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How to Make your DIY Wedding Album

Updated on January 5, 2013

Weddings are expensive, and many brides are looking for ways to save without sacrificing quality. Many professional photographers will charge you a lot for the photography itself but even more to put together an album. What good are the pictures without being printed and displayed for all to see for generations?

Why Make a DIY Wedding Album

If you choose to go with your photographer's album option, you may end up with that picture that you don't like of yourself prominently featured. Or that beautiful idea of a page layout to focus on the centerpieces that you took so long to design may never happen. You would be leaving an intimate project in the hands of someone you have only met a couple of times. They can never learn all of the personal inside jokes and memories that you and your fiancé have that would let them know which certain photos would be special to you. And what about parents' albums? Can you be positive that they will discreetly forget to include a picture of that Uncle Joe?

Not only is outsourcing your album to a professional impersonal, it's expensive! Why pay to have someone take control of your project away from you? You can save up to 3% of your wedding budget by going DIY on this project. The average engaged couple spends over $500 on their album, but the average cost of getting your images on a CD to print yourself is half of that.

And remember, this a project that's done afterthe wedding, when you'll have time to do it and be looking for reasons to sift through the pictures and memories that you worked so hard to create.

Scroll down to learn the 5 easy steps for creating the album of your dreams.

5 Easy Steps

1. Choose your style

What was your wedding style? You can choose to go with the same one (a canvas and recycled paper album for your eco-friendly beach wedding) or you can choose to frame the wedding in a different light for posterity. For example, you could give your casual wedding an elegant look by creating a fancier album.

2. Choose your medium

If you want a very personal album, go with a scrapbook. You don't have to be computer-savvy for this option, but you will need enough space at your home to spread out several pages and piles of materials for weeks while you compile everything by hand. To prepare, you could take an online class on scrapbooking at Craftsy.

If you want something more formal and traditional, you will want to make a printed album with a computer program like Blurb. You do need to understand a certain amount of computer skills, but many programs are created specifically to be user-friendly.

If you want the least time-consuming option, you could also pick up a photo album where you simply slip prints into the sleeves without any laying out on pages. You can find nice albums at convenience stores for great prices and you can probably even get your photos printed at the same place.

3. Choose your photos

This is easier said than done! Your photographer will likely give you hundreds, and possibly even thousands, of photos. It is important to narrow the selection down to your favorites before you start so you don't go searching through every single photo every time you come to new section. Choose the sections of your wedding (i.e. getting ready, vows, rings exchange, portraits, toasts, dancing) and select only your top five photos of that section. You may add more than five of each section later, but this will give you a full working draft and help to keep you from going crazy.

4. Prepare what you'll need

If online: Download the software and follow any other steps your chosen website directs you to do.

If scrapbook: Get your photos printed locally or online (places like CVS offer this service). Then, inspired by your chosen style, go shopping! General superstores like Wal-Mart will carry much of what you'll need, but not with a great selection. Try Michael's, Paper Source, or another craft store. However, you'll find the best selection (both in quantity and quality) online at sites like Amazon. Buy an album, adhesives for holding the pictures, and embellishments. Look for the term acid-freewhen buying any paper that will be touching your photos to make sure they will stay preserved.

5. Put it all together!

Get creative and play around with different layouts. Structure the album chronologically (start with getting ready or first look and end with dancing or farewell). Once you're finished, celebrate with a viewing party to get your family or bridal party together again!


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