As a photographer, I love prints. As the spouse of someone who really loathes having tons of photos of us on the walls we live in, I get why not everyone agrees. But the nice thing about printing wedding photos is that they both remind you of a really awesome day and there are usually so damn many of them that you have your pick of the litter for how you want to express that. Bonus: none of them have to include a giant image of your face on the wall. (Artsy shot of you and your partner that doesn’t show your faces but still captures how the day felt? Great. Group shot with all your wedding guests that will remind you how loved you are? Fantastic. Funky cell phone picture of your shoes because it would make a kind of cool art piece? Wonderful.)
Here’s why prints are great: they’re permanent. At the end of the day, your cake is eaten. You’ll take off your ensembles and tuck them away. Your flowers will wilt, some of your decor might have been damaged, and you’ll have to break down that amazing cloud backdrop you made. You’ll walk away from your venue with three things: your marriage, your rings, and the knowledge that your photographer (or hell, your friends) are about to give you a whole bunch of photos that you’ll love.
After a few days, weeks, or months, you’ll get the wedding photos, and it’ll be so fun to go through them. You’ll see all the moments you missed; you’ll get to back through the moments you remember. And then… what? You’ll tuck your USB drive away somewhere? You’ll ooh and aah over your wedding album before shelving it? Some of you will order prints from your photographers, but if you’re not locked into an exclusive print agreement then you have a world of bigger, and possibly better, options.
Whatever you’re in the mood for, be it modern wood-mounted photos or gigantic black and white prints that take your breath away, there’s something for you. Whether it’s five months, years, or decades down the line, a huge print that reminds you of one of the most celebrated days in your life is pretty sweet.
Engineer Prints: $1.99–$25.00
You have a ton of options here: Parabo Press (more expensive, but also a little easier, with delivery by mail), Staples, and FedEx all offer this service. You can also find a local printing company and inquire about their rates, since engineering prints are typically super cheap! It’s important to remember that you’ll want to pick a photo that is high resolution—engineer prints don’t pick up a lot of tiny detail. (For more tips and tricks on prepping a photo for an engineer print check out this tutorial.) My favorite thing about these prints is that they’re inexpensive, so if you get tired of looking at one photo you can have a different one hanging in its spot pretty easily.
Plywerk prints (your photos on sustainably sourced maple and bamboo): $27–$495.00
Plywerk is by far the most expensive way to go, but the business is also the most Earth-friendly. Each item is handcrafted by a human, the quality is almost beyond your imagination, and your print is guaranteed for life. If you’re looking for a long-term photo investment, Plywerk is it.
Wood-mounted photoboards from PhotoBarn: $25–$49 before Mother’s Day
PhotoBarn will print your photos onto ¾-inch wooden boards at a fraction of their usual cost if you get the order in by Mother’s Day… which reminds me that a big print of your smiling face might be just what your mother wants. Sizes run from 11 x 11 to 20 x 20, and the photoboard arrives ready to hang.
Wood Block Photo Prints: $23
Who says walls get all the fun? If you’re not into investing in something massive, the Wood Block Photo Prints from Artifact Uprising might be more your style. Each block is handmade in Colorado using reclaimed pine, which means each piece will be a little different and tell its own story. You can store up to twelve prints in a block, and I’m imagining some pretty sweet desk and coffee table toppers as we speak.
Canvas prints from Shutterfly: from $70
Once upon a time you basically couldn’t book a wedding package without a canvas print being thrown in, but now? It seems like we don’t hear about them as much as we once did. That’s a shame, because there’s still something pretty cool about displaying your photos like you would artwork. Canvas prints can get pretty expensive pretty quickly, but Shutterfly has been a fantastic resource for canvas prints for years. The quality and rate they offer stacks up well against competitors.
To any of you have resources for making big prints? Any photos you want to share that you’re thinking of blowing up (on your wall)? How are you displaying your wedding photos in your home… or have you… not quite gotten to that yet?