Planning a wedding can take months of hard work, only to pass, often too quickly, on the day itself. Luckily, the photos and videos are here to stay.
Once the wedding day passes, the time finally comes to share the fabulous time you had with your guests (and stick it to those who didn’t show). But printing out the wedding photos like your parents did is antiquated, not to say environmentally unfriendly and a nightmare to share.
So, how do you share your wedding memories these days? There are four major ways to do so, each with its own pros and cons. We broke it down so you can choose the option best suited for you.
Your own website
Let’s start off with what is likely the best and most comprehensive option to share your wedding gallery – creating your own wedding website. With a dedicated website, you own it! That means you’re not tied down to a specific plan or platform and you decide the rules. If you want to allow guest sharing or hi-res downloads, you’re free to do so, or not.
When it comes to design, this is possibly the best option. You can design the site however you like. The only real limitation is your own creativity. Customizing your site to your liking is a great way to extend the wedding experience, with a gallery that fits in perfectly with the theme and décor of the wedding itself.
Pricewise, Wix offers beautiful wedding website templates with free hosting. But you can also purchase a premium plan, starting at $8.50 a month. You can also slap your own custom URL on your website for the price of a domain address, which is only a few dollars a month.
Social media is the obvious choice. Most of your friends and family already spend a decent amount of time there. Some platforms, like Twitter or Snapchat, aren’t very photo gallery friendly, so we’ll stick with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr.
These outlets can be great for casual sharing. People can comment for everyone to see and you can let others add their pictures and videos as well, if you wish. It’s also worth noting that sharing on social media is free, which is a big plus.
The problem with most social media platforms as an outlet for wedding photos, especially on FB or IG, is that things tend to fly by quickly. Your pictures may get a whole lot of engagement the first few days, but they will eventually be buried under all the new content and people may miss them.
Additionally, sharing your one of a kind memories on a day to day social media platform can be a little drab and uninspired. If you prefer something a little more special, rather than your lovely wedding pictures lumped between memes and sponsored ads, you may want to look elsewhere.
Pinterest and Flickr may avoid some of these problems. But these platforms aren’t frequented by most of the public. Chances are, people will go there especially for your photos, through the link you provide them. If that’s the case, why not opt for a more special option?
Wedding photo sharing apps
There are plenty of photo sharing apps available. Some of which are tailored specifically to sharing wedding pictures and videos and they do it quite well.
These apps let you create an appropriately beautiful photo gallery for your special day. The interface is festive and “weddingy”, suited for the occasion. There is a huge variety to choose from, but we focused on two: The Guest and Wedding Photo Swap. Both of these platforms come in the form of an app, but the photo galleries themselves are available through a browser as well.
What makes photo sharing apps stand out, is their focus on letting guests share their photos as well. Everyone is a photographer these days, so why not capitalize on it and get dozens of different points of view.
The Guest even goes as far as auto-uploading the photos your guests take. Though they do need to download the app to do so. Photo Wedding Swap requires you and your guests to manually upload, which may be a bit more of a hassle, but also may result in a better-looking gallery.
The downside of guest sharing is that you may not want a whole lot of under-professional photos cluttering your meticulously crafted gallery, shot by a hired professional.
Pricing is also an issue. While Wedding Photo Swap offer a free package, which lasts 30 days with limited photo storage, most apps do cost money. Especially if you want full functionality, including unlimited time, storage and extras like allowing hi-res downloads. Paid plans start at around $25, which is not a whole lot, considering the average wedding budget.
File sharing platforms
If you’re looking for a no-frills, barebones photo sharing experience, this may be the option for you. File sharing platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive let you easily share photos with whoever you want, but do not provide a designed gallery interface. This method is better for transferring photos and videos, rather than displaying them.
While Google Drive offers 15GB of storage for free, which is more than enough for a single wedding, Dropbox’s free plan only allows 2GB. Upgrading Dropbox to 2TB, which is, for all intents and purposes unlimited, will set you back $10 a month.
There are many options when it comes to sharing your wedding memories. It’s up to you to decide which platform works best for you and your circle of friends and family. The options range from simple to use but full of limitations or hidden costs, to extremely versatile and customizable.
For most newlyweds, although the memories last forever, your wedding gallery is the only tangible remnant from the happiest day of your lives. You probably want to display and share it proudly, as beautifully as possible. If this is the case, creating your own website is undoubtedly the best way to go.