The best ways to display your wedding imagesArticle by Stephanie Canada
I have a confession to make: I have exactly one photograph from my wedding hanging in my home. I know. The year was 2004 and digital was just beginning when my husband and I got married. We were two starving students who decided that we just needed someone to snap some photos, and definitely did not pay top dollar for our photographer (lesson learned). About two years after we married, our photographer closed up shop and we never purchased the film negatives. We lost our ability to reprint our wedding photos, and it’s one of our biggest regrets about our wedding to this day… I would really have loved to incorporate our wedding photos somehow in our own home but unfortunately that is no longer possible. Instead, our one and only wedding photo lives in our bedroom on the wall and is nearly faded from the sun.
Getting a USB of your wedding images is important – it’s an instant backup! But once you receive it, what on earth do you DO with your photos? Of course, online sharing is important in this digital world of ours, but don’t overlook the power of a printed photograph when it comes to the walls of your home. What better way to celebrate the beginning of your new family unit than with a portrait of your wedding?
Studies have shown that people, especially children, experience an increased sense of belonging and connection in a home where printed photographs are displayed on a wall**. Printed photos also help to improve self-esteem, security, and enjoyment of life as well. When you consider that so much of our lives are stored online, it makes it hard to find a family portrait when you want one. The more someone has to dig for a family portrait to enjoy, the less likely they are to look for one when they need it.
So, in this day of everything being online, I do something a little different – I help my clients by printing their favourite photo for them with every wedding package. It’s ready to hang, it’s one they love, and then they automatically have something wonderful to remember their wedding day by. But what if you have a lot of photos you love? What should you do with them? I have three basic categories for this: Wall galleries, canvas collages and albums.
These are a great way to showcase many different photos on a large stretch of wall. Think over your couch, in your stairwell, or above your bed. It can be a collection of photos from your wedding day, or it can be a mixed collection of photos & media from various memories of your life. Either way, wall galleries are designed to draw the viewer in, and also to be enjoyed for many years. Here’s a few ways you can design wall galleries:
I walk through detailed steps on designing and hanging a wall gallery over on my blog , but there are two main things to keep in mind when designing a wall gallery. One, pick your photos ahead of time carefully and print them from a reputable printer. You also might want to sketch a diagram of what you want to accomplish on graph paper before committing to your plan. Two, before you put a single nail or screw into your wall, always measure out your gallery ahead of time on paper on the floor. The best way is to tape newspaper or kraft paper together until you have paper the size of the gallery you’re trying to install. Measure and draw around each frame/canvas/item and mark where the nails go in. Tape the giant paper to the wall and level it, then tap your nails in straight through the paper into the wall. Remove the giant paper, and hang your art. Voila!
New this year, canvas collages are something I offer my clients that are custom designed and allow you to use multiple images on one single canvas. These canvas collages (also called patchwork quilt canvases) are a great idea for smaller spaces, or if you don’t want the hassle of hanging wall galleries. If you’re handy with photoshop, you can create one of these and then print through a reputable printer. If looking at the patchwork quilt style makes you a little nervous, ask your photographer if this is something they could design for you for an extra charge.
Albums are probably my top seller, probably because of the portability of them. They are great for keeping a collection of photos in one place, and you can take them with you various places to show them off! They make great coffee table decor as well, and are often a source of conversation when people see them.
There are many online album designers out there, but not all album companies are created equal. Something like a wedding album requires quality that will last and stand the test of time. Don’t be afraid to spend a little extra money on this, as this is something that should be able to be shown years and years from now to your family and friends. Purchasing a custom designed album through your photographer is always a great option too, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of it for you!
My favourite way to design albums are to tell the story of your wedding day. I usually begin with the bride getting ready, then the groom, the first look (if there is one), the ceremony, the bridal party photos, the couples portraits, and then reception coverage if there’s space. Obviously you can tailor your layout to include family photos or candids or any other photos that you have and love and want to include. I suggest starting by picking all of your favourite photos from your USB, and then work to tell your story from there.
Photos cement memories. They create connection, a sense of belonging, and bring enjoyment to our lives for many years. They are a moment of time we can’t get back, and something that should be celebrated in our homes. Do something with your photos! You won’t regret having something on your wall to smile at every day, I promise!
** Sources from quotes above: