A few days ago, I tied a ribbon around a box and tucked a handwritten card inside, and I drove across town to deliver our latest wedding album. We’re putting the finishing touches on another album right now.
The truth is that, compared to our parents’ generation, far fewer couples of our generation will have wedding albums preserving the day their marriage began. They may have more comprehensive photographic coverage of their weddings, more pictures of what happens behind the scenes, more images of beautiful details. But so, so many couples will only have these memories saved on their computers.
Well, wedding photographs shouldn’t stay on computers.
Most couples want digital images these days, and we’re big believers in that; we always give our couples the edited digital images from their weddings, because we know that’s important. Even more though, having wedding images in your hands is important. Technology changes, computer hard drives fail, and who hasn’t lost track of passwords and entire file folders on our computers? Also, it’s hard to imagine gathering grandchildren around the computer or view wedding images on the screen.
That leads me to the most important fact about wedding albums: We believe that an album is never just for the couple. An album is for children, to flip through with their parents and understand how their family began. An album is for grandchildren, to learn about their family’s legacy. An album is for great grandchildren, to learn just who the great-grandparents they never met really were.
That leads to my next point about albums: An album is lasting. A top quality handmade album will outlive the couple pictured inside it. A wedding album is a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the next. It’s a one-of-a-kind, beautiful and enduring record of a family’s beginning. Viewing digital images simply doesn’t have the same impact as looking at printed images in a heavy, luxurious album — something that can’t be changed or deleted. If your marriage isn’t something you’ll just delete, it seems fitting that your wedding images should have the same kind of permanence for future generations.
So if at all possible, consider having your photographer preserve your wedding images in an album. But if you still believe digital images are all you need from your wedding — as Danny and I did when we got married, although we feel so differently now! — please, at least print your wedding pictures. Put them in frames around your house. Enjoy them every day. Turn them into something tangible to share with future generations.