Say ‘I Do’ in DIY Style

Most couples will tell you the secret to a perfect wedding day lies in the details. Those personalized moments that make the occasion truly unique—especially DIY touches—are sure to create an intimate experience. Whether you’re planning a traditional soirée, or an affair that will color outside the lines of convention, consider these approaches to create lasting memories:

Wedding Guest Book

The wedding guest book is a perfect time capsule. Showcase your favorite photos and memories from over the years, capture guests’ well-wishes and preserve the occasion forever. It’s not only something you’ll cherish forever, it also makes for a beautiful addition to your ceremony and reception. MagCloud’s photo book format is perfect for the occasion. We also recommend checking out Blurb’s photo book options!

DIY Guest Gift

Share your love story with friends and loved ones in a beautifully unique, one-of-a-kind scrapbook using Flickr, and distribute it as part of the wedding gift. Simply gather your photos into an online photo album (take a peek at this post for tips!), then choose the photo set. Your photos will automatically be organized into a beautiful magazine format.

Unique Photo Album

Make your wedding photo album as unique as your wedding. A beautiful album will last a lifetime and ensure those endearing moments documented on film (or Instagram!) are around for generations to see. Regardless of whether you’re on a budget, or merely prefer a more hands-on approach, you have easy-to-use options at your fingertips. From MagCloud’s photo book format to Blurb’s BookSmart tool, you’ll get high quality prints that will last a lifetime.

As the wedding season heats up, we’d love to hear your creative planning ideas and how you’ve used MagCloud in aspects of your special day. Share in the comments below, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Recommended Reading

How to make a DIY Wedding Photo Guest Book

DIY Wedding Ideas using MagCloud

Adding MagCloud Touches to Your Wedding

Beyond the format—making a wedding book for them (and one just for you)

Guest Blogger: Two Bright Lights


There is nothing better than seeing your work in print. And we love how HP – MagCloud makes this possible and painless! At Two Bright Lights we focus on connecting magazines and blogs with great images from photographers and other creative businesses, so we understand the importance of beautiful magazines and business collateral. Many of our members use and love MagCloud. Whether they are photographers using it publish a portfolio or pricing guide, or editors using it to publish a print and digital magazine, HP MagCloud makes displaying and distributing their content a breeze.

Photographers, publishers, brides, and vendors have created thousands of beautiful publications using MagCloud, but we wanted to pass on what a few Two Bright Lights editors have to say about MagCloud and share details about the beautiful magazines and publications they create.

Meet Kym Stelmachers of DIY Weddings Magazine and Erika Pitera of Zest Digital Magazine.

tbl  Shalyn Kettering: Could you tell us a bit about your publication and editorial style?

DIYopenKym Stelmachers: DIY Weddings® Magazine is a wedding publication that is written and created by brides for brides.  We cater to the bride with a budget of $15,000 and under with our main focus on the DIY.  We provide DIY projects from brides, wedding planners, wedding vendors and crafters.  I designed the publication to be a “visually pleasing” experience for our readers.  We also decided to change the way we do advertising in our publications by developing a new innovative way to get the same content to our readers without the headache of having to thumb through endless ads to find the real content.  We were the first wedding publication to offer its readers a better reading experience.

Erika Pitera: ZEST Digital Magazine is a seasonally focused mix of recipes, entertaining menus and easy, do-it-yourself home and holiday decor projects. Our goal is to inspire our readers with recipes, DIY projects and entertaining ideas that are approachable for both new and experienced home cooks.

tbl  SK: How does MagCloud fit into your publication process and what have you found most helpful about it as an publishing platform?

KS: Because we are primarily a digital magazine, we wanted to be able to offer our brides, vendors and photographers the option to purchase a hard copy.  When we found MagCloud, we knew they would be a great fit for what we were looking for.  It really became clear to us that we made an excellent choice when we received our first proof.  The quality of their product is first rate! I hear it time and time again how beautiful our print publication is.  MagCloud uses quality paper; the color is vibrant; their delivery and customer service is exceptional.

ZESTprintdigEP: In all honesty, it didn’t at first! When we first started ZEST, we only envisioned it as a digital publication. However, in exploring all of the publishing options out there, we were thrilled to find MagCloud because it allowed us to print our magazine with ease! Its accessibility and quality encouraged us to start designing our publication for both digital and print readers. MagCloud is great because it’s user-friendly. My reasons for that are two-fold: from a reader/consumer standpoint, it’s very easy to discover publications based on your interests or hobbies; from a publisher’s standpoint, MagCloud makes it easy for small publications to print small runs of awesome quality at an affordable price.

tbl  SK: What are your top 3 tips for first time MagCloud users?

KS: Really they makes it so easy to upload, setup, price and manage – anyone can use it.  My only tip is to always order a proof so you know what you are offering your customers.

EP: 1. Be sure to follow MagCloud’s formatting instructions to get perfect results every time. You can get specific instructions customized for your publishing software that make it really easy to export your PDF properly.
2. Take advantage of the document preview to make sure all of your text and important elements are in the safe zone so that nothing gets cut off when it’s printed!
3. Get the most out of the your experience by offering both print and digital versions.

tbl  SK: Kym, We love all of your creative DIY tips in your magazine! Your sea shell bouquet in the last issue was fantastic! Where can people purchase it on MagCloud?

KS: Our Winter 2012 issue just arrived on December 1st and it’s our biggest issue ever.  We have more inspirational ideas, do-it-yourself projects and 12 experts in the wedding industry giving our readers some great tips, advice and budget saving ideas.  In each issue creates 3 DIY Flower Bouquet projects. What I love about it is they include an inspiration board and they provide the reader with a materials list and step-by-step instruction.  We have gotten so much great feedback that we are going to continue these projects through 2013. You can purchase all of our issues on MagCloud under DIY Weddings® Magazine.


tbl  SK: Erika, The pear on the cover of your current issue looks delicious! Where can we get the recipe?

EP: Those are our Port Wine Poached Pears – they’re yummy and pretty easy to make. You’ll find the recipe on page 28 of our Holiday 2012 issue.

tbl  SK: What sort of submissions are you looking for from TBL members?

KS: I am glad you asked! We have a very special issue coming in 2013 and we are looking for anything that has a “red theme” about it.  We will consider any of the following using a red theme:  Photo style shoots, weddings, candy buffet tables, cake or sweet displays and engagements.  Style shoots and weddings with themes around the circus, boardwalk, carnival, Valentines, Christmas, Fourth of July – keeping in mind that we are focusing on “red”.  We look forward to working with all the talented photographers at Two Bright Lights!

zestopenEP: Your number one priority should always be to make the food or drinks look real and absolutely delicious! Natural light is a very powerful tool. I love food photos that are bright and appetizing rather than dark or dramatic. Props can be great, but make sure they don’t detract from the star of the show! Also, shallow depth of field can really help the food take center stage.

A big thanks for Kym and Erika for the interviews! Don’t forget to check out their magazines on MagCloud and if you are interested in having your photography featured in these and other great magazines check out the Two Bright Lights’ submission software!

Adding MagCloud Touches to Your Wedding

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but MagCloud is here to help. We recently posted ways to use MagCloud when planning a wedding, as a helpful resource for both professional wedding planners and those brides and grooms to be who are choosing to go with a more DIY approach. Today we want to share some additional ways MagCloud can make sure the perfect day goes off without a hitch.


For those who want to design their own wedding invitations and give them a personal touch, we recently upgraded our Flyer and Pamphlet products to 80# Cover Stock, so your invitations will have a heavier weight, giving them a premium look and feel. Here’s a great example of a wedding booklet, which includes information for guests about directions, places to stay, things to do etc. MagCloud also offers a wide variety of templates so you can pick and choose which is right for you and your event.

‘The Story of Us’ Booklet

Everyone enjoys a good love story. Share the bride and groom’s story in a beautiful MagCloud booklet, and distribute it as part of the wedding gift. Here’s a creative example featured on our Pinterest board for inspiration.

Wedding Planning Survival Guide

Member of the wedding party? Help out the happy couple by creating a wedding survival guide. Organize the run-of-show, tips, funny bride/groom stories and/or any last minute advice into a beautifully-designed and personalized booklet for the bride and groom to be.

Magazine Guest Scrapbooks

Create a unique one-of-a-kind scrapbook about the best day of your lives using Flickr! All you need to do is gather your photos into an online photo album (take a peek at this post for tips!), then choose the photo set. From there, your photos will automatically be organized into a beautiful magazine format. You can even use Poyomi to create a personal wedding collage book.

Now that you’ve heard ours, we’d love to hear your wedding planning ideas, and/or how you’ve used MagCloud for wedding planning-please share in the comments below!

Publishers in Their Own Words: Mike Lesnick Photography

My name is Mike Lesnick, I am the owner and photographer of Mike Lesnick Photography. I use MagCloud to make my brochure/portfolio available to all past and future clients. It’s a great way for me to have my information readily available to everyone.

I created my brochure so that anyone could see a sample of my work, pricing and little snippets about myself and the weddings I have photographed. With my brochure I have made an impact on brides and grooms with my neatly presented work, pictures and lay out. My latest brochure was updated to include all pictures from this past wedding season (2011) as well as full-page spreads of previous weddings I have photographed.

MagCloud has provided me with the most cost-effective way to  distribute and manage my brochures; as well as providing the print quality that as a wedding photographer I expect and need to present my work in a manner that I feel is professional. Thanks so much MagCloud, keep up the good work!

Mike Lesnick, Owner/Photographer, Mike Lesnick Photography

Visit Mike’s website to learn more about his work or preview his work on MagCloud.

Publishers In Their Own Words: Merritt Design Photo

I love when January comes and I can take a moment to dream up new strategies for my small business in the coming year.  For 2012, I made a decision to crank things up a notch with a new creative marketing strategy for my wedding photography business, which had previously been promoted solely “word of mouth.”  I had used MagCloud before and knew that it offered an excellent solution to get started with a custom-designed, high impact product that I could print affordably enough to leave after meetings with wedding coordinators, and even send to begin a dialogue and make a lasting impression with potential clients.

For my first Weddings issue, MagCloud’s format, quality and great price-point give me ample space to share insights into my personal approach to wedding photography; what clients can expect from the experience of working together; some information about packages; and finally, plenty of space for rich color photographs to jump off the pages. Because I can design the whole issue myself, it is the perfect product to give a sense of my personality and style — hopefully enough to inspire people to want to learn more!

I am proud to share this gorgeous, stand-out marketing piece with potential clients; in the first few showings alone, the response has been overwhelming! I’m so excited to be working with MagCloud and I already can’t wait to create my next magazines!

Jennifer Koskinen, Owner/Photographer, Merritt Design Photo

Visit Jennifer’s website to learn more about here work or preview her work on MagCloud.