Creating a wedding album is one of those tasks that was SO intimidating to me. I love looking through our photos, but how do you choose which ones to include? And in what order? And what sizes? Etc, etc. After putting it off for over a year, I finally found the perfect motivation to get to work. Katie and I are going to visit my Grandmother next week, and I want to bring an album to show her since she wasn't in good enough health to travel for our wedding. That little fire under my butt, along with a 60% off coupon, got me to work.
Our wedding photography package included digital rights to our photos, which means we can print any/all of them wherever we want. Instead of printing photos and putting them into a scrapbook-like album, I chose to create one using My Publisher. I played around with a couple of online album-making sites (which I found by searching deals on Groupon and Living Social), and found this one to be my favorite. It boiled down to the fact that their products looked the nicest, and the website was the easiest to use. Their prices were a little higher than others (especially shipping, which is solely FedEx), but the special at the time (60% off orders of $200+) meant I'd still get a good deal.
One thing that I think made My Publisher so easy to use is that you download software onto your computer to build your book, and then upload the final product just before ordering. When you're dealing with hundreds of photos, this makes a huge difference. You're not uploading every single picture one at a time, so it's quick and easy to drag and drop, add, remove, and rearrange. All of the uploading is done at the end so you're not wasting time while you're working on the book. I had no trouble saving my projects (I've now done 2 through this site) and coming back to them later. And I'd totally use it again. (I'd just like to note that I was not paid or perked for this review, I just really love our album!)
I worked pretty tirelessly on this album for about a week. It was a lot of work, but I think it was completely worth it. I'm very lucky in the fact that our wedding photographers are also friends of ours - so even though our big day was more than a year ago, I was able to contact them for advice. Jill gave me some good tips, and I absolutely love the way things turned out.
Album Building Tips
- Choose a large book. You'll want to keep this wedding album forever, and the photos will look better with more white space around them.
- Don't fill every inch of every page. As mentioned above, white space is a good thing. It really frames the photo and makes the image stand out more.
- Splurge on lay-flat pages, if you can. This way you won't lose any part of the picture to the bend at the spine.
- Try spreading an image across two pages. I was nervous to try this, but Jill assured me that it looks really cool, and she was right! (And this is another great reason to get lay-flat pages.)
- Less is more. Remember that you don't have to include every photo. This was really hard for me at first - I love all 567 of our wedding photos! More than likely you'll have images that are very similar, so try really hard to edit your selections. The pages look better with less photos on them. And remember that you still have the photos that don't make it into the book, you just may have to look at them on the computer. (A trick I used was to choose the photos that made me grin ear-to-ear when I looked at them. These are the ones you and your family will want to look at.)
After all was said and done, I spent $125 on our album. That was for a Deluxe Hardcover 15" x 11.5" book with 100 lay-flat pages, a linen cover, and shipping. The coupon saved me nearly $160(!!) Here are some of the other money-saving tricks I discovered:
Money Saving Tips
- If there is not a current special being advertised on the site, wait it out! You can download the software and build your book, but I bet you can get a good coupon if you wait awhile. When I ordered, the special was 60% off orders of $200+, 50% off orders of $100+, and 40% off orders of $50+. The current special is 25% off orders of $100+.
- Check Groupon, Living Social, etc. These are usually for smaller books, but they're still good deals. However, keep in mind that you'll still have to pay at least $10 for shipping from this site.
- Through the ordering process you'll be offered lots of upgrades (lay-flat pages, shinier printing, thicker paper, etc.) If there are some that you know you'd like to tack on, wait until the very end...as in say "No" the first time you're offered them. If you deny the upgrades on your first pass, you'll almost always be offered them again for half the price right before you finalize your order. And if not, you can always start the order over and add them.
- If you are building a book that you'll want multiple copies of, never pay more than 50% for a second copy. I was offered this deal at the end of the order, and then received multiple emails after my order was placed offering to tack on additional copies at a highly reduced rate. Also, new members get an email offer for a free duplicate copy with their first purchase.
As I've said repeatedly above, I love our new wedding album! I'm excited to share it with our friends and family.
Do you have an online album publisher that you recommend?
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