Unless your photographer is creating a wedding photo album for you, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ll start to feel overwhelmed figuring out what to do with your wedding photos. There are so many options out there today—from low budget to high budget—that it can get more than a little confusing. Going through the different types of page spreads, paper types, binding methods and even cover materials can begin to feel like you need a degree in publishing to figure out the best way to print a wedding album.
Thankfully, we’re often in a position to review all these choices and report back to you on the best ones. (You can read our review of the best online photo albums here). One that consistently tops our list is MILK Books, and with over 3,500 5-star reviews, it’s a favorite of couples as well.
So, what makes MILK wedding albums (which stands for Moments of Inspiration, Love and Kinship) different from the other top-rated photo album creators? And why should you consider them for your own wedding photos? Read our breakdown, below, and if it sounds like what you’re looking for, use our exclusive discount to get up to 40% off your choice of photo albums.
The MILK Books Difference
Before we dive in, it helps to understand the types of photo books and albums you’ll find online. But first, what’s the difference between them?
Photo Books vs. Photo Albums
Photo books are generally your more “casual” option, so to speak, with thinner, flexible pages that lie near flat (more like a book). Albums, on the other hand, usually have thicker pages with a true layflat option. MILK offers both options, along with a new wedding magazine format (more on that below) and even a Moleskine-style photo book.
If you’re looking for an heirloom-worthy product, MILK’s Premium Wedding Photo Album (starting at $319) is the way to go. The best-seller offers up to 64 pages and is crafted with weighty, thick board pages which are flush mounted to lay completely flat. Cover options include MILK’s signature natural linen and buckram, or you can go ultra-luxurious with their Milano leather range. (There is a vegan-friendly leather alternative for their premium photo books as well). All can be paired with one of their gorgeous presentation boxes, which are lined with textured Italian paper and finished with a wide silk lift-out ribbon.
The MILK Premium Photo Book (starting at $119) is another great option, and offers up to 200 paper pages that open to lay near flat, with superior section sewn binding for lasting strength. For the hardcover, you can choose between premium natural, colored or coated linens.
You could also consider the new MILK Wedding Magazine. Featuring elegant typeface, matte-finished paper and designer image layouts, it’s styled like a high-end fashion magazine and makes the perfect gift to bundle for your wedding party. Or, you could create multiple ones for a series of events like your bridal shower, bachelorette party, and
Binding Made to Last:
Who ever thought you’d have to learn so much about binding if you didn’t work in the book business? Well, if you want to make sure you’re getting a great quality book or album for your money, you’ll want to take this crash course.
What is Binding?
Binding—the process of securing loose pages together inside a cover—has a rich history with various techniques, many of which go back hundreds of years. A lot of the photo album creators you’ll find online don’t go into detail about how their photo books are bound, but as many professional photographers will tell you, the details matter.
MILK Books—founded by a family with over half a century experience in bookmaking—is one of the few companies available to consumers that actually uses those traditional techniques to create their books and albums. For instance their premium photo books have a stitched spine, which is an age-old technique that ensures your pages stay in place. Their premium albums are handcrafted with layflat binding, meaning no part of your image will be lost in the gutter (the inner space where two pages meet).
Advanced Printing Techniques and Paper Quality
It used to be that consumer printing companies (those that sell to the general public vs. photographers only) really couldn’t compete with the ones exclusively used by professionals. But that has changed drastically over the years, thanks in large part to companies like MILK Books.
All of MILK’s photo books and albums are printed onto premium, acid-free archival papers with HP Indigo Printing Presses, using either 4 or 6-color printing based on your preferred album type. On top of that their papers are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which means they won’t decompose or discolor with age.
When it comes to paper I’m a bit of a snob, and you should be, too, especially when it comes to the pages in your wedding album! You want your wedding album pages to not only look great but FEEL great, and that comes down to the weight and finish of the paper you use.
MILK Books offers an array of different paper types in their books, albums, and their new MILK Wedding Magazine. Their albums have paper options ranging from 216-260 gsm for semi-gloss, eggshell, and photo lustre. Their books range from 138-190 gsm, with paper available in semi-gloss, satin, matte ivory and white (for their magazine).
OK, I’ve Decided Which Book or Album I Want. Now What?
Once you choose the type of photo product you want, the design process starts using their intuitive MILK Design Studio.
While some online tools are more frustrating than others, I have to say this is really one of the better ones I’ve used. You can design MILK wedding albums and books via their website on both desktop and mobile, and upload your photos into the MILK Design Studio via your computer, Facebook, Google Photos, Google Drive and Dropbox. I did a test run with our own wedding photos, and they uploaded super quickly despite my sometimes slow computer.
Expert Layouts That Look and Feel Modern
I also loved how you can easily change the layout of the pages and even the type of book you selected (if, say, halfway through you decide to go with an album instead of a photo book).
I was able to choose between Drag-and-Drop mode, where you can autofill your photos or drag and drop them into empty template placeholders, or Page Divider Mode (my preference) that allows you to divide your photos into spreads. On top of that the designs and image templates were modern and beautiful, which made it fun to work with.
Overall, the process was really straightforward and headache-free, with my only real complaint stemming from not being able to automatically go back to where I was chronologically within my photos once I added one to a spread. It wasn’t a big deal since I could just use the scroll bar to find my place, but like all photo album creators the more edited your photo choices can be BEFORE you start, the better!
Once your album goes into production (which ranges from 7 days for small and medium photo books and magazines, to 21 days for larger photo books and albums), you also get a free Online Flip Book. What’s really fun about this is that it allows you to easily share a link via email or social media to your photo album gallery, giving a great preview to friends and family.
Our MILK Books Takeaway
It’s not an easy choice when deciding which photo album service to go with, but MILK Books is hands-down one of the best. Here are just a few of the reasons why we always recommend them:
- MILK photo books are put together by hand using time-honored bookmaking techniques and binding methods.
- Their albums and books feature the highest quality archival papers, leathers, fabrics and inks to make sure your wedding album can be handed down to your grandkids and their grandkids!
- Easy-to-use Design Studio is intuitive and lets you have fun creating your own elegant, timeless layouts modeled after award-winning photographic books.
- Free unlimited cloud storage so you can go back and create more albums or prints without having to reupload all your photos.
- Free online photo flipbook to share with family and friends.
- MILK Satisfaction guarantee. You can contact them within 14 days of receiving your order if something isn’t right and they will work with you to make sure it’s corrected!
Plus! Don’t forget to use our exclusive discount to get up to 40% off your album!
All products featured on Woman Getting Married are independently selected by our editors. However, we may earn affiliate revenue on this article and commission when you buy something. Learn more.