Choosing Photos for your wedding albumIt can be overwhelming to choose photos for your wedding album – I’ve seen couples who get over 1,000 pictures from their photographers!  Having a sense of how the album breaks down can be helpful when you’re trying to make sense of all the files.  How many photos of the cake do you really need?  Is there room for the photo booth portraits?  How about the cocktail hour?

Of course, every album is different, and there is no One True Way of the Wedding Photo Book.  But based on my experiences, things usually turn out relatively consistently.

Because I always design for layflat albums, I tend to think in “spreads” rather than “pages” – a spread is two pages when laid side-by-side.  I offer 40-page albums in my business, so you’ll see 20 spreads here.

  1. Liz and Justin Wedding AlbumIntro Spread
  2. Getting Ready, Spouse 1
  3. Getting Ready, Spouse 2
  4. First Look
  5. Couples Portraits
  6. Couples Portraits
  7. Dustin and Francie Wedding AlbumWedding Party
  8. Family Portraits
  9. Walking Down the Aisle
  10. Ceremony
  11. Post-Ceremony Hugs and Celebration
  12. Venue Details
  13. Cocktail Hour
  14. Anna and Chris Wedding AlbumToasts
  15. First Dance
  16. Parent Dances
  17. Dance Floor
  18. Cake-Cutting
  19. Photobooth
  20. Conclusion Spread

I usually work chronologically, so these spreads get re-arranged depending on the day’s schedule.  And things are always flexible, so I sometimes combine certain aspects to make room for a really stellar set of venue details, or a complex ceremony.

Liz and Justin 039 (Sides 76-77)

Want 40 pictures on a single spread? They’re going to be tiny!

Not sure how any photos of each element you need for a spread?  Do some math.  If you order a 12×12″ album, that’s 288 square inches to work with.  If you want photos to be the size of a 4×6″ snapshot, that’s 24 square inches each, which means 12 photos if they are absolutely squeezed end-to-end.  I prefer 5-6 photos per spread in wedding albums, though.  It leaves room for larger images that are more impactful, and it’s not so much visually for the reader to take in.

I hope having this overall framework in mind helps you make your photo selections (and make decisions about album length – can you imagine shrinking this down to 10 spreads/20 pages?).  When you order an album from me, I am always happy to help with this process as well – often a couple selects their absolute favorites, and I select from the greater pool to fill in the rest of the album.

Whatever way you choose, I hope you end up with an album you love – because memories belong on your coffee table, not your hard drive!