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Years ago when we got married, I found myself annoyed and frustrated by the length of time it took to get our professional wedding album. I also wished I could include more than just the typical bridal party, wedding guests shots. Besides the fact that there were a lot of non-traditional pictures we wanted to include, I also wanted to make our book more comprehensive, including all the wedding events, like the shower, honeymoon, etc.
I decided to make my own wedding album using Shutterfly and haven’t looked back. In fact, when we talk about our wedding or show people the pictures, we show them the one I made, not the fancy shmancy one that cost a fortune.
That summer a tradition was born. Every year since I create an album for our anniversary with pictures from our year.
Our anniversary is mid-July, so our album runs July through June. That way I can get it ready and have it delivered by our anniversary.
This year I went with a glossy hard cover with pictures on it and, I have to say, it’s my favorite cover ever.
This year we had the option of choosing multi-page layouts – which basically means layouts that spread over 2 pages – and I love the look. The only thing I wish I’d done differently is opt for the flat pages. There are some pages where the book seem is right in the middle of a person’s face, or other important feature.
There are also traditional layouts for each page. They can have text or images on them, or a mix of both. Shutterfly has an auto-layout feature, but I have only used it once. I prefer to choose my own layouts, backgrounds, and image placement.
One of my favorite features is the full-page layouts. I can choose the truly special pictures and give them their own page highlight. Shutterfly will also warn you if your image quality won’t work at the size you’ve chosen, which makes it pretty much idiot-proof.
You can give your feature pages special embellishments, like a traditional scrapbook, or not.
We’ve tried a lot of different styles over the year. Soft covered, fabric covered, image cutouts, glossy pictures (the paperback version from year 4 wasn’t my favorite)…
And of course, the wedding album!
Our anniversary album has become a tradition we all look forward to and I’ll definitely continue for as long as I can. I’m also making a book for Miss O’s first 5 years, an extended baby book, and after that I’ll make her one for her birthday each year.
One of my favorite things about this tradition is having all our memories available to look at whenever we want. Every year when the book arrives we all gather around to look at it, and we always end up dragging out all the other books to look at and laugh over. It’s not only a great souvenir of our year, it’s also a wonderful family activity we can sit and do together.