Wedding photographer

Create your own wedding photo album

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

If you’re a bride or groom on a budget or a couple who just wants to make sure the wedding funds are handled practically, you might be wondering if there’s any room to economize on things that come after the wedding, like honeymoons and wedding photo albums.

Since you’re on this website you already know that it’s absolutely possible to gift yourself a honeymoon and not break the bank with Honeyfund. But what about those little luxuries, like a wedding album? Oftentimes, photographers will offer a package that includes album creation, but this seemingly small add-on can add up to big bucks.

I recommend letting the photographer do her job (take amazing photos) while you save some cash to spend on your honeymoon. How, you ask? By designing your own cherished wedding photo album!

I can hear you now: “I’m not creative, I don’t know how, I’m too busy,” etc., etc. But I’m here to tell you that creating your own album is much easier than you think. And if you’re wondering why you should even create an album instead of just housing the photos on your computer, here’s why:

Put your style in your wedding photo album


A Wedding Album Is A Permanent Record

Although nothing is totally permanent, paper tends to last longer than laptops and compact discs. Think about it: walkmans turned to discmans, VHS turned to DVDs an then Blu-ray, flip phones turned to smart phones, and the list goes on. But paper – paper never goes out of style. When you create a wedding album, you won’t have to worry about being able to access your photos. Your most precious ones will be right there between two gorgeous covers.


A Wedding Album Offers A Personal Experience

Just as reading a book on a tablet is different from reading a physical book, there’s something special about holding a wedding album and looking through the pages. Would you rather click through all your wedding photos on your laptop on your first anniversary or sit down, pop some champagne, and relive those precious moments in storybook style?

Plus, a wedding album gives you something to share with friends and family, and perhaps even grandchildren in the future! It’s hard to call a USB stick an heirloom, but a bound book that tells your love story through photos? Absolutely!


Creating A Wedding Photo Album

So now that you know why you should say yes to a wedding album, here’s what you need to know about creating one.

When you design your wedding album you get to choose how it should look based on your likes and style. The easiest and most affordable way to do this is to use an online album design software.

This kind of software allows you to choose the type of album you want (square, landscape, portrait) and the size (12×12, 10×10, 11×8.5, etc). It also gives you the freedom to choose the cover material, design, and paper style.

Create your own wedding photo album


Wedding Album Cover and Paper Styles

For example, you could choose from the softcover and hardcover book styles. Softcover books are perfect if you are looking for something simple and inexpensive or as a giveaway to family and friends. The hardcover book is sturdier and looks professional and polished. A layflat album style is one of the best wedding album styles, as it offers panoramic displays of photos without any cuts or folds and has sturdy page options. The pages lay perfectly flat offering a stunning display of your wedding images. The flush mount album is a top of the line layflat wedding album offering very ridged page thickness and the best quality photographic papers.


Designing Your Photo Display

Creating your own wedding photo album means you get to design it however you want. Perhaps you’ll go for a clean, classic layout with white pages and no image overlays or use elegant patterns and art elements that can create a very unique look to your book.

Or maybe you’ll love the look of a modern layout with blended images and overlays. You could also choose different styles of backgrounds to match your photos to your wedding colors and/or theme.

It’s entirely up to you, and that’s the best part about creating your own wedding photo album. Sure, saving money is great (more for the honeymoon!), but it’ll also feel wonderful to have a unique keepsake to look back on and share with family. Display it on your coffee table, by your bedside, or bring it out on your first anniversary and relive the special moments all over again.

Bio: Founded by Carol Sejd,  My Bridal Pix offers wedding photo books that you can create yourself ‘ using our software and template, By creating your own album, you can save money and while producing the custom album you really want.  Check out your options at

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Timing your wedding for the photographer


This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

I’ll start off by saying that every couple’s timeline can be completely unique and can depend on many factors! You may have a wedding planner helping you plan your timeline, and hopefully, you’re also getting input from your photographer to make sure they have enough time to capture everything (and that you’ll have great lighting)! Every wedding is different, so you may need more or less time for certain things, you may have additional activities, or maybe you’re opting out of some traditional parts, and so on! Things almost always run late so it’s good to set aside more time than you think you’ll need for everything. And don’t forget to add in travel time (with traffic) if there are multiple locations!

Planning Your Wedding Day Timeline

Preparing for the big day

Detail Photos & Getting Ready Photos (1 hour 30 min – 2 hours)

For the bride, Detail Photos usually include the dress, shoes, headpiece, bouquet, jewelry, garter, and other accessories or mementos. For the groom, it’s usually his tie, shoes, socks, watch, cufflinks, boutonniere, maybe some special cigars and so on. I also like capturing their rings all together. Since I like to get a little creative with the detail shots and find cool spots to style them, I usually set aside 15-30 minutes for these, preferably 30 minutes.

For Getting Ready coverage, I usually give an hour to capture the bride getting her hair and makeup done and some candids of the general atmosphere of the morning and sipping mimosas. The guys only need a few minutes to get dressed, some time to style their hair, and then they’re usually just hanging out and grabbing some beers. Then I like to give 30 minutes for the bride to get her dress on (during this time I recommend the groom and guys head over to the venue if it’s in another location). While that usually only takes a few minutes, it’s good to have some buffer time and it also gives everyone a little breathing room before the day really gets started!

First look

First Look (30 minutes)

I recommend for all of my couples to do a First Look for tons of reasons (you can read about them here)! Assuming you’re doing a First Look, you should allow about 15 minutes to prep for it. This includes heading to the perfect spot for this sweet intimate moment, and I like to give the bride and groom my own little pep talk encouraging them to soak in this moment because it’s the one time in the day they have to be together just the two of them (besides their photo and video teams of course) and how special it is! The First Look itself only takes a few minutes, but I like to give the couple some time to themselves and maybe take some photos.

Wedding party

Family Photos & Wedding Party Photos (1 hour)

Keep in mind that if you’re not doing a First Look, you’ll likely be doing these photos after the ceremony. A good amount of time for Family Photos is 30 minutes since it can take time to get all the family members gathered and get all the combinations you want. I find it’s better to start with big groupings and narrow down so when someone’s done, they can head to cocktail hour! I recommend 30 minutes for Wedding Party photos, which includes Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, and the whole Wedding Party together – this should be enough time to have some fun together!

Pre-Ceremony & Ceremony Details (30 minutes)

Hopefully, all of the above activities are done before guests arrive and the ceremony area is all set up and ready! This is when I capture the ceremony details before any guests get seated there. This includes the overall look and any decorations, guest book table, etc. This also gives the bride and groom some time to wind down before the ceremony. As the ceremony time approaches, the guests will get seated and anyone included in the ceremony gets lined up and ready to go.


Ceremony (30+ minutes)

 Now for the big event – the ceremony! I say “30+” minutes because this really depends on your unique ceremony. Most of the ceremonies I’ve photographed end up being around 15 minutes, but some couples like to add in special activities during their ceremony like a ring-warming ceremony, extra readings, etc. that might take up extra time, and church ceremonies can be anywhere up to an hour and a half. Every couple is different and should have a ceremony that reflects them and their love!

Bride & Groom Photos (1 hour)

One of my favorite parts of the entire day! I love just having some time with my couple to enjoy that newlywed bliss and adventure together for their Bride & Groom photos! I like to do these in the hour before sunset and wrap up a little after the sun gets hidden. An hour is a good amount of time to get some different spots and variety and make sure it doesn’t feel rushed. This is also when I like to take individual photos of the bride and groom. It’s also never a bad idea to include some beers here! Then, time to party!


Grand Entrance,  First Dance, Parent Dances (30 minutes)

Give some time to prep for the Grand Entrance if you’ll be including your Wedding Party since it may take some time to track everyone down and get them all lined up (but let them know ahead of time when to be ready). Then after the DJ announces for everyone to head to their seats, that takes a little time. The Bridal Party can land on the dance floor and then head to their seats before the First Dance, or they can head right to their table. I usually recommend the bride and groom head straight to the dance floor and go right into their First Dance! Some couples like to have the Parent Dances right after that and I’m a fan of getting all the activities out of the way so there’s more time for dancing later!

First dance

Dinner & Toasts (45 minutes)

Finally – FOOD! The bride and groom should get their food first, and then if you’re having a buffet it’s a good idea to have the photo and video teams line up to get their food before the guests do – it’s best we eat while guests are eating so we don’t miss important moments (and people don’t like to be photographed while they’re eating anyway). For a buffet, you’ll need to include time for guests to get through the line and serve themselves, and for a plated meal it takes time for the plates to be served. Then, of course, some time for folks to eat, and the toasts/speeches can happen during dinner.

Bouquet toss & cake cutting

Bouquet & Garter Toss (15 minutes)

If you’re doing a bouquet and garter toss, around 15 minutes should be enough time to get all the single ladies up on the floor and do the bouquet toss, get the single guys up for the garter toss, and get everyone up on the dance floor to start some dancing!

Cake-Cutting & Dancing (35 minutes)

Cake-Cutting is pretty quick and easy so I just leave 5 minutes for it. The DJ can announce that the couple will be doing their Cake-Cutting and anyone who wants to join can go up by the cake, we take some photos of them cutting it and get a little silly with it if they want. Then it’s back to the dance floor! I recommend just 30 minutes of photo coverage for dancing since these photos will start to look the same after a while, but that’s just personal preference. Now there’s nothing left to do but have some drinks and dance the night away!

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Celebrating the couple

Bio: An Intimate Wedding & Elopement Photographer based in Southern California (currently in Long Beach, CA), Sarah Linda says of her style “ love capturing moments that are organic and real and I would consider my style dark and moody – I am not into artificial or traditional posing or fancy lights in a studio. I want to capture the quirky, the silly, the embarrassing, the hidden smiles, the tears, and the laughs. I’m all about those in-between moments and all the wonderfully raw and authentic pieces of you and your love for each other. I’m basically a professional third wheel and I love when couples will allow themselves to be vulnerable and intimate and let me into their special moments.”





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