How to Make Your Own Wedding Album with Tips and Ideas

The wedding album has long been the traditional way to showcase and preserve precious images from your big day. While it’s still in style to have an album, the wedding photo book has earned its place as the modern way for couples to capture the mood and story of their wedding day. During your wedding planning stage, find the best way to work with your photographer to capture the best images of your wedding. Whether you have an elopement, traditional wedding or a micro wedding; you will love looking back at your wedding memories with all your closest friends and family when you make your own wedding album.

Your photographer can make one for you, or with so many online wedding album templates and services available today, many couples choose to enjoy making their own together. These DIY wedding photo books look just as beautiful and professional as the ones ordered through a full-time photographer. So if you’re looking for instructions, tips, or ideas on how to create a wedding album, keep reading below.

Wedding Photo Book vs. Wedding Album

So, what is the difference between a wedding photo book and a traditional wedding album you may ask? They both share the same aspects of displaying your best wedding memories, but there are slight differences that make wedding photo books and wedding albums unique in their own ways. Learn more about the differences and which option is best for displaying your wedding photo memories.

What is a photo album?

The traditional photo album features photographs that are printed on separate pieces of paper and placed into plastic sleeves to protect the photo from being damaged or within frames on a page. Your baby pictures are likely organized in a traditional photo album as they’re precious memories of you. Alternatively, a professional wedding photographer may use their selected photos from your big day to print in a high-quality lay-flat style album. While this type of album looks clean and professional, the couple would not have much choice in a specific design or image placement.

What is a wedding photo book?

A wedding photo book, on the other hand, is a book that is carefully bound with photographs showcasing your wedding day printed directly on the paper. While there are countless styles to choose from, typical photo books have room for custom text, unique backgrounds, different layouts, layflat pages, and your choice of genuine leather covers to suit you and your partners tastes.

Along with enjoying the creative process, there are many advantages to putting together your own wedding photo book. Modern couples are choosing to make their own wedding photo books as a fun and creative way to tell the unique story of their big day. So, whether you’re the creative type, on a budget, or simply love the idea of making your own wedding album photo book to unleash the creative bone in your body, this ultimate guide will show you how to make a wedding album photo book that will be cherished for years to come.

Wedding photo book resting on top of a teal couch featuring two white roses in a wooden tray

How to Make a Wedding Photo Book

It’s an easy and seamless process to make your own wedding photo book with the help of online tools from Shutterfly. With beautiful photos and gorgeous templates, follow seven simple steps to create the photo book you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Choose a photo book style and size.

Depending on how many photos are taken on your wedding day, you’ll want to make sure you choose the correct size to ensure all your memories are properly developed and preserved to look back on in the years to come. Match your wedding style or theme with dozens of unique designer wedding photo book templates. Browse our full library of different sizes and styles to find the best fit for you and your partner.

2. Select a cover.

The front cover is one of the most important aspects of your photo book as it displays your favorite snapshot of you and your significant other or another special photo of your choosing. Or, you can go the more simplistic route and opt for a cover that’s plain and protective. You can never go wrong with a timeless leather-bound photo album cover.

3. Upload your final wedding photographs.

Receiving your wedding day photos from your photographer may take up to eight weeks, but it’s worth the wait to get your professionally polished images. Make sure you communicate early on with your photographer about your digital copy needs so there’s no confusion once it’s time to create your book.

4. Pick your favorite photos.

Add variety with a mix of both candid and posed pictures with friends and family, plus photos of the wedding decor. Do your best to balance the lighting and colors and group them together for each page for optimal visual appearance.

5. Pick a layout method that fits your design skills.

There are three ways to make a photo book the way you want: totally DIY, using templates and pre-designed layouts, or using our Make My Book service.

6. Design your photo book.

Let your imagination run wild and design a wedding photo book you truly love. Add finishing touches, and select special features such as layflat pages, satin-finish paper, a dust jacket or a gift box to customize your photo book. This is your chance to make your album one-of-a-kind and unique to you and your significant other.

7. Order Away!

Once you believe everything looks and feels just right, add the finished product to your cart. Make sure you’ve reviewed all the pages for any mistakes or typos beforehand to ensure you’re creating the photo book you always envisioned.

Layflat wedding photo book featuring a snapshot of a bride and groom walking down church steps alongside two glasses of champange and pink roses

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photo Book Ideas

Now that you’ve got the basics, dive into the pro tips. Explore all these amazing tips you’ll use in creating your dream wedding photo book. Digest from start to finish or jump to the sections you want now:

A rustic-style wedding photo book featuring a bouquet of pink and purple flowers lying beside it

Expanded Guide on Creating the Modern Wedding Photo Book

Here, we describe our simple process and advice for making your own wedding album photo book. Unlike the traditional wedding album, a photo book is a carefully bound book with images printed directly on the paper. Special features such as custom text, layflat pages, backgrounds, and unique layouts make it easy for couples to tell the story of their wedding day. So when creating your own book, follow the advice below.

Waiting for your professional wedding photographs?

It might take a couple of months for your full selection of wedding photos to arrive. Chances are you hired a professional wedding photographer to capture your wedding day. The good news is that you’ll end up with polished and edited images which will become the foundation of a great photo book. The bad news? You’ll have to wait up to eight weeks or more for the final images.

If you’re eager to get started, you can. Take this time to collect photographs from friends, family, bridesmaids, and groomsmen who were at your wedding or those from the photo booth, if you had one. Creating a smaller more intimate book of these photos as a fun complement to the primary album.

Choose your favorite images ahead of time.

It’s important to love every photo in your album. Your primary photo book should feature photographs that you simply can’t live without, the ones that capture exactly how you felt or what you did on your wedding day. Choosing your favorite images is the key to creating the perfect wedding photo album.

Focus on the style of your photo book.

Photo books come in a variety of styles, themes, and layout options, including classic, modern, vintage, rustic, and contemporary styles. Shutterfly also offers guided styles based on the occasion.

Pay attention to your cover.

Today’s quality photo books come in a variety of covers. Do you want a hard photo cover with a glossy finish, a premium leather cover, or a premium cover? Shutterfly makes it easy for you to find a cover that matches the formality and style of your wedding day.

Say yes to finishing touches.

There are many ways you can enhance and customize your wedding photo book. Whether you want a gift box or a dust jacket, finishing touches complete your wedding album experience. Consider choosing extras that are practical and add beauty to your book. For example, if you plan to include mementos from your wedding, a memorabilia pocket placed inside of the album is worth the extra money so you can safely store the keepsakes along with the rest of the images.

Wedding photo book lying on top of a piece of wood with white flowers

Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Photo Book

Follow these great tips and tricks for the perfect wedding photo book.

1. Create sections.

To design a book that flows chronologically and tells a story, arrange your photos in sections, such as ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and then dance party. For example, you don’t want to feature an image from the reception before one from the ceremony.

2. Capture the whole story.

Photographers today know to capture everything from the surroundings of the location, the bride and grooms first dance, to the cloth napkins on the dinner table. Include these special images in your book to help you recall the beauty of your day and details that went into making it all happen. Also, don’t forget to include photographs of family members, even if they were not in your wedding party.

3. Include a variety of images.

While it’s important to pick your favorites, make sure you get a nice mix of both posed and candid shots. Posed photographs can be creative and stunning, but candid shots are usually the ones that capture the raw emotions of the day. An equal mix of both should accurately reflect the mood and feeling of your wedding day.

4. Mix in a little fun.

A photo wedding book can feature more than just gorgeous and touching photographs. In fact, the best books feature a combination of beautiful and comical moments, such as the moment your ring bearer refuses to walk down the aisle, when the bride and groom smear frosting from the wedding cake on each others faces, or when Aunt Patty kicks off her heels on the dance floor.

5. Select opening and closing shots.

Every great story has a beginning and an end. While sifting through your photos for favorites, keep an eye out for the perfect opening image to your book as well as a final shot that will complete your beautiful wedding story.

6. Think beyond pictures.

Who says wedding photo books should only feature photographs? Today’s books have enough room for unique text, quotes, and details about your big day. Try incorporating your invitation, mementos, notes from loves ones, and other personal items such as petals from your bouquet.

7. Create your photo album now.

There is no magic time frame to this, however, we suggest making your album sooner rather than later. A year goes by and you are now looking for a new home or getting ready for baby number one! Don’t do tomorrow what you can do today. It’s also good to get it done so you can share it with your visiting family and friends.

professional photo book and wedding photo book used as coffee table photo books

Classic and Contemporary Wedding Album Ideas

With so many lovely styles and books to choose from, deciding on the perfect wedding photo book can be overwhelming yet exciting at the same time. Get inspired by our favorite classic and contemporary wedding photo book ideas and styles that are stunning and easy to make on your own.

Classic Wedding Photo Book Design

This elegant wedding photo book template is the perfect choice for any traditional, religious, or formal wedding. Designed by Yours Truly, it features sophisticated black and white embellishments, classic backgrounds, and lovely page templates that tell a story of your big day. The Classic Wedding photo book also features creative page layout templates, making it easy for couples to upload their favorite wedding photos and pick the embellishments they love most. The final look is stunning, polished and professional.

Inside pages of the Classic Wedding photo book featuring snapshots of the bride and groom bridesmaids and groomsmen

Contemporary Wedding Photo Book Style

This creative and beautiful wedding photo book is ideal for modern and contemporary wedding themes and styles, offering lovely typography, unique embellishments, and sophisticated frames. A contemporary wedding photo book might just be the perfect way to showcase your wedding day images.

Storytelling contemporary photo book featuring snapshots of the bride and groom and bridemaids Are you hooked on modern patterns and shapes? With a unique script design, modern embellishments and elegant layouts, the a contemporary wedding photo book is a great choice for contemporary weddings and couples alike.

Watercolor Wedding Photo Book Theme

This unique and beautiful wedding photo book template features soft colors, plenty of space for your favorite snapshots from the big day, and an overall style perfect for the modern couple and wedding theme. Add your favorite quotes and write creative captions that capture the special moment.

A contemporary photo book with watercolor images and snapshot of the bride and groom dancing and kissing Use the a watercolor wedding photo book to display your most cherished wedding day images. Watercolor bouquets and impressive calligraphy make this template a perfect fit for contemporary and elegant wedding themes.

Wedding photo book featuring a photo of the bride and groom shaing a kiss and an engraved cuff bracelet lying beside it

Shutterfly Personalized Wedding Photo Books

Utilize Shutterfly’s custom Make My Book service for couples who need assistance with curating photos but what control over the style and size of their wedding photo albums. This service will create your photo book for you and you can add any different details you want in creating your dream wedding photo book.

Final Thoughts about Wedding Photo Albums

Looking back, you may remember your wedding as a day that went by in a blink of an eye. With Shutterfly, you can create the perfect wedding photo book that allows you to relive your magical day forever. Explore our additional resources below to find more ways to continue your wedding personalization journey.

Additional Resources: