20 Nov

The Book That Cost More Than My Engagement Ring

Posted by Jenna, Under Photography

Several months ago I asked for your feedback on my wedding album design and received some great suggestions. I’ve had the book in hand for a few months now and finally got around to taking some photos so you can see how gorgeous the finished product is. The album was designed by the company Albumesque, and assembled by the company KISS wedding books, both are companies that work exclusively with photographers. I chose both because I wanted a product that focused on clean and simple design elements that allowed the photos to really remain the focal point. All photos by Kelli Nicole Photography.

The album came with this lovely floral case, I store it inside whenever I don’t have it out to show it off to protect our big investment from accidental damage.


I decided to order the 12X12 with a black leather cover, and it’s HUGE. It’s beautiful, but I think if I could do it over I would scale it down in size.

The front page. I’m so glad Kelli Nicole took the time to take detail and establishing shots, as this shot of the Seattle skyline really sets the stage for the rest of the album.

I chose not to have any overlapping images or graphic elements in my design as I wanted things to be very clean and simple. It took me hours to narrow down thousands of images to just over 100, but I think those that I chose tell the story of the day really well.

My favorite part of the album? The full page spreads. At two feet wide they are absolutely stunning to view in person. The quality of Kelli Nicole photography really helps as well. :)


A few details…

The pages sandwich 2mm substrates that make them thick and durable.

The book lays flat when opened, and the small fold in the middle is hardly noticeable when opened.

Any my favorite, a yummy super-soft leather cover.

I’ll leave you with my favorite spread. Stunning, right?

Did you order an album through your photographer? Do you have any suggestions for companies non-photographers can use to get their album done?

46 Comments


  1. Wow, Jenna, its beautiful. I love it! I got mine through MyPublisher but it does not compare to yours. I love how thick the pages are.

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  2. That is incredibly beautiful! Every time I see your pics, I’m struck by what an amazing photographer Kelli Nicole is!

    My husband and I have been married almost a year, and have yet to order wedding pictures. I’m still looking for the “perfect” album – but I don’t really know where to find it. Most of those I’ve looked at aren’t our style or seem cheaply made.

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  3. This is so pretty, it seems much better to me than a regular photo album because of how it protects those images. My favorites are definitely the large size pictures too.
    What a great souvenir of the wedding, and a good way to scale down on the pictures too.
    You’re making me wish we used a fancy photographer for our wedding just to do this, but it wasn’t in our budget. Although I’m happy with our albums.

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  4. That’s an AMAZING album. I’m with you on the clean and simple – it’s timeless. I have a regular photo album of our pictures and a more ‘scrapbook’ album, but even that album is very simple, very minimally embellished, and clean looking.

    I love the protective cover as well. Maybe someday I’ll convert our images into an album like this-I love it. (though I got married back in the day before digital hit it big-2003-so all my images are archived as negatives!)

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  5. Your photographs and the book are gorgeous. It’s really difficult to look at others’ photographs since I hated my own photographers’ results. I keep thinking “WE had moments like those…” but nothing like that was caught on film, or emphasized the way yours were. Sigh…but we did have a perfect day and do have a great partnership/marriage, and that is what matters most. It is just so hard to get over that little detail! Regardless, cherish that book and share it with your children. They will be witness to the joy that is a great marriage.

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  6. That is a beautiful book!!

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  7. Oh that is just stunning. The leather, the lusciously thick pages, just wow. And as always, I’m in awe of the photography.

    I’m still trying to put an album together (I’m using A&I, but mostly just because I have a coupon from Group On). I’ve been tempted to try and make things a little scrapbooky, mostly because that seems more standard and I’m worried that it would be dull with just the images.This a great reminder of how impactful letting the images speak for themselves can be.

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  8. If anyone has any suggestions for making REAL albums as a non-photographer (not MyPublisher, Blurb, etc.), I would LOVE to hear them.

    We didn’t like the style of album that my photographer did, but we decided we would rather go with the photographer we liked more, sans album, than a photographer whose work we liked less, but like the company she worked with for albums. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find someone to generate a quality album if you are not directly in photographer! If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

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    Kelli Nicole Reply:

    Your photographer can always look at other album companies that they can work with! I have accounts with at least 3 different album companies, but I mostly work with one and I can’t dedicate an entire site to the millions of options like album companies can. If one of my clients didn’t like my album company I would find out what they liked and see if I could figure something out that worked for them.

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    TwoWishes Tara Reply:

    This is a couple of years old, but Mrs Ant from Weddingbee once did a comprehensive list of album companies that sometimes print directly for non-photogs. You can find it here: http://www.weddingbee.com/2007/08/23/album-companies/

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  9. Beautiful! We purchased our wedding album as part of our photo package – but we still need to select images to get that ball rolling. We’ve been married 18 months – we should get on that! We are having a four-day staycation for New Years, maybe we’ll sit on the sofa and choose wedding pics :)

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  10. This is the kind of album I wanted to build. I ended up with one that is MUCH less substantial. This is beautiful. I might need another as mine is already falling apart.

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  11. Gorgeous. I’ve been wanting to do one from my wedding photos but just haven’t gotten to it yet. I have a design phobia. Worried I won’t be able to come up with a good design.

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  12. That’s gorgeous! I have album-envy now. We just ordered ours from MyPublisher. The design process was very easy, and we’re waiting for it to arrive any day now to see how it turned out.

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    schmei Reply:

    If it’s not too nosey, what was the expense like?

    I’d love an album but we’re on a super-tight budget these days.

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    TwoWishes Tara Reply:

    We did MyPublisher, and it came out around $80 with the dust-jacket cover and lots of extra pages. Family albums with the cheaper cover and no extra pages were around $40. In hindsight, I highly recommend the dust-jacket cover — it looks five times as fancy for about $5 more.

    Also, for what it’s worth, we had a GREAT experience with MyPublisher’s customer service. There was a software glitch that created barely-noticeable sizing issues. I emailed them to say “there was a problem, and I fear it’s partly my fault for not catching it on my pre-submission final review.” And they totally went out of their way to reprint everything, for free, within 2 days and ship it overnight so we’d have the albums in time for Christmas.

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    schmei Reply:

    Thanks, Tara!

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  13. Wow Jenna!!! It’s Wonderful… I would love to have one of my Wedding but here in Mexico there isn’t a good company for that…

    Congrats!!

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  14. My sister-in-law did my photos and she gave them as our wedding gift so I didn’t order a book, but I’ve been thinking about doing one. I’d love to have my pictures out for all to adore over. : )

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  15. It’s completely beautiful! I imagine it weighs a ton!

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  16. Every time I see your wedding pics I am blown away by the amazingness of your day and of Kelli Nicole’s work! Wow. It makes me want to get on the ball and get my album made!

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  17. Wow! What an amazing album!!

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  18. Gorgeous book and you did such a fabulous job with the layout.

    It’s been over a year for us and I still haven’t done our book because honestly, the thought of sifting through 4000 pro pics and then 3000 more from our friends and family scares the bejeezus outta me. Plus I don’t have any Photoshopping skills to speak of so I’ll have to rely on the lame layouts offered by Blurb or Shutterfly or what have you.

    I wonder if any of your readers has an idea of which of those book companies has the best layout options? You often hear of paper quality and the like, but nothing about layouts. Anyone?

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  19. I made our wedding album from MyPublisher. I did their nicest book, and I really think it turned out nice. And because they have 40 percent off coupons so frequently, it was $60 instead of most than my ring! But I know that photography is important to you, so I would think that an album would be mucho important.

    I wanted something I could put on our coffee table that would be fun to look at and would allow me to recall the emotion of the day — the mypublisher album does that perfectly.

    P.S. I have tried Shutterfly and hated their quality.

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  20. Just stunning. Seriously. I haven’t even begun to think about turning our photos into an album. I also am not excited about the idea of dipping into our budget for a wedding expense so long after the actual event! I’d love a gorgeous album like yours but I might do a MyPublisher album to tide us over in the meantime.

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  21. Your album is sooo pretty. Nice work!

    3.5 years after our wedding, I should really get around to making an album…

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  22. It is gorgeous Jenna!
    Question, as I am still waiting on my album: Would you scale back in how many spreads, or just the overall size of the book. I think the one I’m getting is 9×11.

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  23. I am working on creating an album from our wedding photos right now through mpix. I am doing one of their “Assembled Albums”. It looks to be similar to what you got, Jenna but maybe not quite as high quality. The only thing I don’t like about them is not being able to do the two-page spreads, but the price is right. Also, it is different than sites like MyPublisher, Shutterfly, Blurb, etc. in that they don’t have any templates to use. So, I am creating mine in MS Publisher and saving them as a JPEG to upload to mpix. Hope this helps someone out there!

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  24. Gorgeous album Jenna. I just got finished creating some Shutterfly albums for our families, and I ordered one for us too. I keep thinking of it as our “for now” album though because I definitely want something like this down the road!

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  25. It’s gorgeous…and I’m totally jealous. Makes me wish I had photos from my wedding that I loved.

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  26. My photographer – not Jenna Cole only due to That Baby’s due date! – does these albums, and initially I was thinking about not doing it, but recently I’ve started thinking strongly about it. These pictures have definitely pushed me towards it, even if I just do a small one through them and then more through Snapfish, I’d like to have something so durable and professional looking. It looks great Jenna (and Kelli!)

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  27. It looks great! You and TH look great together & I can totally see why the spread in the last photo is your favourite. :) Gorgeous bride & groom!

    What a great way to remember the start of your life together!

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  28. Wow that album is stunning! Thanks for showing us the final copy. I had so much fun looking through your edits. We’re getting mates rates from a photographer friend for our wedding – so no album. I would love to have one like this. So worth it! Glad you love it.

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  29. Shoot–I didn’t know Kelli Nicole was out of Houston! The FI and I may end up there next summer…looks like we found our photographer if we do!

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    Jenna Reply:

    I can’t recommend her enough! I swear she gets better by the day.

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  30. PS–Absolutely gorgeous album!

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  31. Wow. Thats such a gorgeous, well made album. And of course the beautiful pictures inside make it so fantastic. Definitely looks like it was a great investment.

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  32. Wow, it turned out beautifully! I am currently researching album options for albums and these are goooooorgeous.

    Can I ask, what program did you do the design in? I am thinking of doing an InDesign course for doing my client’s stuff.

    Again, I am struck by Kelli’s ) photography. It is just so gorgeous! I just hope one day I have clients who want to do things like venture into the forest with vintage suitcases. You day was one of my favourite WBee weddings ever, as well, so it was lovely to see the album edits!

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  33. Your album looks amazing. I have been married for a year and two months now, and still have not received word about my album from my photographer. I have asked several times when I can expect it, but haven’t gotten an answer. Is this a normal time frame? When should I start worrying that she forgot about me?

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    Jenna Reply:

    Is there anything in your contract that talks about timeframes? My contract states that clients need to do something about choosing their photos by no later than 18 months after the wedding, and after that time there is no guarantee I will be storing the photos for them and their album credit becomes studio credit.

    Are all of your photos picked out? Have you approved any drafts?

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    Kathleen Reply:

    Hmmm…I don’t remember that being in the contract, and I don’t think I still have a copy of it. I told my photographer that she could choose all the photos and design it because I trust her taste. The only thing I’ve heard from her about it is a reply she sent to me via email when I asked her about additional costs, and she said her assistant would crunch the numbers and get back to me, which she never did.

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    Hannah Reply:

    That’s very unprofessional of your photographer! Have you contacted consumer affairs or anything to get the ball rolling?

    Gosh, if any of my clients (even the ones I have done free portfolio building stuff for) had to wait that long they’d be up in arms!

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  34. WOW. That. is. STUNNING!! I’m so envious :)

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  35. That is really neat! I don’t think my photog uses KISS, but her albums look really nice as well. I am interested in doing an old school book with archival prints, photo corners, etc. Does anyone happen to know of a place that sells nice books like this?

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  36. We pre-paid for our album with our package and it definitely cost more than my ring, too! What can I say, jewelry’s not my first priority. ;)

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      I'm a farm-raised almost-crunchy stroller-pushing picture-taking lifestyle-blog-writing gastronomy-obsessed divine-seeking thrift-store-combing cheese-inhaling pavement-pounding laughter-sprinkling lover of individuality and taking chances.
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