By Nicole Maurer with Nicole Adele Photography

When you first get engaged, there is so much excitement, preparation, and planning. Aside from telling all your family and friends the news, the first thing you should do is sit down together, find a budget, and decide on your priorities for your wedding day.

For a lot of couples, photography is a big priority. However, what most people don’t realize is that within the realm of photography, there are many options and questions you should be asking. How many hours of coverage? Do you have a second photographer? Is the engagement session included? And lastly, what about an album?

Wedding Album Nicole Adele Photography Richmond Weddings

Sure, you can have all of those beautiful images stored on your phone or laptop, spread across social media, and shared in the occasional text or email. After all, we live in the digital age! But, there is still something special about being able to physically pull an album off the shelf to share with friends or family during special events. An album is an heirloom passed through generations of your family.

Without an album to hold and adore, there’s little to no physical documentation of the wedding day. Long after the flowers have died, and the dress has been boxed up, the album remains to remind a couple of one of the most precious and meaningful days in their lives. Plus, there are only so many framed wedding photographs you can put on your walls before it starts to get weird, whereas 30 pages’ worth of wedding album is perfectly normal! Have you ever spent time looking through your parent’s or grandparent’s wedding album? It can be so exciting to look through old ones, seeing people at different stages of their lives and even people who are no longer with us. Being able to physically touch and hold a beautifully handmade album instantly transports you back to that special day.

Wedding Album Nicole Adele Photography Richmond Weddings
Nicole Adele Photography

Digital technology offers today’s couples a variety of options when it comes to wedding keepsakes. There are countless consumer photo book companies that offer wedding options. With so many to choose from, why should one consider budgeting for a wedding album from their photographer?

There are many in-depth answers to this question, but it all boils down to the idea that most premium wedding album manufacturers are only available to wedding photography businesses. If you want the best quality albums with materials that will last the test of time, it’s best to have one produced professionally by your photographer. Think about image print quality, paper quality, binding process, quality assurance, and packaging. That’s just the product side of the equation; next, you have to think about the actual construction. While you may have the best of intentions in designing your own wedding album, it’s far more common to never find the time to do the work involved. You need to select the final images and design the layout. Then, you’ll work with the manufacturer to select all of the options, which ends up being very time-consuming.

So how does one go about this process? Every photographer you meet with will have a different business philosophy and product line. Here are some things to discuss:

Timeline
Some photographers will create a sample design for you with images they select. Others will ask you to select a defined number of favorite images and create a design from there. This design process can take a few revisions to create something you love, so ask your photographer how many revisions you are allowed and what is the exact process.

Wedding Album Nicole Adele Photography Richmond Weddings
Nicole Adele Photography

Cover Options
They come in a variety of covers, including the most common, leather and linen. Some will also have custom inset photos and imprinting on the cover. Look at the samples provided by your photographer to understand the differences and the pros/ cons of each option.

Size
Wedding albums come in a variety of sizes, with standard ones being 8″ x 8″, 10″ x 10″, and 12″ x 12″. Today’s trends indicate that a lot of couples are choosing a larger wedding photo album, such as 11″ × 14″. A bigger album means a larger canvas for photos and memories. When choosing a size, think about where you will store the album and that will help you decide what size is appropriate for you.

Wedding Album Nicole Adele Photography Richmond Weddings
Sarah and Dave Photography

Number of photos and pages
The greater the number of pages, the more expensive it will be. You want your album to tell the story of the wedding from start to finish, but you don’t need to include every single image. Your photographer should be able to create custom layouts of the images from wide double-spread panoramas to multiple image collages on a single page. Have your photographer show you samples to see what is possible.

Cost
Because a wedding album is highly customized, it can come at some expense. Consider this a one-of-a-kind heirloom for your family! Discuss the price options with your photographer and understand the differences in quality and other factors. Expect anywhere from $400 – $1200 depending any of the above selections you may make.

Wedding Album Nicole Adele Photography Richmond Weddings
Nicole Vance Photography

Parent Albums
Many companies offer options for parent albums. For instance, maybe you will have a large leather flush-mount album, but you want smaller duplicate books for your parents. Ask your photographer what options are available. It’s a great gift to say thank you for their love, support, and guidance. And you won’t have to keep lending your album to your parents!

Whatever the best choice is for you, make sure you are clear on all of the options your photographer offers and what will be included!

Nicole is a Wedding and Portrait Photographer that adores celebrating joyful, authentic & enduring love. The focus of Nicole Adele Photography is to provide an enjoyable and memorable experience in addition to beautiful and timeless images. To see more of her work or additional information please visit, www.nicoleadelephotography.com