Wedding photos can be incredibly pricey. According to Wedding Wire’s photographer cost guide, the average couple spends between $1,150 to $3,000 on wedding photography expenses. Hiring a budget photographer is totally possible, but your photographs may suffer as a result.
Still, there are ways to save on your photos without losing out on image quality. An inexpensive photo album can still look incredible at half the cost of a premium album. Here’s how.
How to Get the Perfect Wedding Album on a Budget
As your wedding photos will be one of your biggest wedding investments, it’s essential to keep these memories in a beautiful album that you and your family can look at for years to come.
1. Purchase a Photo + Album Package From Your Photographer
Some wedding photographers have packages that combine your wedding photos and a wedding album. It’s important to ask about these packages when you book your services, as they may not have the time to put together a gorgeous album for you if you ask later.
Keep in mind that these packages may be more expensive than the other options on this list. It depends on the photographer and how much their photos initially cost to take. You also may be limited on your customization options. However, this method can be super convenient since they do the work for you!
2. Design Your Own Album From Scratch (No Design Degree Required)
If you know your way around Photoshop (or even Canva) you can easily create stunning wedding album spreads from the comfort of your home. This makes creating your own DIY wedding album a perfect option for anyone who has the time. Then, you’ll just be left with deciding where to have it printed!
There are several options for creating a custom photo album at a variety of price points to suit any budget. No matter which option you choose, you’ll still save on designing the layout for your wedding album!
3. Go For Less Premium Options (Like Hardcover Over Leather)
Whether you decide to make your own or hire a designer, you can minimize the cost of your album by opting for fewer premium options. Choosing a standard hardcover over a leather album cover for your book will likely save you significantly. The paper for the interior pages of the album might impact the cost as well, so look for the most budget-friendly options if the price is a major factor.
Or, you could save on your wedding photos in advance by doing staged wedding exits or setting a strict cut-off time with your photographer. If you plan ahead, you can still take gorgeous family photos and have some room in your budget to get a few premium options for your wedding album.
4. Use a Custom Wedding Album Website to Create a Photo Book
Designing a wedding album on a custom wedding album website is the perfect way to save time and money on your album. Not only will you be able to pick from hundreds of templates, but you can choose how you want your album to look or what photos to use. Some of these websites even do most of the work for you– just upload your photos and it will lay it out automatically or an in-house team will design it for you.
You can create a custom album in an hour or less and get a finished product sent to you in under a week. Some websites will even send you a digital backup of your album, so you can reprint it if it gets damaged or lost.
5. Buy an Empty Photo Book and Glue Images Into the Album
While this option is definitely one of the more crafty of the options, you can easily create a scrapbook-like album without spending a lot of money. Purchase a scrapbook binder with a nice cover, as well as glue sticks and other scrapbooking items. You can likely find these things very inexpensively at a dollar store or craft store.
The best part about this method is how versatile it can be, especially if you’re creative and love to scrapbook. You can include additional elements you make with a Cricut machine for a more professional DIY approach. You can even include items from your wedding, like party favors, invitations, menus, and decorations in your album, as long as they can be placed flat inside the book.
6. Go Completely DIY and Make a Paper/Cardstock Album
If you want to take your DIY wedding album one step further, you could even bind it yourself. Purchase cardstock, paper, and a binding comb from a craft store and create your own book. Or, you could tie the book together with string or burlap and use stained or painted wood as a cover for a more rustic look.
To put the paper inside your book, simply hole-punch them. It’s up to you if you want to print your photos on photo paper or use regular office cardstock. If you use the right materials, you can make your wedding album completely eco-friendly, sturdy, and mold/water-resistant.
7. Consider Taking the Traditional “Family Photo Album” Route
Remember when wedding albums used to consist of loose photos that couples would place in plastic casings? Or when family photo albums used plastic photo sleeves? While these albums aren’t common anymore, they can beautifully store your photos if you can’t afford to get a professionally printed album.
If you don’t want this album to act as your main photo book, consider putting some of the images that couldn’t make it in your photo album inside plastic sleeves. That way, you’ll be able to look at every photo you took of your wedding without having to store them on your computer.
8. Turn an Old Wooden or Jewelry Box Into a Wedding Photo Album
If you have an old wooden or jewelry box lying around the house or you live close to an antique store, you could repurpose these items into a wedding album. While they won’t look like albums in the traditional sense, they can still store and preserve your precious photos like a traditional photo box.
To make the most out of this option, try to print your photos in the same size so they sit perfectly inside a box. Put your pictures in the order you want to view them. To dress up your images, add gold lines or a white border around the edges of each of your photographs.
You spend a lot of money on the ceremony and reception, as well as a professional photographer to capture your wedding photographs. It would be a shame to keep your most precious memories in an album you aren’t proud of. But we think the suggestions in this article will help you find the perfect wedding photo album if you’re on a strict budget.
Which one of our suggestions would you use? Was there something we missed? Join our community to talk about your own wedding photo album, DIY weddings, and more!