Wedding albums 101 - Know what "custom" means

Beware of vendors that promote "CUSTOMIZED" wedding albums. If you look at any of these companies (they're all similar), "customization" doesn't mean freedom. It doesn't mean empowerment. The options you're given are so minor that they seem to me to be almost meaningless. As a professional book designer and binder, I know how many choices go into making a special book. Fine books are packed with details, and these guys totally miss the mark. Instead, their idea of "customization" translates to me as "limited choices."

With them, you are usually limited to:

  • one color,
  • one type of basic covering material (typically thick cloth or cheap leather), and
  • a few simple design elements (some of which are great, like the option for stamped titles, dates; or being able to upload your own photos to the cover; and some of which are kind of bizzare, like three-fold covers)

But these vendors don't respect that there are so many more steps to making a good album, the first of which would be to have an actual design process.  From there, we would talk about the paper stock. Then binding types and how the album should be sewn, and then covering materials -- touching on all the many decorative elements that come along with each step. 

Wedding albums, by the way, tend to be the most expensive book people will ever buy in their lifetimes.  "Customized" wedding albums can cost well over $1000 but in the end, what are you getting? But you end up with a mass-produced, machine-made product that lacks style and taste, and isn't going to last longer than a few years before it wears and literally falls apart. So when you hear "customized" from the typical vendors - beware. Yes, you can have it your way, like Burger King, but in the end, don't be surprised when you end up with just another Whopper. 

If a cookie-cutter album isn't leaving you satisfied, and you may want something more, please get to know us. Do you want an album you can keep in great condition forever, and pass it down for generations? Something that shows your taste, your style? What can you envision? Most folks haven't felt high-quality vegetable tanned calf skin on a book. Do you want to find out? Did you know leathers can be dyed nearly any color - do you have wedding colors? Have you seen the shine of gold leaf gilded onto leather? Do you want to see examples of amazing contemporary book design? The mass-market vendors can't provide true customization like this. But Swanyee Weddings can.