Should you have a wedding album?
One of my favourite past times, as a child, was to sit and look through my parents wedding album.
It didn’t happen very often, because the rules were strict. No eating or drinking around it and absolutely no sticky fingers. My parents and I would sit at the table and carefully take the book out of it’s box, unwrap the tissue paper and open the first page. Seeing those images of my Mum getting ready, putting on her beautiful dress, Dad in his Marine’s uniform and all the faces of older relatives that I kind of recognised but were all looking much younger then was always so very exciting. I loved every moment.
But times have changed. Now we have digital photography. Now we have online galleries. And USBs. Computers, tablets and phones are our storage devices. When we’re gathered with friends and say, “Hey, let me show you our wedding photos!”, we don’t pull out a beautiful album, or a box of prints. Instead we pull our our phones and scroll our way through the thousands of images we have stored, until we get to the ones we want to show. And I find this very sad.
Sure, the dawn of the digital age has given us amazing possibilities. The practicality of portability for one. And, in turn, accessibility. We don’t now have to organise a special meet-up with friends to show off our wedding album. Instead, we can quickly email them a link and a password and, hey presto! Wedding images to view immediately.
For many couples, digital wedding packages are more affordable. Now they can literally have hundreds of images to keep on a USB instead of being only able to choose 50 or 60 favourites, like in years gone by. And having that availability means they can print their images as many times as they want. Can’t they?
In my experience though, the thing I find is that, while we have the ability to print all these amazing photographs, the reality is that we don’t. Photographs remain in digital form for years and years and, after that initial sharing around online, rarely see the light of day, except maybe as a profile picture on Facebook. I say this not to shame you – in all honesty, I’m totally guilty of this myself! Yep, me the wedding photographer. I can actually hang my head in shame and say I still haven’t printed a single one of my own wedding images and hung it on my wall (yet!).
BUT, that being said, I do have a wedding album. That was very important to me when I booked my wedding photographer. I knew I wanted that album because I knew, at least then, I would have something tangible to keep and look at after the day was done. Something to show people when they came over and wanted to see wedding photographs. And something for me to pick up and look through occasionally and remind me of what a beautiful day it was.
I’m totally old-school when it comes to the whole books vs Kindle debate (although I do have a Kindle, thanks husband!). I still love the occasion of sitting with that heavy book on my knee, the feel and smell of the leather cover and the anticipation as I open the first page.
That album is a snapshot of my day, a small selection of the many images our photographer gave us collated into a story and I still tear up every time I take the opportunity to sit and flip through it.
Now, I’m not planning on having children but, remembering the experience of viewing my parents album – not just the first time but each and every time – I’m always keen to emphasise this to couples who do want a family. I’m pretty sure your kids would much prefer to sit with you and pore over a beautiful album than sit and flick through images on a tablet or on a computer screen. An album creates a real sense of occasion – totally befitting of your wedding images, right? And, in years to come, will be a beautiful heirloom that your family will treasure.
Admittedly, most of my wedding packages are digital only packages. I appreciate the cost of an album may be just a little too much for couples to consider when they’re searching for their wedding photographer. But I do offer albums as an add-on and I also give all my couples the option to purchase an album up to a year after their wedding date as well. This works really well for couples who are gifted money for their wedding day and many of them come back later to buy an album.
So while it’s not a necessity, I would definitely say you should at least consider getting an album of your wedding photographs. And enjoy looking through it in years to come X