- High quality, layflat books
- Various covers
- Additional extras for further customization
- Countless layouts
- On-the-top customer support
- Expensive base pricing
- Shipping (prices, methods) not indicated
- Basic, insufficient editor
Engaged couples know that on the day of their wedding everything has to be 100% perfect, including the pictures. However, quite often the photo album you receive causes nothing but serious disappointment. That is why nowadays many people turn to image editing solution providers to create their ideal wedding albums. But what if we say there is a company that mostly focuses on newlyweds with high-quality photo albums? It’s called BrideBox, and it was founded in California in 2001. In the online editor you can easily upload your wedding photos from your computer or Dropbox account, and rearrange and adjust them the way you want by using the preset layouts or by choosing others. While creating your always layflat album, you can also choose from many covers including some with the finest leathers and spice up your album with top-quality paper and engravings. Once done, you can get your creations printed within 5–10 business days and shipped worldwide. With the devoted personnel behind BrideBox, it is guaranteed that your books will be created for eternity.
To use the computer browser-only editor you can either start creating a book as a guest or as a signed-in user. The latter is the better method, as BrideBox clients can save their projects for later use, so creating an account is a must. You don’t have to worry about manually saving your projects, because they are auto-saved; and you can always share your works via Facebook or email them to yourself or to a friend.
Best Photo Book Builders of 2018
The editor itself is not a big deal; in fact, it has nothing innovative to stand out with. After choosing the regular/thick paper, the cover available therefor, the size and the background – which can only be black or white – your book is created within seconds. Too bad you start off with a completely blank book, as there isn’t an auto-build feature. Furthermore, the software randomly chooses a layout for each page making you think you are stuck with what you see. However, if you go to Add/Delete Pages, you will find plenty of layout options to choose from alongside the option to remove/add/rearrange pages and change the themes.
Unfortunately you cannot add text boxes to the pages – the only ones you have appear on the front pages of photo cover books. Even though photos are color corrected later by BrideBox, adjusting them is very limited. You can only zoom in/out, rotate and mirror the picture, add two filters (sepia and black & white), and change the opacity. Pictures cannot be moved or positioned in a different angle and you can only grab them from your computer or from Dropbox. However, pictures are saved to the company’s servers, therefore you can fetch them any time for later projects.
If you need help within a project, you can turn on a very bland tutorial, go to the FAQ page of the online editor or send a message via the chat box to BrideBox personnel. Although it seems at first, the software has a no built-in spell-checker to warn you about grammatical errors (it is done by the browser); but what it has is a box that tells you whether your photo complies with the resolution limits necessary for high quality printing.
In BrideBox it is very “difficult” to choose between the available themes, because there are only 4 of them, the most popular themes being one with a black background and one with a white one. Jokes aside, the company provides high-quality wedding books where the background is the least important aspect. Furthermore, if you don’t like the preset layout of the book, just change it the way we suggested in the previous section. So instead of the themes, let’s focus on other aspects.
To make your book stand out from the rest, you can order it with a glossy or matte photo cover, faux leather, real leather or a metal cover. You also have the option to engrave texts on the inside of the front cover and the outside of the back cover in different colors and fonts – naturally for extra money. Another design option is changing the default Lustre pages to Pearl pages while the cherry on the top is choosing the color of your leather/metal cover.
BrideBox offers three types of books in four different sizes with layflat-only pages: Lake, Anza and Marina. The books are printed and bound within 5–7 days with the exception of Marina books which require at least 10 days.
Lake is a simple square shaped, glossy or matte hardcover photo book in 8×8, 10×10 and 12×12 sizes and it is only available with flexible pages.
Introducing the Lake Albums
Anza books replace the 8×8 size with that of 14×11 and can be ordered with or without a photo cover; in the latter case you have 9 different faux leather colors to choose from. You can also change the default photo finish from Lustre to Pearl and you can have engraving on or inside the covers.
The Anza Wedding Albums
The third option is Marina: you can choose from pure leather covers in 10 colors, printed leather covers in 3 colors and metal covers in 10 colors. Marina photo books can also be ordered with two different photo finishes and engraving on the inside of the covers.
The Marina Flush Mount Albums
As BrideBox produces top-notch flush mount albums for newlywed couples, don’t be surprised that it’s not in the same (pricing) category as other image printing companies.
The least expensive product is an 8×8 size book, which costs $99 with a photo cover and 20 layflat Lustre (default) pages. However, you can buy up to 80 additional pages for $2.49 per page. 10×10 and 12×12 size books cost $129 and $179 respectively, while additional pages thereto are $3.49 and $4.99 respectively.
Anza books with 20–80 pages start from $199 (10×10 size), while Marina albums are at least $299, which increases with at least $50 if you choose the metal or printed leather cover option. The minimum amount you have to pay for additional pages is $6.49 per page, which can go up to $8.49 per page. Adding engraving is $14.99 or $19.99 depending on the cover type, while Marina books with metal or printed leather covers cost an additional $50.
Unfortunately there is just one discount clients can enjoy: newcomers receive a 20% discount on their first order made within 3 weeks from registration. Gift certificates can be had in the amount of $50–$500.
Support & Shipping
Through BrideBox’s regular support you can read four articles in the knowledge base (including a FAQ about the editor), visit the blog, go through eBooks, call the staff, start a live chat or get a guaranteed answer via email from the personnel within 24 hours. The other form of support, however, is more interesting. BrideBox always examines all Anza and Marina books made with its software for possible defects and it also color-corrects all pictures you place into your photo book. But should something unforeseen happen despite all efforts, you can either get your product reprinted or, in case of an incorrigible default, a full refund.
After talking to a BrideBox personnel we learned that shipping – the prices of which are not on the website – is calculated at time of purchase. With regular U.S. domestic mail or FedEx ground shipping it costs $10–$17. The 2-day and overnight shipping is approximately twice or three times more expensive, while international shipping is around $30 to Canada and $79–$129 to the other parts of the world.
After a thorough inspection it is clear that BrideBox provides high-quality wedding albums, though you still have to make several compromises. One such thing is that you can only create your books from a computer’s web browser. Another is that the editor is pretty limited: you can only change the layouts and make slight modifications on the photos uploaded from your computer or Dropbox. And the prices and unknown shipping costs can only be reduced by very few means. However if you choose BrideBox, it is guaranteed that you will receive a top-notch photo album in one of many sizes, consisting of layflat pages with your color-corrected photos. You can design your books with various covers, make it even more special with beautiful engravings and once you are done, get your creations shipped to all parts of the world so you can preserve your cherished memories from your wedding forever.