Wedding Frames ? Are Your Wedding Photographs Safe?

One of the top priorities on a wedding day is to make sure every moment is captured with great photographs. These once-in-a-lifetime memories are irreplaceable and making sure these photographs are properly stored and displayed after the wedding should be just as important. Chances are photographs placed in an album are protected but how about your framed photographs?

Whether you decide to display photographs in an album or frame, it is important they are manufactured from acid-free or archival-safe materials in order to protect and preserve your photographs for the future. While most photo albums sold are made to these high standards, the same cannot be said for the majority of frames sold in retail stores.

Protecting your framed photographs requires the same acid-free materials used in archival-safe photo albums but also requires an additional layer of protection. This extra protection is in the form of UV (ultraviolet) protected glass. It becomes a necessity because photographs and artwork in a frame are subject to damage from UV light from the sun and/or household lights. If unprotected, photographs and artwork will prematurely age and yellow.

One of the easiest ways to judge the quality of a frame is based on price. Low end, low cost frames will definitely not have these protective materials, while a photo-safe quality frame can run from $80 dollars up into the hundreds. This is a not a hard and fast rule, so when in doubt, ask.

An example of this is the popular Signature Frame couples use at a wedding, where friends and family sign the frame instead of a guestbook. It can be purchased at many stores for as little as $15 dollars and is not manufactured using photo-safe materials. Other stores using high quality framing materials may charge over $100 dollars for a frame that may look almost identical but will incorporate the acid-free and UV protective glass. This is one of the occasions where you do get what you pay for and unknowing brides will be dismayed to find their bargain wedding keepsake yellowing and fading within years of their wedding day.

While the initial costs of a quality picture frame are higher, it is hard to put a price on preserving special memories. Consider the joy and happiness a framed memory can bring which will be displayed and viewed for years or decades to come. This makes framing a great value compared to photographs displayed in an album that are seldom seen and appreciated.

For special memories, like wedding or anniversary photographs that are not easily replaced, a quality frame will protect them so they will be around for a long time. This extra investment now will pay dividends for a lifetime of great framed memories.

Shar Calder is the president of First Class Framing, a picture framing company providing affordable high-quality frames for all of life's special celebrations.

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