Two Awesome Insider Secrets about Shutterfly


Surprise, you actually can afford quality wedding albums and invitations

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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If you read APW, then chances are you’re already familiar with Shutterfly and the bevvy of ways they make it easy to get your photos off of your hard drive and into real life. But what you might not have known is all the other things they can do for your wedding, from invitations to gifts to photo books and everything in between. This month I had the opportunity try them out, and what I discovered is that Shutterfly has two of the best-kept secrets in the wedding space right now.

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risk-free Wedding Invitations (the easy way)

Shutterfly has over 140 customizable wedding stationery suites (some that you can use with photos, but lots that you don’t have to). The styles range from classic to modern to whimsical and everything in between, and they all come with matching RSVP and enclosure designs for things like reception details and directions. But let’s be real—lots of options doesn’t always translate to making things easier. And that’s where Shutterfly excels.

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Shutterfly makes the wedding invitation process virtually risk free, because you can see your actual invitation in real life before you ever place an order. Just use the code 5WEDINVITES and they’ll send five free invitation samples straight to your door. And I don’t mean generic invitation samples with someone else’s name on them. I mean you can customize each invitation to your heart’s content, and they’ll send you that exact invite and all you have to cover is the cost of shipping—change everything from the font type and color to the back of the invitation. Some designs even let you choose a totally custom color palette for the invite itself. Of course, all of this is still available at the affordable prices you’ve come to expect from Shutterfly (125 invitations will set you back less than $250). And if you’re feeling particularly #lazygirl, they’ll even mail your finished invitations directly to your recipients for an additional $0.99 domestic or $1.49 international per card.

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premium photo books that are actually premium

When it comes to preserving wedding memories in book form—I always thought of Shutterfly as the affordable alternative to traditional wedding photo albums, not necessarily the quality one. And if that was ever true, it’s not anymore. Michael and I had been procrastinating on making our wedding album for years, so we decided to try out Shutterfly’s premium photo books for ourselves, and what I got in the mail was exactly what I always thought was too expensive or too time consuming for me to have. And spoiler alert: it cost less than $300 and took just a few stolen hours of Grey’s Anatomy reruns to make from start to finish. (And between you and me, Shutterfly is almost always running a promotion. Just last week I saw one for 40% off my whole order.) Here’s what I learned in the process:

woman looking at Shutterfly album in velvet chair

They mean it when they say premium: The biggest difference with Shutterfly is the introduction of their premium photo books. Unlike what I usually expect from online photo books, Shutterfly’s wedding photo books are made of substantial double thick paper, with super accurate color reproduction (I was a photographer for years, y’all. I’m picky about colors). Basically it feels like a wedding album. But the best part is the addition of layflat pages. I hate when you lose part of your photo in the crease of a photo book. With Shutterfly’s layflat pages, you get the whole image, and nothing gets cut off.

shutterfly wedding album on carpet

their software is idiot-proof: When I got started making my Shutterfly album, I was prepared to lose a lot of time to the design process. But luckily, it turns out their software is basically idiot-proof. It’s all drag and drop, so you can change your mind and change it back again without having to redo your work. (In fact, I had enough time left over when I was finished with our album that I decided to try my hand at making a guestbook mockup just for fun.) And since Shutterfly offers pre-designed templates that are actually really modern and stylish, I had a nice starting point for both designs (they feature mix and match design elements that all work together interchangeably, so you’re not stuck in a paradox of choice.) Really the most time consuming aspect is trying to figure out which photos are actually your favorites.

shutterfly guest book on book shelf

YOU CAN GO WAY #LAZYGIRL: If you’re not feeling up to the task of designing your own album (and I mean, seven years later, I feel you), Shutterfly has a brand new “Make My Book” option where they will just…do the design for you. Here’s how it works:

  • It’s totally free to get started. Shutterfly can either work with a selection of photos you upload to your account, or help curate the best photos from an entire album.
  • In three business days, Shutterfly will upload your custom designed photo book to your account and email you to let you know it’s ready.
  • You can order your book as-is, or add your own finishing touch to the design. Once you choose to order your book, a $9.99 design fee will be added to your final order. But you only pay if you actually order the book.

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There are a lot of companies that promise to be one-stop shopping for your wedding. And usually that means you’re trading quality for convenience. But with Shutterfly, you actually get both. So whether you’re just starting out wedding planning or are, cough, seven years into your marriage, they’ve got you covered.

Get five free CUSTOMIZED WEDDING INVITATION SAMPLES from Shutterfly when you use the code 5WEDINVITES at checkout. CLICK HERE TO BROWSE THEIR FULL WEDDING SELECTION FROM INVITATIONS TO PHOTO GUEST BOOKS TO PREMIUM PHOTO BOOKS AND MORE. 

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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  • I cannot sing the praises of Shutterfly enough, I love everything I’ve ordered from them. We got one of our favorite wedding photos printed in 16×20 size, and it looks beautiful in our living room. I also made wedding photo books for our mothers, which they both loved! Great service and really cute items, who can beat that?

    • Melissagheintz3

      “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

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  • Eenie

    We printed 50 free 4×6 photos from our engagement shoot, free sheet of address labels, and magnet of our favorite photo from the bunch. This was in addition to our 50 awesome looking thank you cards. Great prompt service. Looking forward to trying some of their nicer photo albums! Now I’m tempted to just have them organize a picture guest book for us…

  • Eh

    I have ordered tons of stuff from Shutterfly. I live in Canada so sometimes things get “lost” and they always resend it to me without a hassle (also, I have only had to pay duty on one package, but that is a risk). We ordered our invitations, RSVP cards and thank you cards from Wedding Paper Divas (which is part of Shutterfly) and it was a smooth process (the hardest part was actually to have my in-laws confirm how they wanted their name to appear because neither of them go by their legal name). We ordered our parents albums from Shutterfly and an album of all the photo booth pictures from our reception. The books turned out awesome. I have also ordered a ton of large prints from them (including two from our wedding which are in our living room) and they always look great too. I love how they always have sales (so if you are not in a rush you can get things at a really good price). I am also using a sharesite through Shutterfly to share pictures of my daughter with my family and friends (we also ordered her birth announcements from Shutterfly).

    I recently used another website to create a photo calendar because I won it. The other website was horrible and the whole time I was thinking I should just make the calendar on Shutterfly and pay the extra money (note: I didn’t even need the calendar, I was getting it just because I won it). When I got the calendar the quality did not match what I was used to getting from Shutterfly. So the only thing going for the calendar was that it was free.

  • Shawna

    I used their make-it-for-you book function to make an album of our engagement photos. Super easy and so gorgeous. Plus it was so affordable (about $30 with coupons) we made slightly abridged copies for his mom and my grandmother. They treasure the books and love taking them around to show friends!

    I recently discovered their guestbook designs and am so excited to make one!