over a year to get ours up in our house! One day, you’ll realize you never made that album yourself or never printed a photo. How sad is that? After all the effort, the photos sit on social media or your hard drive.
When you pre-order an album, I’ll ensure you have it just a few months after you walk down the aisle. You’ll be able to enjoy your day over and over again!
With my business, you’re always free to design an album yourself or print photos anywhere you’d like. If you want to make a Shutterfly album for yourself, that’s totally allowed. But I urge you to consider quality; it’s a big reason why you should invest in a wedding album from a professional.
My albums are meant to last. They’re expensive because they’re quality items that you CAN pass down (see reason number one) to future generations. You CAN enjoy them for years. Also, when you order an album through me, you’ll get a white glove experience where I design the album and take care of all the ordering…I make it easy! Around 80 percent of Shutterfly albums go unfinished…don’t let that be you!
Wedding Album FAQs
How much do wedding albums cost?
My wedding albums begin at $400. The cost is dependent on the size and number of spreads in the album.
What’s the different between an album and a book?
I offer both albums and books. Books are printed on press paper, meaning paper like you’d write on (think very heavy cardstock). Albums are printed on professional photographic paper and mounted on cardboard to create pages. Albums are usually thicker and come in higher quality covers.
What’s a spread?
A spread is two pages. We design in spreads because albums and books are lay-flat, meaning the photos can be spread across two pages in a panoramic way.
Do you offer parent albums?
I offer parent albums as an add-on to your album order. Parent albums are exact replicas of your album sold at discount. They must be purchased when you order your album for the discount.
What are the cover options?
I offer leather, linen, and velvet covers. There are many colors and textures to suite your tastes! You can also choose to engrave or stamp the cover with your names.
How does the design process work?
After you order your album, I’ll send a link for you to select images via your gallery. Or if you’d prefer, I can select images for you. Then I’ll create proofs based on these images and send them to you to approve. Once they’re approved, I’ll order and you should have your album in 7-10 business days.
Late fall is always my favorite time to photograph engagement sessions. November is actually my favorite month to do sessions, even though it’s a little chilly, but the sun is always on point and the fall color has just begun to fade. This November, Lisa and John’s Belle Isle engagement session fell on a beautiful day with the perfect golden hour sunset.
When we were talking about possible engagement session locations, Lisa kept coming back to Belle Isle’s Anna Scripps Holcomb Conservatory. The Conservatory is absolutely beautiful and highly recommended for any cold weather session (get your permit first of course!). We had to start there and I’m glad we did because I love photographing in greenhouses and conservatories.
Lisa and John have one of the coolest how-they-met stories. They met in a kickball league! How cool is that? I don’t think I’ve ever had a couple meet in a sports league at all!
Another Belle Isle landmark is the James E. Scott Fountain. In November it’s not operational, but it’s one of the prettiest spots on the island during golden hour. The marble really reflects the light and gives this beautiful, light colored image. Though it was super windy, Lisa and John prevailed and didn’t complain! They really had fun with it, as you can tell from the images of this Belle Isle engagement session.
To finish our session, we headed to the Belt and the Z Lot, another favorite spot of Lisa’s! We had the perfect sunset from the Z Lot (and lots of laughs). These are some of the last photos without the fence that has now gone up around the parking lot, which is also where Josh and I had our wedding photos taken.
To finish, we used the ambient light of the market lighting in the Belt, as it was getting dark FAST! But as I tell everyone, I’m prepared to make photos anywhere, so I got creative and I still love how they all turned out. I know Lisa and John did too because they printed a bunch to decorate their home!
It’s always fun to spend time with a couple at an engagement session before the wedding. Not only do you get some bomb photos, but this is a chapter you just never get back (speaking from experience). That anticipation before you’re married is something really special. I’m so excited for Lisa and John’s August wedding!
Before you proceed, just take a deep breathe. Know that I’m here for you; your other vendors are here for you; and that we are going to make sure you get hitched!
I know that the prospect of rescheduling or postponing or re-imaginging your wedding is hella stressful. BUT, it can be done! I know it feels overwhelming and things are changing by the day. There are a lot of unknowns at this time, and we will likely know more about the long-term impact of this health crisis soon. This post is meant to prepare you or help you if necessary, not to scare you!
Just like I have a plan for your wedding day (no matter what), I still have a plan. And right now I am here to help you navigate this storm.
If you have to reschedule or postpone your wedding, here is a step-by-step process to help you navigate it!
1. Decide whether you need to reschedule or re-imagine your day.
We are all bound by the law and government mandate. Though the CDC or state may issue guidelines, guidelines are not law. Guidelines are meant to help guide decision-making. If there is a law or mandate by the government, we must follow it. If there are guidelines in place, you will have to decide whether you’d like to follow them. I implore you to try to reschedule or postpone, and not out-right cancel your day (in the name of saving all of your vendors’ small businesses at this scary time). We all ultimately want you to do what’s right for you, so some questions you can ask to help guide your decision:
What is the current policy on headcount?
Would you be happy with a wedding day with that headcount?
Are there elderly guests or guests with health conditions that would miss the wedding? Are they important to you?
Are any guests traveling from afar that would have to miss the wedding?
Would absent guests diminish your joy on your wedding day?
Would you consider a small elopement right now and a larger celebration with everyone in the future?
Can you livestream or record the event for those who can’t be there? (I can help with solutions for this)
Re-Imagining Your Day as an Elopement + Future Celebration
If you do decide to forego the reception at this time for an elopement in your backyard, your living room, your favorite park, etc. then reach out to your ceremony venue (you could have two ceremonies if you really wanted to – ha!) to check their policies. You’ll want to reach out to me as well to make sure I know the plan and we can discuss how to make this happen smoothly! I have a ceremony script, know great locations, and will split up your package to make this happen. Elopements and intimate weddings are amazing and a great way to still be married now while saving a big celebration for later. Think, you can wear your dress TWICE! You’ll want to follow the remaining steps if you choose to have a celebration at a later date.
2. If you decide to reschedule any part of your day, get in touch with your venue as soon as you can to determine open 2020-2021 dates.
You’ll want to identify a handful of dates that work for both of you, your families, and your venue. Don’t be afraid to keep weekdays, Fridays, or Sundays in mind. Your people will show up for you! The more flexible you can be, the more likely you can reschedule quickly and easily.
My open dates are updated every time there’s a reschedule or booking. They are first come, first served, but there is plenty of space for everyone! I can make photos in any season look incredible and have experience doing so (hello winter weddings!).
4. Talk with vendors to find a solution that works best for everyone.
If you have a lot of vendors, it might be hard to find a date that works for every single one. If you have only a few, try really really hard to find a date that works for everyone. This is why weekdays, Fridays, and Sundays may help since they’re less popular dates. Some vendors may be able to offer associates (I can do that if necessary!) or if they can make recommendations if that’s not possible. For my clients, I will take care of you either way if you reschedule! Don’t worry!
5. After you decide on everything, get reschedule contracts in place.
You’ll want to refer back to your original contract or your vendor’s guidance for this. There is no fee to reschedule in 2020-2021 for my clients impacted by COVID-19. We will just apply the retainer and any monies paid to a new date, keep the scope of work and package as is, and sign a reschedule agreement that just changes the date for you. Easy peasy.
6. Contact your guests.
This is a great time to post on social media with a link to your wedding website with more information, or send an email, or even print up a new invitation that lets everyone know the plan!
When things seem completely out of control, I hope this guide helps maintain a little control for your decision-making. At the end of the day, no matter what you’re going to be married! That’s what’s important. This is only one storm in a long, beautiful partnership. I promise I will do everything in my power to make this an incredible experience for you, no matter what happens or how you decide to tie the knot. If you need help at any time, please contact me! I am here for you.
When you get to photograph your college bestie’s wedding, it’s a really good day. Celeste and Jeremy’s Como Conservatory wedding last November was absolutely perfect for a November Minnesota day. No snow, actually warm for a November day, and no rain! I think we won. This was my first “destination wedding” and I’m actually glad it was in the Twin Cities because I think it’s similar to Detroit in a lot of ways.
This was my second trip to Minnesota in 2019 (we made three…Josh is from Rochester, Minnesota and we go there for Christmas), the first being Celeste and Jeremy’s Duluth engagement session. If you’re reading this from the land of ten thousand lakes (though I hear there’s more than that), I would love to go back. 🙂
It’s been a long time since I’ve photographed the wedding of a friend (cue first wedding I photographed), but it was so lovely to spend the whole day alongside Celeste, who I’ve known for nearly a decade. We met when we lived across the hall from each other during our sophomore year of college and both us and our roommates all shared an apartment and house our junior and senior years. If you look carefully in this blog post, you’ll find our roomie photo. It’s probably the only wedding blog post where you’ll find a photo of me! And you’ll see some photos of Josh who was with me!
Celeste and Jeremy were married at the church where they met, Hope Community Church in downtown Minneapolis. They shared an intimate first look on the balcony in front of stained glass windows. I think the emotion of the day was JOY. We headed down to the Stone Arch Bridge, which is an old pedestrian bridge that is one of the Twin Cities’ icons. Though it was super windy and chilly, it’s such a beautiful spot to take photos of the Minneapolis skyline. We also used some of the old mill ruins as a backdrop. I love the Twin Cities!
After a beautiful ceremony, the reception at the Como Zoo and Conservatory began. I think this was such a cool venue. They had the doors to the palm room open so you could walk through and all the windows overlooking the gardens would be gorgeous in the spring or summer.
When she was planning, Celeste told me they wanted to do some type of exit (they are fun duh!) but sparklers weren’t allowed. So I told her only a certain type of glow stick works well (the huge ones) and really streamers are your best bet! So they did that and I think the exit photos turned out beautiful!
We all know that music can make or break a mood. Throw on a song that doesn’t pop and the dance floor clears. Put on something you can shake and shimmy to and the floor is packed. But for a wedding ceremony, you’re not necessarily relying on a DJ or band to choose music for you. Even in a traditional religious setting, you’re often asked to choose music for your wedding ceremony. How do you choose wedding ceremony music?
Before you choose, what are the major wedding ceremony music selections you’ll probably need to make?
These are played before the ceremony while guests gather. Many choose to start playing these pieces 20-30 minutes before the ceremony begins. That equates to 4-6 songs (don’t be like me and pick 3…it means they’ll be on repeat, oops!). Sometimes if couples are having a more traditional wedding, they like to pick the less traditional songs for the prelude music. Prelude music really sets the tone for the ceremony.
Popular prelude songs: “God Only Knows”; “I and Love and You”; “Ho Hey”; “Moonlight Sonata”; “Ave Maria”; “Clair de Lune”; “Crazy Love”; “Make You Feel My Love”
Usually there are two, one for the wedding party headed down the aisle and one for the bride. The reason for this is to signal the standing of everyone as the bride comes down the aisle, traditionally. But you’re free to choose just one song for everyone to walk to as well. Or some people are now choosing to skip the wedding party walking down the aisle. It’s really up to you.
Popular processional songs: “Canon in D”; “A Thousand Years”; “Air” by Handel; “Can’t Help Falling in Love”; “Book of Love”
These are not necessary, but it’s nice to have music playing during a unity tradition. Or perhaps you have a friend or family member with a music talent they’d like to share (my sister sang Make You Feel My Love by Adele while we did a hand fastening ceremony).
Popular interlude songs: “Ave Maria”; “Perfect”; “The Luckiest”; “Thinking Out Loud”; “Amazed”; “Your Song”
These are always the most celebratory. You’re married, it’s time to party! Recessional songs are played as you recess down the aisle, followed by your wedding party.
Popular recessional songs: ” Lovely Day”; “Happy”; “Can’t Stop the Feeling”; “Love on Top”; “Forever”; “10,000 Hours”; “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”; “At Last”; “You Make My Dreams Come True”
As guests filter out of the ceremony space or perhaps linger, it can be nice to have some postlude songs to fill the space. It depends on your venue and how quick you want guests to move out!
I think it first goes back to style and vibe. For instance, if you’re having an untraditional wedding, it might feel weird to hear an organ rendition of “Here Comes the Bride,” the super duper traditional wedding march that we all know.
The sky is truly the limit when it comes to music and ceremonies. I’ve heard everything from the traditional Canon in D to Hobbits from Lord of the Rings to the Leia love theme from Star Wars played. Really the music can reflect what you love as a couple or the vibe of the day!
You’ve probably already established your vibe and written at least a draft of your ceremony (if not, make sure you read this blog post about writing your ceremony). So now choosing the ceremony music is like the cherry on top.
You already know your overall music preferences (and if not, talk with your partner). It’s okay to choose country songs if that’s what you both enjoy. It’s cool to pick oldies if that’s more your vibe. Don’t worry about the latest song trends…the important thing to pick songs that resonate with your personalities, preferences, and overall tone for your ceremony. If you’re more untraditional, you can totally go for rock music. If you’re having a more traditional, religious service, maybe you include more classical or religious music.
Of course, it’s 100% your call and you know your music preferences better than anyone. For reference, here’s what we played at our wedding:
Prelude songs: “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds; “On a Night Like This” by Dave Barnes; “Wild Horses” by The Rolling Stones; and “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison
Processional: “The Book of Love” by Gavin James
Bridal Processional: “I Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Ingrid Michaelson
Interlude: “Make You Feel My Love” sung in the style of Adele by my sister Candace
Recessional: “Lovely Day” Bill Withers
We avoided religious songs and played songs that we LIKED. We both tend to enjoy oldies and folk/acoustic pop, so that’s what we played.
To help get you started, I’ve compiled some wedding ceremony songs I like on Spotify. This is geared more towards the non-traditional (as you have more choices), but don’t be scared to literally play some of your favorite movie scores or favorite songs during the ceremony!