Create Your Own Engagement Guestbook

photo book

One of the latest trends is a guestbook filled with your engagement pictures. I love this idea because it displays your fun and creative side while sharing your engagement photos with your guests. Your guests will appreciate this since most of them will never get a chance to see these pictures. Also, it gives them a chance to write a personal message to the couple, rather than simply signing their name on the line like in traditional guestbooks. You’ll end up with an inexpensive keepsake you’ll cherish forever.

Most online digital photo printing companies now offer photo books. These photo books come in different bindings, soft and hard covers, and different materials. They come with several templates and styles to fit your occasion. I like this personalized cover photo book at PhotoWorks.com. There’s also a similar photo book at SmugMug.com. It’s as easy as uploading your photos and choosing a template and dragging and dropping the images into the preferred position. After you finalize and approve the album you’ve created, the printing company will then print your work of art. And that’s it! You now have a beautiful, personalized, guestbook for you and your guests to enjoy.



Tips for Hiring an Affordable Photographer

We all know it’s important to find a qualified photographer to document the most important day of your life. Well seasoned wedding photographers come at a hefty premium and the affordable ones are lacking in experience. It’s all about finding the right balance…someone with enough experience at the right price.

I had contacted no less than 50 photographers before finding ours. It really was no easy task. During my quest for the perfect photographer, I realized that most of them were willing to work around your budget. I must say that was a nice surprise! They’ll do whatever they can to get your business. Just be honest with them from the beginning. Tell them how much you’ve budgeted for a photographer.

I’ve found that you can easily bring down the price if you take out prints and albums from the packages. Just ask for the digital negatives and print them yourselves. I like to get professional prints at SmugMug.com. The prints look amazing! You can even make your own wedding albums just like you would an engagement guestbook. Check out my post on creating an engagement guestbook.

If you want to save even more money, ask for unedited images. Although very few photographers will give you digital negatives straight out of the camera. Most of them want to put their own touch to the images. However, you will find some photographers who are willing. The pictures may look less polished but it might be worth the savings. If you find that there are a few pictures that could use some professional editing, FotoFix.com will do it for about $0.99 per image for basic editing.

Another solution is to ask for fewer hours. If the package includes an 8 hour session, ask them how much for 6 hours. It might not make a huge difference but a little bit of savings here and there will soon add up.

We were lucky enough to find a team of photographers who are just starting out professionally but truly has talent. Their prices were low to begin with and they were still able to drop their price by providing us with unedited images without any prints or albums…just the digital negatives and their expertise in documenting our special day.