One of my favorite things about our wedding was our photographer, Carrie Patterson (hi Carrie! love you!). She was absolutely amazing and I think we have some of the most beautiful wedding pictures ever taken as our own keepsakes to look back on forever. And one of the great things about Carrie is that she gives you the rights to your photos, to do with them as you want. Carrie made us a gorgeous Cypress wedding album with about 60-70 of our wedding pictures, but I wanted some way to display our engagement and rehearsal pictures as well. And I wanted to do something with our pictures for our parents. At my bridal luncheon back in July, I promised our moms that I'd make them all personalized photo albums with Carrie's pictures from our wedding/engagement/rehearsal dinner in them. I knew it was going to be quite a task, but it would be worth it for them to have something so special. So the search began for the perfect album. I needed some way to adequately display them but wouldn't take me 6 years and a million bucks to put together.
There are so many companies out there to choose from that put together amazing photo albums. But the one I kept hearing about over and over was Blurb. I was a little weary about doing a Blurb book, because I'd never actually seen one in person, but I did my research and it seemed like a reputable company with a good product. Plus I'd heard so many wonderful things about Blurb in the wedding and blogging community that I decided to give them a go. And I was not disappointed!
First step in making a Blurb book is to download the free Book Smart software to your computer. The software was really easy to use and had a helpful tutorial that gave me all the basics that I needed to know. Next, I decided what kind of layouts I wanted to use (pictures, text, artwork, etc.) and uploaded my pictures into the software. Blurb lets you customize page color, picture/text placement, theme, etc. There are 6 different sizes of books to choose from, in regular, square, or landscape format. You can choose soft cover, hard cover with a dust jacket or a hard cover image wrap. The books are commercial-quality, with nice thick 80# coated, matte standard paper. Or you can choose to upgrade to the 100# silk-finish premium paper. A Blurb book can be from 20 to 440 pages using standard paper, or from 20 to 160 pages using premium paper. And prices start at just $4.95 - you can order one (or 1,000) or even put them up for sale on the site and make a profit on them. You can make cookbooks, picture books, travel books, wedding books, children's books, etc.
I needed to make four books (one for us and three for our parents). First, I created one master book for Ryan and I, which contained all our favorite engagement pictures, our rehearsal dinner pictures and our wedding pictures. I used mainly all pictures (with very little text), on either all black or white pages. I tried not to put too many pictures on each page, because I wanted it to be very simple and really focus on the pictures. The pictures in the book told a story of the wedding events and captured all the emotion of the weekend. I was really pleased with the way I arranged it.
From this master copy, I created individual books for each set of our parents by swapping out some of the pictures and focusing them around each family. For example, Ryan's parents' book had all the McCarty family pictures that Carrie took plus I included all kinds of extra pictures (from friend's cameras) of McCarty family members. When I did my parents books, I swapped out those pictures for others and focused more on the Holtsman family (mainly my brothers and me). I had "Specially made for [insert parent name here]" printed on the spine of each book, so they were personalized for each family.
Our books turned out to be right around 150 pages. I upgraded to the premium quality paper, got the more expensive image-wrap cover. And even with all of that, it was only about $110 each (before shipping). I can't believe that! They were much more affordable than I imagined. And from the looks on our parents' faces, you'd have thought we spent a million bucks!
So, without further ado, here they are...
I'm really happy with the way they turned out. Now I think I'm going to make one for our honeymoon pictures!