Your wedding day is such an important (& expensive) time in your life! From all the details that you have worked so hard on to the big things that no one could miss, you deserve to have those memories captured so that you can look back on them fondly. Now that you have them your number one questions might be, “What do we do after we receive our wedding photos?” If you’ve Googled that phrase before you are not alone!
For me they sat on my computer for years- no albums, a few Facebook and Instagram posts about anniversaries, etc. Nothing permanent, nothing tangible, and nothing to pass onto my kids. This year will be our 4th anniversary and I’m choosing to create something special with these portraits. Here are a few things that you can do before your 4th anniversary:
Share Your Portraits!
How do you choose which portraits to share with your friends & family when there are so many to choose from? When your photographer sends you your gallery you can actually share this same gallery with everyone!
Two different ways!
- You can either go the old fashioned way of Copy & Paste your Gallery link onto (let’s say) your Facebook page & create a post!
- Share directly from your gallery! Inside your gallery you can find the Share button- from there it will lead you to share on Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest! Would you love it if someone ‘pinned’ your wedding photos as inspiration for their own?
Pros: You don’t have to worry about Aunt Sue asking to see the portraits of your niece running around during the reception- she will have access to those on her own! You can share your password or pin number publicly or privately to make sure to keep track of those that have access.
Cons: Keeping track of everyone might become a bit difficult, and sometimes giving people access to your wedding gallery might feel like an invasion of privacy. If you’re a private person maybe this isn’t the right choice for you & that’s okay! You can choose your favorites and share those, giving everyone exactly what you’re comfortable with showing.
Create a Wedding Album
Albums can be anything from conversation pieces to coffee table decorations, and it could even be a helping hand in creating a tradition by lighting candles, grabbing the wine, and looking through your wedding album on your anniversary.
Your photographer may offer albums as an add on to their packages- you can always inquire with them if you’re not sure about the first steps to take!
Pros: Having a physical copy of your wedding day to reminisce may be the best investment that you can make for your wedding day! You pay so much money to make this day perfect, and then suddenly- it’s over before you even know it. Having an album allows you to take in these moments and reflect on your favorite parts of the day for decades to come.
Cons: Creating an album yourself is time consuming and stressful! If you choose to do this portion yourself it may take days (or weeks!) before you feel confident with your portrait placement throughout the album. That’s if you’re ever able to finish it at all! Your days are already busy enough- ask your photographer if they offer album design, it will be the best long term investment of your wedding.
Even if they don’t order an album it’s rare that any of my couples walk away without ordering portraits from either their Engagement Session or Wedding day! Just like an Album, these will be physical items that you cherish- just as wonderful, if not even more special, than your digital gallery. Display prints and canvases in your home- above your fireplace and all around your bedroom.
Your photographer will have the option to purchase prints from your gallery! If you’re having trouble finding how to order from your gallery- you guessed it! Reach out to your photographer and they will be able to walk you through this process! Everyone deserves beautiful portraits to hold from their wedding.
Pros: Ordering through your galley is a pain-free and affordable way to not only cherish the portraits that make you tear up when you remember that exact moment in time, but you can also support your photography by doing so! While a portion of your order will cover the cost of the material and shipping the remaining bit reaches your photographer to help them create these realities for so many other couples!
Cons: Scrolling through your gallery will be time consuming, so if your photographer doesn’t offer a “Favorites” button to come back to the best portraits in your gallery later then it may be a bit difficult at first. At the end of the day though, you’ll know the ones that you want to bring home!
Create a Thank You card!
Even weeks after the wedding your guests will be congratulating you & your new spouse and showering you both with love! What better way to thank them for being such a big part of your lives than with a Thank You card that includes a personal message dedicated to them. Take one (or many!) of your favorite portraits and order Thank You cards through Vistaprint, Shutterfly, or a local business in your area!
Download your wedding photos, upload them to the website of your choice, and voila! You have your own personalized Thank You cards! Looking for an extra special touch? Have these cards and written by a calligrapher to give it that extra special touch! Julia Kay Calligraphy is a friend who runs a Calligraphy business in New York- and it doesn’t matter if you’re in Oregon or Florida- she can have these custom made for you at a reasonable price! You can also check out more of her work on my last blog post here!
Pros: You’re creating something so touching for people that you love and appreciate- what is better than that? Maybe that you can also keep these with the rest of your wedding day memorabilia and even keep these on display with your portraits around your home.
Cons: You will have to wait until after your gallery is delivered to send out your invites! That could take up to 6-8 weeks, and for some people that might be just too long to wait. Unless your photographer includes 24 hour sneak peeks, you might be waiting a bit to send these out!
Store them safely
While your photographer (hopefully!) stores your wedding photos in 3 different places, that doesn’t mean that you can brush this part off! Download your images & then back them up- twice if you can! There is nothing worse than losing your your wedding portraits.
You can purchase a Solid State Drive & download your images there, this will keep your images safe should anything happens to your online gallery. Secondly- save them to the cloud! If anything happens to your physical drive this is always a great back up to have!
Pros: You can’t lose your portraits when they’re saved in 5 different places (that may be overkill!) and you’ll always have a copy to come back to even after your wedding photographer’s gallery expires.
Cons: Purchasing Solid State Drives may cot you about $80-$200 depending on the size that you’re looking to purchase. You can probably save your entire wedding in a ZIP folder that takes up no more than 50gb, but there is nothing wrong with playing it safe.
At the end of the day please please PLEASE do not just let your portraits sit there collecting dust in your online gallery- do something special with them! Hopefully you won’t have to Google “We Have Our Wedding Photos- Now What?” anymore!