5 Gorgeous Options for Printing Wedding Photos


Who doesn't want poster sized happy memories?

printing wedding photos ideas

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in Portland with her husband, their six year old metalhead son, and a crew of adopted animals. Her writing has been published in The Good Mother Myth, xoJane, and TIME.  Current goals include successfully moving to Chattanooga (this August!) and becoming a professional kitten cuddler.

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  • kcaudad

    I have used, and had pretty good success, with http://www.canvasdiscount.com/ for blowing up pictures for canvas wall art. I’ve used it for wedding photos and landscapes from vacations. The quality is not quite as good as shutterfly for pictures of people or close-ups, but the price is cheaper than shutterfly, even with a coupon! The best ones that we have are large landscapes, artsy pictures taken outside, and images with smaller people in the pictures. good luck!

  • Sara

    If you are interested in canvas prints, Groupon and Living Social have deals constantly. I literally buy one 16×20 vacation photo a year for less than $30. I’ve never had an issue with their canvas print vendors

  • Sarah

    One word: Costco.

    • Meg Keene

      More words please. What does Costco do for big pictures? I’m looking to make some big prints, which is why we did this roundup, so I, at least would like info.

      • Sarah

        they do canvases, photo posters, albums, novelty items like mousepads and blankets, all kinds of stuff at reasonable prices. You can sign up on the costcophotocenter.com website (you don’t need a costco membership to sign up, as far as I can tell) and then look at the products from there

        • Oh oh! Good info to have! I default assumed you needed a membership.

          • ML

            You can look on the website for the offerings without a membership, but need a membership number to process your order and to get in the door if you plan to pick it up (as opposed to delivered).

        • Meg Keene

          Has anyone used it? Know what the quality is like??

          • Sarah

            We used Costco for our wedding canvases (16×20) and they were excellent. I was a little worried about how the resolution would turn out because I read that they had to be reallllllllly high resolution, but they looked great. We also used Costco for a photo project for our wedding reception (also 16×20 I believe) and were pleased with the results. We used Costco for printing all our photos for an album (4×6, 5×7 and 8×10) and they were all good. The only thing is sometimes they crop a bit of the top off so you have to pay attention after you upload them. My sister got us a blanket with a photo of us on it and it was hilarious and also turned out great.

          • Jane

            Canvas prints are actually much more forgiving on the resolution front than a regular photo, because the texture of the canvas can hide some of the jaggedy/pixelation that comes with printing beyond the size you “should” (i.e. I wouldn’t print a photo at less than 200 dpi (dots per inch), meaning 800 x. 1200 pixels for a 4×6 print, but for canvas I’ve gone as low as 100 dpi and still gotten good results.)

          • Sarah

            also: I swear I don’t work for Costco or have any vested interest in the company, but my husband and I basically use Costco for everything (glasses/contacts, tires, home fixtures like water heater and blinds installation, you name it). We really wish they had a wedding registry and we joked that we could have had Costco do our wedding. They have wedding dresses. They have cakes and flowers. They have big trays of food. They have really nice diamonds and jewelry. They have cheap booze in large quantities. You could even book your honeymoon through Costco. I think that’d make a great APW piece actually – how to use Costco for your wedding.

          • Another fan

            That would be an awesome post! Costco is also our answer to everything. My husband worked there all through college. It’s even how I get my steps in after work when the weather is bad haha. Just walk all the aisles!

          • Ames

            I have used them for what I believe is called “block mounting”. You provide them with the print/poster/paper thing and they mount it on a hard piece of board with a bevelled edge (about 1/2-3/4″ thick) of your colour choice. Mine was about 11 x 16 but I think they go larger. It was pretty inexpensive and it works well for something that you want to look really “clean” (I didn’t want to fuss around with a frame for that particular item). I’ve been considering doing another one and then painting the edge with gold leaf rather than a plain colour.

          • StevenPortland

            I’ve used Costco several times for canvas prints and enlargements. I’ve never been disappointed (especially for the cost). The only downside is fighting those Costco crowds to pick up the prints.

    • Sarah

      Places like Costco and sams club are alright price wise, but coming from a photographer, with experience working with printing companies like CPQ professional printing, when you buy from a store that isn’t directly invested in your images, they don’t turn out exactly how the photographer has edited them. The color and detailed differences are pretty dramatic.

  • Kara

    I used Canvasondemand.com for our poster-sized (24in x 36in) canvas of a wedding photo. I love it! They’re always running 30-50% off sales (just google “Canvas On Demand coupon”).

    Shipping was great–easy too!

  • scw

    one of my bridesmaids had engineer prints made for our bridal shower (it was hawaii themed and she got old vintage beach photos printed huge and hung them up in the dining room). they looked so impressive and she said they were really cheap!

  • HannahESmith

    Oooh! Those engineer prints look so cool. I will keep that one tucked away for the future.

    • Matthew Nardozza

      Please note! (this is posted above, but I’d like to let you know) Staples (and other companies) DO offer engineering prints and they are NOT meant to be photographs. The black and white engineering printers are very delicate, and printing heavy lines, and dark shapes will cause them to clog and not preform for our valuable engineering customers (architects, builders, designers etc.) If you want to go wide format, go with the higher quality banner or photo papers, which will last longer, and look better (you can still get them printed in black and white). A final note, just because you saw it in an article doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to happen. Often customers become very irritated and angry with employees who are trained and informed properly on how to maintain the equipment, so do everyone a favor. Don’t ask for an engineering print on paper or a machine that it’s not designed for.

  • Eh

    I would like to second that wedding pictures that you print/enlarge do not have to be of your faces. I love our wedding pictures and when we bought out house there were a few places we wanted to put some large meaningful prints (especially in our living room – which is open to most of our house and where we spend lots of time). I do not want to stare at my face all day, every day. It just happened that some of our favourite pictures where more artsy pictures that did not show our faces front on. One actually is a picture of us sitting on a bench behind our venue, an old train station, and goes from the tracks in the fore ground to the top of the building to the massive storm clouds behind the building with the sun breaking through. We are very tiny in the picture but it is an awesome picture which perfectly captures the emotions and feeling of that day (and enlarging it was the only way to do it justice). Two other pictures are us in profile – one during our vows looking from behind us towards the audience and the other my husband kissing me but he looks like a boy stealing a kiss (he’s leaning in with his hands behind his back). We do have pictures of us looking at the camera but they are usually smaller or in places that I don’t have to see all the time.

  • Christina A.

    CanvasPop has been a good resource for us — we printed a huge canvas with 3.14.15 in the middle and signed all over it as our guestbook. Bonus: they sent us a $30 gift card after that first order! Since we just got photographer pictures back, the next plan is to try them for a photo canvas.

  • TeaforTwo

    We used Printstagram to make a giant poster of 54 of our favourite photos from our wedding.

    It’s not timeless, but for now (we’ve been married 16 months) I love having so many photos of all the people we love, and it’s been a great conversation piece at parties. It was $25 plus a frame. I love it.

  • KH_Tas

    I’ve had some success with Photobox (possibly Aus/UK only?), and they’re in much the same price range as Shutterfly, especially with specials. Their canvas lite might be a bit lower quality than desirable (that said, I’ve completely forgotten which canvas type I went for). It was not perfect but pretty good and I have no complaints about the large-sized standard prints.

  • Sven

    Amazing post! Me my self i have bought canvas from http://www.photobox.com and as i live in Scandinavia the blogg http://www.printsson.se provides alot of good inspiration. Your post is really good as we in our family love large prints! Its all about quality.

  • Eric Von Lehmden

    I know you gave shutterfly some love for their canvas prints. I am a fan of Canvas Press and their custom canvas prints – they offer custom sizes up to 54″x96″…talk about a statement piece. http://www.canvaspress.com – Keep up the great posts!

  • Matthew Nardozza

    Please note! Staples (and other companies) DO offer engineering prints and they are NOT meant to be photographs. The black and white engineering printers are very delicate, and printing heavy lines, and dark shapes will cause them to clog and not preform for our valuable engineering customers (architects, builders, designers etc.) If you want to go wide format, go with the higher quality banner or photo papers, which will last longer, and look better (you can still get them printed in black and white). A final note, just because you saw it in an article doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to happen. Often customers become very irritated and angry with employees who are trained and informed properly on how to maintain the equipment, so do everyone a favor. Don’t ask for an engineering print on paper or a machine that it’s not designed for.