Wedding picture on staircase of the Cleveland Union Club

How Do I Build a Wedding Album?

A comprehensive guide to assembling a wedding photo album

One question that I get from clients is how to build a wedding album. Or, more specifically, how can they aid in building their wedding album. Every one of my wedding clients receive a wedding album in my minimum coverage (read my thoughts on printing photography). And because you are automatically getting a wedding album when you retain me for your wedding, I insist that you pick the pictures that you want in your wedding album. Your favorite pictures aren’t necessarily going to my favorites. I don’t want to just throw all the pictures together and hand you a 100 page mess. My only concern when it comes to your wedding album is that you absolutely love it. So, although it requires a little more work on your part, picking your favorite wedding pictures ensures that you will have a wedding album that reminds you of each moment that was important to you. You can relive your wedding day with the turn of every page.

How Do I Choose What to Put in My Wedding Album?

But how do you choose the pictures that you put into your album?  Your wedding album is a storybook that tells the story of your day. When you turn the pages you should be able to experience specific moments of your wedding day all over again. You should be able to see all of the important people. My approach is to do this in a creative, clean, and artistic way. Again, we don’t design scrapbooks. We want to provide you with a gorgeous heirloom item that you will be proud to show off. And it all revolves around the album “spread”.

What is an Album Spread?

I lay out your wedding album in “Spreads”. What is a wedding album spread? Quite simply, it is the open book, both pages from left to right. I prefer designing my albums in spreads rather than simply having a left page and a right page.

spread from wedding album at union club cleveland

This approach allows complete creative freedom when putting together moments in your book.

How Much of Your Wedding Day Do You Want Represented?

Because my minimum coverage includes being with you your entire day (all day wedding coverage), you will need to determine how much of your wedding day you want represented in your wedding album. Really, it comes down to the important things that you want to remember years from now. As I mentioned, your wedding album is an heirloom item. This is the primary way that you and those that come after you will experience your wedding day after it’s over. So you have to decide how much of your day will be in your book.

You may only want posed and family pictures in your album. That’s ok. Historical documentation is what your wedding album is all about. Like I said, leaving behind that which represents your legacy. But your wedding day is much more than that. It’s about interaction with family and friends. It’s about emotions. It’s about moments that fly by. So, consider including candid pictures when choosing your album pictures.

wedding album pages from club at hillbrook
bride putting on wedding dress at tudor arms cleveland
groom dressing for his wedding at tudor arms cleveland

Wedding Day Moments

Now that you’ve determined how much of your wedding day you want immortalized in your wedding book, you need to think of each spread as moment within your day. Each spread representing a significant moment. You getting your hair and make-up done; an intimate interaction between you and a bridesmaid or parent; formal pictures with your family; the ceremony ect. 3-5 images per spread or per moment is how I ideally design my books. However, if you pick your selections in a thoughtful way, we should be able to utilize each spread efficiently and apply more photos to a spread if it adds to the moment and to the aesthetic.

Wedding Details Are Important

Wedding details are a very important part of your wedding day. You will spend a lot of time and money on them. Especially your reception details. So we will make sure to photograph every one for you. I always say, if you put time, effort and money into anything, we will photograph it. So consider utilizing spreads to showcase these important details. In 10-20 years will you want to remember the details? Of course!

Wedding album spread of Cleveland wedding details
Wedding day details at The Club at Hillbrook
spread from landerhaven wedding album

Ceremony and Reception Spreads

The two big moments in your day are the ceremony and reception. You should be able to pick a lot more from these two times since there is a lot going on in the same space. The wedding ceremony all happens in one location. There are a lot of very important things going on. The same with the reception. This is your opportunity to show how much fun you had at your reception. There is a TON that happens so you will want to reflect that in your book. You can pick extra pictures from these two times.

wedding ceremony at tudor arms cleveland
bride and groom exit their wedding ceremony at The Union Club of Cleveland
wedding reception speeches tudor at arms cleveland
Wedding reception at House of Blues

With us, there is a bit more work to do. But we feel that there is no better way to present your favorite wedding pictures. A gorgeous, hand-made wedding album is something that not only becomes part of your home, but part of your life’s legacy.  It would be MUCH easier for all of us if I simply handed you the digital files and send you on your way. But your day is much more important for that. With some thoughtful selections, and a little more investment, you will have something that will last beyond our lifetimes and will beautifully represent one of the happiest days of your life.