DIY Wedding Photo Books Online – A Bride to Bride Guide

As a DIY bride who made my own invitations, table numbers, and even centerpieces, I know firsthand how hard it is to come up with a realistic budget and then stick to it. One of the most important of these budget decisions involves selecting the right photographer and the best photography package to suit your needs. Every bride knows that after the whirlwind day is over, what remains is your photos and memories of your big day.

Discuss with your photographer the option to obtain the high resolution digital files of your photographs so that you can make your own wedding photo book. Additionally, many photographers include an e-session or engagement photo session prior to the big day, to give you a chance to get more comfortable interacting with your photographer and to get more comfortable being in front of the camera. My fiance (now hubby) and I showcased these e-session photos in a custom photo guest book for our wedding guests to sign. You don’t have to be a designer to make a beautiful album. It was very easy to do using the free design software provided by the photo book company, and an easy drag-and-drop interface. The guest book was a big hit and our guests filled it with personalized messages. A standard guest book will probably get put at the back of your closet, while a photo wedding guest book will be fun to look through even years down the line.

As for options for your wedding album, there are many. You can get a high-quality one for as little as $30 for a 20-page 8.5 x 11″ hardcover book, all the way to $250.00 to $450.00 or more for a premium leather bound flush mount photo album. More affordably priced photo books make great gifts for parents albums or for the bridal party, while the bride and groom will likely opt for a premium style.

Two main types of photo books tend to appeal to the “newly wed”:

1) The lay flat photo book, and

2) The flush mount leather album.

The lay flat photo book is bound in a special way that allows its pages to lie flat. The pages stay open without having to hold them down, which gives it a premium look. This format also typically allows you to stretch a single image across both pages of the spread, providing a sweeping panoramic visual effect that showcases your best photos. Lay flat books are also available printed on thick, genuine photo paper – which also adds to the quality.

The flush mount album is a type of photo book that lies flat. Flush mounts are printed on real photo paper and mounted on a hard board type backing which makes the pages feel extra thick. They are generally bound in a leather case and are pricier than regular lay flat photo books, but you do get what you pay for. Due to the thickness of the pages, they generally come in limited page counts of about 20 to 30 pages.

Until recently, these options were only available to pros, but now many companies are offering these options directly to brides and grooms. If you’re a little intimidated, don’t be! Many companies offer free books to try their service so you can do a trial run with your vacation photos or family photos for instance, before trying to make your own wedding album.

How to Take Fun Wedding Photos

Although wedding vows by their sacred nature and ultimate purpose demand extreme sincerity and the utmost degree of seriousness, wedding photos do not. In fact, wedding photos which are considered cool or fun are preferred nowadays as they deviate from the triteness of traditional wedding photos. Instead of having serious photo shoots, you can ask your wedding photographer to take fun wedding photos. This can make your guests loosen up and enjoy the event even more. Wedding photos can be made more fun with the use of colorful backgrounds, silly expressions, and funny accessories and accessories.

Using Colorful Backgrounds

Many wedding photography services offer different kinds of backgrounds for their photo booths. Fun wedding photos often use colorful backgrounds or those with specific themes like a zoo, a circus, or other places of happiness like Disneyland and even different kinds of movies including animation and horror. Some backgrounds which are not funny in themselves may produce a funny effect in a blatant comical or even satirical sort of way like prison cells or mental institutions which are jokingly attached to the idea of marriage. Location shooting may also be an option like a photo shoot in a playground or in an amusement park where the bride and groom as well as the guests and the members of the entourage can actually have fun while their pictures are being taken.

Making Silly Expressions

Though considered quite tacky by some, making silly expressions through outlandish facial contortions is a more appropriate way of encouraging fun instead of merely smiling or laughing. These stir up excitement more than just sitting or standing and looking into the camera lens with a timid smile. They also encourage a comfortable atmosphere where people need not hide behind the screen of proper decorum at all times.

Using Funny Accessories

Using funny accessories is common for photo booths. A couple can actually have funny props on each table for the guests to wear, or play with, as the photographer roams the reception venue and takes snapshots of their silly antics. Funny accessories may range from small items such as a clown’s nose, bizarre eyeglasses, a long mustache or a crazy wig to large ones such as a mug shot placard similar to that of a prisoner’s, a “for sale” poster pointing to one’s spouse, a biohazard indicator, or even a “doomsday” sign depending on the type of humor the couple can accept or even endure.

Taking Candid Shots

Those who do not wish to be quite outlandish can opt for candid photos. The idea of fun is not entirely confined to being wacky. Just capturing the happy smiles and laughter of the guests during the even could be fun enough. Taken during unguarded moments, these candid shots are as real as they can get. It would be great to look at these photos later on and laugh at the lighter side of wedding: a piece of cake falling from the groom’s mouth, a piece of vegetable caught in between the bride’s teeth, a guest wiping cake icing off his nose, or accidentally stepping on his dance partner’s gown.

Fun wedding photos are great for reminiscing about this milestone in a couple’s relationship and how the people close to the couple shared this special time with them.

Wedding Photo Booths

A fantastic idea that is becoming ever more popular is the wedding photo booth – a special area for guests to have photos taken as mementos of the day and to add to the bride and groom’s album. You can either create one yourself, work in conjunction with your photographer or even hire an entire photobooth for the day.

To make your own, all you need is a secluded area – get creative – we’ve even seen one inside a camper van! If you can set aside a small room or corner for this purpose then great – if not, then setting up an area or marquee outside will do just fine too. Use a plain background if possible, and make sure it is well lit and there’s no danger of the camera being knocked over.

You can have a designated photographer, or set up a tripod and a camera with a remote or cable release so your subjects can take photos of themselves without having to set a timer. Provide props like empty picture frames, hats, wedding paraphernalia or blackboards or giant speech bubbles so guests can write notes to add to their pictures. Outside is best for lighting, but if you’re shooting inside then just ensure the light is good and the camera settings are adjusted for the conditions.

Photo booths seem to capture those real moments at weddings – away from the formal posing and usually after a couple of drinks! Many couples treasure these photos as much as their professional ones because they truly show the joy and personality of their guests. Don’t forget to sneak in there too – it’s not just for guests!

The options for silly and wonderful photos are endless. Play dress up, act out your favourite poses, or simply show off your gorgeous wedding dress – you only get to wear it for one day after all! Your guests will love getting together to celebrate your day in photographic style.

Photo booths can be rented all over the UK and range in price, depending on their facilities. Some also allow video messaging and live streaming to an external monitor which can be placed in the reception room. Expect to pay upwards of £500 for a professional booth, however. If you rent an automated machine you will have the option of having photos printed there and then, or put onto disc for you to take home and distribute (or use as blackmail) as you wish.