Volume 2014, Issue 8

The bride is a book-maker:
An interview with Natalie Xanthakis of Mint Love Social Club


Sometimes a book comes along that’s just a perfect example of the genre. When we came across Natalie Xanthakis’s wedding book, we just loved it, from the custom crest (featuring a very snazzy Boston terrier) on the front to the collection of crazy photo booth pictures at the end. When we found it was just one of the books she’s made with us (check out this collection of impeccably designed photo books), we reached out to her. She was nice enough to take some time out of her life in Paris (ooh la la!) to tell us a little about her book.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.

My name is Natalie Xanthakis and I write the lifestyle blog Mint Love Social Club, which centers around home décor, DIY, entertaining, food/cocktails, and a little bit of fashion. I’m from Los Angeles, but am currently living in Paris for a few months!

Were you a little bit daunted by the idea of putting together your own wedding book, or did it seem like something you could easily handle?

Even though I have a lot of experience using Blurb, I was a little intimidated to make my wedding book because I had so many photos to chose from and it was such a personal day that I wanted to make sure all the emotions we experienced throughout our wedding came through in the book.

Natalie Xanthakis - wedding photo book

Why did you choose Blurb?

A few years ago I did extensive (and I mean extensive!) research on which photo book company I should use before I embarked on making a series of 10 photo books to display all the thousands of digital photos eating up space on my computer. At that time, I decided Blurb was the best company for me to use based on the high quality of the printing—but an affordable price! Naturally, when I went to make my wedding book, I knew Blurb was the only place to go.

How did you get your photo files from your wedding photographer?

My files were delivered to me from my photographer on CDs, but I uploaded them to my Flickr account to store them.

How did you choose which photos to include? Did you have an idea when you started or did it flow from the process?

There were a few standout shots that I knew would be a part of the book, but for most I chose photos as I was making the book, rather than beforehand.

What was the general style or look you were going for with your book?

Simple, clean lines, not a lot of text—and lots of white!

Which tool did you use to put your book together?

BookSmart. {As an aside, we think that BookSmart is a great tool for lots of do-it-yourselfers like Natalie. You can download the software and work on your book a little at a time and it lets you place text and images wherever you want—or use a pre-made template}

There are a lot of possible books out there—what trim size, paper type, and cover type did you go with?

I used the 12 x 12 in Large Square since it is the largest book that Blurb. I opted for the hardcover Imagewrap, which is what I have used in the past, and I particularly love it since it has a matte finish. For the paper, I splurged on upgrading to the new pro-finish paper since this was such a special project and I wanted the pages to be as thick as possible.

Natalie Xanthakis - The bride is a book-maker

Can you walk us a little bit through your book-making process?

I basically set out to capture our wedding day through the book in chronological order, which helped with organizing which photos I wanted to place where in the book. I also made the book over the course of a couple months since the software allows you to save your progress and that helped with not getting too overwhelmed! {See? This is what we were talking about!}

Do you have any book-making tips for fellow book-makers?

Just start! I have so many photos taking up space on my computer that it can be easier to just ignore them, but as soon as I started tossing pictures into a book format I realized how badly I wanted to see them physically printed where I could enjoy them—rather than hiding as files in my hard drive.

It’s a lovely book of a lovely wedding. Do you have any general wedding style tips?

I could probably talk for an hour about all the wedding tips I have, but the biggest things are to not get too stressed about all the details and figure out your style early on and stick to it so that you don’t get distracted by the hundreds of inspiring Pinterest images out there—and don’t take yourself too seriously!

Did you intend to show off your wedding book or was it something you did just for you (and your husband)?

Yes! I planned to have this book be a fun coffee table book for guests to browse.

Have any book ideas for the future?

In the past, I made photo books based on a few months of time like “Holidays 2010” or something similar, but going forward I want to make one book per year with only my favorite shots and splurge on the large 12 x 12 in books.

Natalie Xanthakis - Mint Love Social Club




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