I’m going to ask your forgiveness before I even begin talking, why? Because my soapbox is calling and I can’t stop writing. (Fair warning, you should grab coffee for this one).
Just to give you context, in our house my husband knows that God forbid we ever have to leave our house in a hurry we have a plan. Grab the kids, the dogs, and the albums.
I grew up in the world of photography. I sat on the floor with my grandma and watched her build wedding albums for her couples, the love, and care that she put into it, helping them choose memories that they would treasure for generations. I know that it’s like to pause on a photograph, and let it sink in, for those images in the picture to take you back to an emotion you haven’t felt in years because it’s like time stood still and was waiting for you. To hold something you can feel in your hands, see with your eyes, the smell of the paper, and the vivid moment it brings up in your mind.
You just don’t get that on a screen.
On that note, a few thoughts on why I care so much about wedding albums…
Why do wedding albums matter?
They tell your story. A wedding album is in my mind the absolute best way to tell the story of your wedding day. The format (as a book) makes it so that you can actually layout the day as it’s happening. I love designing pages that tell the story that the couple might not even know. Beautiful spreads of what the groom’s reaction was when he was reading a letter from the bride, across from the bride wiping a tear from her face opening a gift from him… Often times those emotional events are happening in the exact moment of each other but you never get to see them, until your wedding album. You’re both completely connected and yet you don’t even know it.
They are a record of your legacy. A wedding album is built to last for generations. As crazy as it sounds your wedding album actually isn’t about you. I mean, it totally is, of course. BUT it’s also for the people you love. I can’t even explain how valuable photographs of my grandmother are to me vs probably how she felt about a photo of herself. It’s just a different world. When you sit down with a beautifully designed wedding album you should be able to feel as though you’re attending the wedding. I always say the images we choose for the album are the memories we want the grandkids to experience.
They’re a reminder. A wedding album is meant to live on your coffee table. As a matter of fact, they actually need to be stored flat just by their design. So whether it’s on a bookshelf or your coffee table it’s going to be accessible. They’re heavy, they’re meant to be cuddled up with on your lap. Anyone who has ever seen me try to lift our large sample album knows this! When you’re planning your wedding most of the time you’re busy with your career and wedding planning but you probably can’t imagine how crazy life can become even just a few years later. Juggling everything that is coming at you can be a lot, and it can become easier to miss the small moments with each other. But your wedding album is a reminder, at your fingertips, of how you felt the day you said yes to forever. Your wedding album should be looked at, a lot. It’s a reminder of family, and moments that matter. And in the midst of a busy life, we all need to slow down and take those reminders often.
When it’s all said and done, you have your photos. When you’re planning your wedding, most likely you’re going to be slightly overwhelmed by the amount there is to do. You’ll in the end spend, months (if not years) planning for the most important event of your life (so far). I often joke it’s like someone told you congratulations, you get to plan, host, and produce the Oscars this year… when you’ve never planned an event before! It can feel like a lot because it is. When it’s all said and done you’ll have wonderful memories and images to remember them by. Think of this, your wedding photos are the only thing you’ll be taking out of the wedding day that you spent so much time, effort, and money on. Believe it or not, your memories will fade, but your images will not. Talk about a soapbox, I could shout from the rooftops about this. You need photographs that tell the story of who you both are and what matters to you. Those little moments, grandma’s hands holding yours, the sweet looks, the laughter… It’s all so beautiful. But those memories need to be preserved well, and the story told not in folders on a hard drive somewhere but in an album that you pull out and look through and relive over and over again. Because that’s the point of all this, cherishing those we love.
Your memories matter, both to you and to your friends and family. I am the awkward person that when I’m at a friend’s house for the first time and we start talking about their wedding (it tends to come up when I’m around) the first thing I ask is, “I’d love to see your album”. Why? Because I want to relive their day with them, and there is no better way than seeing a beautifully designed wedding album.
Weddings are amazing, gorgeous events that after all these years I am still so thrilled I get to be a part of. But a beautiful legacy? Relived and celebrated as the years go on? That’s pretty incredible too.