As a little girl, I can remember flipping through my grandmother’s wedding album, in complete awe of the love that made me a possibility. It’s the exact reason why preserving those memories is so very important. But how do you choose a wedding album that will last for generations to come? Get ready to pin this one my dears, Vanessa Joy is letting us in on a few helpful tips on how to do exactly that!

From Vanessa Joy PhotographyYou’ve spent countless hours and dollars investing in your wedding, and at the end of the day, the photography is what you’ll remember your beautiful day by. You’ll want to pick a photographer that understands you and your wedding style; but you’ll also want make sure they’re providing you with a quality wedding album. An album that you can trust your wedding memories with, and one will last long enough to pass down as an heirloom to your children and grandchildren. Here’s how to make sure your receiving a good quality album and a few tips and tricks on how to take good care of yours if you already have it.

1. No Page Waving. When you look at a book either closed, or open and propped up like the pictures above, the pages should be straight and not wavy or warping in any way. Waving pages can be a sign that the book was not made using quality materials or using a superior mounting/printing process. It can also be a sign that the book hasn’t been taken care of correctly (i.e. left in humidity, not stored flat). Make sure when you receive your album you take good care of it by storing it in a dry location away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

2. Has End Sheets. A higher quality album will have end sheets, (the page that’s directly on the back, inside cover as displayed below) rather then having the album start off right away. Your actual album pages should have a buffer between them and the cover, and that buffer is called an end sheet. If you get to choose your own end sheets, like the pretty Tiffany blue floral letterpress design shown above that Indigo Album Design offers, then that’s an added bonus!

3. Clean Binding and Corners. Be sure to inspect the binding and corners of the albums to check for any signs of the cover material or photos peeling away from the book. This can be a sign that a lower quality adhesive was used to create the album, or it simply wasn’t assembled correctly.

This can also be a sign of wear and tear on an album, so be sure to keep your own wedding album away from children and pets that can accidentally harm it. Additionally, when you turn the pages, turn them by the long side of the page rather than the corners.

4. No Pinking. Pinking is by far my biggest pet peeve in poor-quality albums because it ruins both the book itself as well as the photographs. You can check to see if an album has a pinking problem by finding a page where white or a very light color is going across the middle seam like the image above. If there’s a pinking problem, you’ll notice the seam will have a faint, pink discoloration to it. This happens by not using a high quality paper and mounting procedure. The seam should look like the image above—no discoloration or cracking what-so-ever.

Some albums have gutter-seams in them rather than a panoramic seam. Both are great options and provide for a long-lasting album, and your photographer should be able to provide you with options for both types of albums.

5. Great Photo Quality. Finally, you want to make sure that the photographs in the album have the same color tone and quality that you saw on the photographer’s website. The album won’t match in brightness exactly because the album doesn’t have a glowing light behind it the way that our computer monitors and phones do, but it should be pretty close. If you notice a distinct difference between what you saw online and what you’re seeing in person, that’s a good indicator there’s a problem with the printing of the album.

Sometimes the photos in an album discolor because an album has been left open and in direct sunlight. Good quality photo paper should last 100+ years, but it’ll last even longer if you take care to not let the photos absorb too many UV rays. Keep your album in a place where you can show it off to friends and family, but keep it closed and laying flat to protect the memories inside.

Thanks Vanessa! See some of her fabulous weddings right here.

Photography: Vanessa Joy Photography

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