With a few creative tools, some planning and an open mind, you can create a handmade wedding album that is truly original, and much more personalized than if the pros did it for you.
First you'll need to choose an album, or albums if you're planning on a parents album or small ones for friends. You don't need to spend a lot of money to find a nice album. Browse stationary stores, paper warehouses, discount stores, scrapbooking stores and department stores. Wedding shops often have sales on decorative albums; keep an eye out for sales.
If you make a wedding album, you won't need to stick to just professional photos. And not only will you be able to incorporate photos from friends and family members, you can also display keepsakes such as invitations, dried flowers from bouquets, menus, favors, napkins ... anything from your wedding that can fit inside the album. Some albums even have pocket pages that can hold some of these scrapbooking elements.
To enhance your handmade wedding album pages, you'll probably want to get some photo mounting corners and elegant papers. Photo mounting corners provide decorative edges for photographs. Elegant papers provide a textured or colorful background to distinguish the pages from each other. If you want to take the decorating aspect of your album to another level, consider learning some basic scrapbooking techniques: Wedding Scrapbooking Basics
When designing your handmade wedding album, consider the use of "white space." This refers to negative space on the page. Photos stand out better if they are surrounded by empty space. However, as they say in newspaper and magazine design, "Don't trap white space." This means, keep your negative space to the outside. Don't scatter photos on the edges of the page, with negative space in the middle, and keep the white space between photos even. Most pages in a well-designed album will have 2 ? to 3 photos (or other elements) per page. Of course, you can balance this out by having one on several pages and 4-5 smaller elements on a few pages. Scatter your single-photo pages and the ones with 4-5 photos throughout the album. You don't want to have too many pages with similar proportions running together.
Before you make a wedding album, plan your pages before assembling them. Set aside photos for each page, considering which pages are facing each other. Generally, page 1 will be alone, on the right, and pages 2 and 3 will face each other, etc. Try to coordinate the content of facing pages. Photo pages are viewed left to right, like a book. Photo albums should be read like a story. When placing photos on a page, try to keep the action moving left to right, and try not to have the subjects looking off the page. They should either be looking at the next photo or toward the center.
Keep in mind that horizontal pages are calming, and vertical pages are stimulating. Dark colors recede into the background, light and bright colors jump out at the eye. Break up photo-heavy pages with some extended labeling: decorative paper or tags with handwritten (or printed) summaries of events taking place in the photos, or quotes. Don't be afraid to crop images if the need arises. If you don't want to cut the print, crop it with decorative paper on top, acting as a frame.
Take these basic tips into consideration when you make a wedding album, and you'll be well on your way to creating a beautiful, professional-looking, yet simply personal handmade wedding album.