How to Create a Wedding Photo Book

Need to learn how to make your ideal wedding photobook? Look no further than our complete guide.

By The Zola Team

Wedding Photo Book
Photo by Zola

Every picture tells a story, and this is especially true when it comes to wedding pictures. Weddings are filled with emotion and, as we all know, they seem to come and go fast. Certain poignant moments may stick out, while others are a bit of a blur. During a wedding day, a lot is going on (to say the least), which is why capturing those cherished memories in photos is so important.

With a wedding photo album, or photo book, you can look back on all the memories that brought your day to life. Through portraits, candid moments, and snapshots of laughs shared with family members and friends, you’ll be instantly transported back to this momentous day.

As you set out to create a wedding photo book, the options can at first seem endless. That’s why we’ve worked to break down the process and help you along as you bring your dream photobook to reality. Plus, these steps become even easier when you create your wedding album with Zola!

Here’s how to get started:

Choose the Size

Before you choose the right size for your wedding photo book, consider where you’ll be keeping it. Will your album be taking up permanent residence on a large coffee table or a small nightstand? From there, you can fine-tune the book’s exact measurements.

As you create your wedding photo book, you’ll find that the most common sizes in inches are 5×7, 7×5, 8.5×11, 10×10, 12×12, and 11×14. Though 10×10 and 12×12 album sizes are the most traditional, many modern brides and grooms opt for larger options. Going with the 11x14, for example, will allow you to showcase your photos in a “coffee table-style” fashion and bring the viewer into the details of the big day.

Zola 10.27.20 Photo Albums8828 MACRO Photo Credit // Zola

Fine-Tune Your Style

As you set out to create a wedding photo book, you’ll find there are many options to choose from. Before you get started, try to fine-tune your style. Some brides and grooms go for a modern, minimal theme, while others are more fond of the rustic photo book. The fun thing about narrowing down your style is that it helps you get creative with your images.

If you’re going for a vintage photo book, for example, you might want to try some edits that give your images an antique flair—like black and white or sepia filters. Remember that your wedding photo book is a reflection of you and your unique style. Don’t be afraid to show that off.

Decide on a Cover

Selecting a strong cover is what will help your wedding photo book truly pop. Some people choose a simple cover with just their names and the wedding date, an elegant choice that gets the viewer excited to crack open the spine and see what’s inside. Others are more drawn toward a cover that highlights a favorite photo from their wedding day. Wood and leather covers offer rustic vibes, while textured or embellished covers give a sense of luxury. Not only does your custom cover book cover make the first impression, but it will also help guide you as you craft the rest of your story.

Select Your Images

With your size, style, and wedding book cover in place, you can dive into the real fun—selecting your best images and most meaningful moments. This task can seem overwhelming at first, but the goal is simple: Choose photos that help you remember your special day. A good rule of thumb is to create an outline for yourself. Depending on what’s most important to you, this outline will differ from person to person. Here is a brief guideline to keep in mind as you create a personalized photo book.

  • Photos of Details Include photos of your dress, cards, decor, jewelry, or anything else that helps tell your story.

  • Photos of Portraits Include both solo portraits and portraits of you and your spouse together.

  • Photos of the Wedding Party include wedding party images, everything from classic bridesmaid shots to photos of your parents.

  • Photos of the Preparations Include photos of getting ready (i.e. getting a hair or makeup done, putting on the suit or dress), caterers prepping the food, or welcome cocktails getting mixed up.

  • Photos of the Ceremony Include some of your favorite images from the moment you tied the knot.

  • Photos of Cocktail Hour Include some photos of your guests mingling, sharing cheers, and enjoying bites during cocktail hour.

  • Photos of the First Dance Include some poignant snapshots of your first dance as a married couple.

  • Photos of Reception Include an assortment of your favorite photos from the reception.

The amount of images you choose per section is completely up to your taste. Some folks might opt for more portrait shots, fewer preparation shots—or vice-versa. When you create a wedding photo book, it’s easy to immerse yourself in one part of the day and leave out others. Using the above guideline will help you select the perfect selection of photos from your wedding day.

Photo sorting tip: As you sort through your photos, you might find it easiest to do so in chronological order (especially if you have a few hundred images or more). Choose your absolute most favorite photos, then separate them into folders from there.

Zola 10.27.20 Photo Albums9154 Photo Credit // Zola

Design the Layout

Because you only have so much space on the page, designing the layout of your wedding photo book will help you narrow down which photos make the final cut. The good thing about designing the layout of your printed book is that you can get creative depending on your needs. Each page spread can be different and unique. You may find yourself drawn to including one full page of your bouquet on half of the two-page spread with a few vertical images of your dress on the other half.

As you design your layout, remember that you don’t have to fill every space with images. Leaving some white space will help you avoid the feeling of clutter in your book. The balance to finding a wedding photobook layout that works is to put all the photos you want in the book without cramming the pages.

Tell Your Story

Whether you were married in a courthouse setting surrounded by close family or you threw a large, wild gathering, every wedding is unique. The beauty of your photo book is that there will never be another one quite like it. As you select your images and move through the layout process, ask yourself this: What story are you trying to tell?

Some people include a handful of photos of the rehearsal dinner or some images at the end of the honeymoon. There is no right or wrong way to craft the story of the most special day of your life. With smooth transitions and attention to detail, your story will flow flawlessly.

Give It Time

The trick to crafting the best unique wedding albumsis to give yourself time. Starting the week before Christmas and striving for a perfect, completely customized result might be stressful. Instead, give yourself a few months to enjoy the journey and delight in the process. Or, if you do need to whip one up fast, find an easy-to-use software that will help plug in your photos for you.

Make More Than One Album

If narrowing down your images is too tough, you can always make more than one album. Craft one album for your bridal shower, a couple for your wedding, and one for your honeymoon. If specific family members helped with certain wedding tasks—like flower arrangements, cake setups, or DIY decor—you can even make separate mini wedding albums to gift to them. After you’ve made your photo album (or photo albums), you can also move on to scrapbooks, digital albums, and wall galleries. After all, there are endless options for creatively utilizing those wedding photos.

Creating a wedding album is a sentimental and important process for a couple. Images help conjure memories and bring the day to life. Whether you just got married and are working to create a wedding photo book for your first anniversary or you're finally sitting down with that image bank from five years ago, we hope this guide helps move you along.

After your book has been expertly crafted, we know you’ll love sitting down and flipping through the pages of your love story, one photo at a time.

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