DIY “Through the Years” Photo Slideshow

To me, DIY projects are not just about having something extremely personalized and to your exact liking; it’s about making something yourself that others charge out the butt for creating!

Enter my DIY “Through the Years” photo slideshow project! I did a quick Google search for pricing on photo slideshows and found that professionals charge an average of a couple hundred bucks a pop for them. Insanity!

What’s crazier is that most people have all the equipment necessary to make a slideshow already on their personal computers! From Windows Movie Maker to Final Cut Pro, there are several options for creating your own photo slideshow.


I’m making mine using Final Cut Pro 6. As a broadcast news major and aspiring reporter, I invested in a Mac Book Pro and all the high-end editing software because I knew I’d need it for my class projects and future career. I took advantage of the education discount and got my FCP Studio software for only $500 (compared to the regular price of $1299!). Who knew I’d be using it to create my wedding slideshow one day!

Our slideshow will be presented at both the rehearsal dinner (as a feature) and the cocktail hour (on a continuous loop for casual viewers). It will include four chapters:

  1. Mr. Lab growing up
  2. Me growing up
  3. Our “courtship”
  4. Our engagement from the proposal all the way up to the wedding!

This will be an on-going DIY project that I will probably wrap up right after our bachelor and bachelorette parties about 2 weeks before the wedding. I’ve already finished Chapter 3! Now I’m waiting on our moms to send our baby photos for Chapters 1 & 2. And of course, we still have plenty of photos to be taken throughout the year to finish Chapter 4.

One thing I’m really trying to aim for with the slideshow is including at least one photo of every guest in it. I’m a photo fanatic (most likely to be toting a camera among my friends!) and am sure I will be able to complete my goal. It is my way of honoring our friends and family who have been there through our past, present, and hopefully, future, all while loving and supporting us along the way.

Then comes the songs the photos are set to in the slideshow. I’ve already chosen “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop” by Landon Pigg for Chapter 3. For Chapter 4, I’ve set it to “Better Together” by Jack Johnson, which is also our first dance song (more on that later!).

I’ll post the finished product here when it’s all done!

Now I need some inspiration from the hive! Any suggestions for cute, preferably boy & girl themed, growing up songs for the first two chapters?


Mrs. Labrador

Wedding Date:
November 2009
Our Complicated Ring Search
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  1. Member
    D.Marie 2575 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:03 pm

    This is so neat…what a great idea. I love the photo from Halloween…so cute! I was thinking of doing a slideshow with pictures of me and my dad during the father-daughter dance…or what would have been because he cant really stand on his feet for too long. And thanks to one of the other bees suggestions…Im going to do a slideshow. My question though…what are you going to use to display it on at your wedding? Are you using a screen and projector? Thanks Ms. Lab!

  2. Member
    hbowar 547 posts, Busy bee @ 12:10 pm

    For my part of the slide show I’m using “American Girl” by Tom Petty.

  3. Member
    Hayley 214 posts, Helper bee @ 12:40 pm

    some friends of mine used the rsscal flatts song “my wish” for their growing up portions of the slideshow….so cute!

    and that landon pigg song is so fun!

  4. Member
    Vic004 804 posts, Busy bee @ 12:42 pm

    I was going to suggest Tom Petty too, Learning to Fly, my fbil used it for his growing up section of the slideshow. I can’t wait to see your finished slideshow!!

  5. powderpuff Member
    powderpuff 882 posts, Busy bee @ 12:45 pm

    What about “All-American Girl” by Carrie Underwood. Super cute song!

  6. msjellyfish Member
    msjellyfish 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:21 pm

    Hey Miss Lab! How long are you aiming for with your slideshow – I’m curious how long these things usually are. As for songs, what about “Brown-Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison? (If you have brown eyes of course)

  7. Member
    lauralou852 516 posts, Busy bee @ 1:35 pm

    I’m planning on doing the same thing! I made one last year for my fiance’s birthday using Windows Movie Maker and I still like to watch it sometimes. I’m a photo fanatic too, so I love getting to go through all of them. And it’s not that hard! I can’t believe professionals charge so much!

  8. Member
    MightySapphire 7632 posts, Bumble Beekeeper @ 1:39 pm

    “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds?

  9. argyle Member
    argyle 2519 posts, Sugar bee @ 6:56 pm

    I love photo slide shows. Cannot even begin to tell you how many I have made!

  10. Member
    tinab 68 posts, Worker bee @ 7:02 pm

    “She’s a Wild One”-Faith Hill
    “This One’s for the Girls” -Martina McBride
    “Nine” -Diane Reeves

    “Let Them Be Little” -Billy Dean
    “Sweet Child of Mine” Guns n Roses
    “Young” -Kenny Chesney
    “Young at Heat” -Frank Sinantra
    “Through the Years” -Kenny Rogers
    “Forever Young” -Joan Baez Version
    “Don’t Take the Girl” -Tim McGraw
    “Only Time” -Enya
    “Sugar Mountain” -Neil Young

    “Beautiful Boy” -John Lennon
    “The Cape”-Guy Clark
    “When I Grow Up (To Be A Man)” -Beach Boys
    “Circle Game” -Joni Mitchell

  11. Member
    MaPo 315 posts, Helper bee @ 8:50 pm

    Billy Porter-Time.

  12. labrador Member
    labrador 1823 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:59 pm

    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    @D.Marie: My FSIL is letting us use her flat panel TV and a dvd player to display the slideshow. Sweet, huh?

    @Miss Powder Puff: That is such a cute song! I would definitely use it if my dad were still with us. It would be such an awesome father-daughter dance.

    @Bean: Thanks for the suggestion. I’m actually using that song for my part!!! I’m expecting the whole thing to run no more than 15 minutes. About 3.5 minutes for each part.

    @lauralou852: They charge so much because they know the average person doesn’t know how to make one themselves! Basically the business model of any service. :\

  13. Member
    LatteLove 5567 posts, Bee Keeper @ 11:26 pm

    my growing up:
    “that dress looks nice on you” by Sufjan Stevens
    and “flowers in the window” by Travis

    Mr. LatteLove’s growing up:
    “you’re my home” by bill joel and
    “in my life” by the Beatles

    hope you find the perfect songs!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Mara, Guest @ 1:39 am

    We’re Going to Be Friends, by the White Stripes— such a cute, simple song

  15. Member
    bridecat 355 posts, Helper bee @ 10:50 am

    I used Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On for my girl portion and Pixies – Here Comes Your Man for my honey (he is a little edgier).
    Good luck!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    CalicoBride, Guest @ 10:02 pm

    Be careful of the length of your slideshow. I work as a wedding videographer, and a lot of times the photo slideshow brings the wedding to a dead stop. The wedding I worked last night had a photo montage that lasted 30 minutes! By the end, the guest had stopped paying attention and were talking to each other, or wandering around. 3 songs should be the maximum if you want people to pay attention. I do think it works better to have it playing somewhere on a loop, so those that are interested can watch the whole thing, but it doesn’t disrupt the flow of events at the reception.

  17. labrador Member
    labrador 1823 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:11 pm

    @CalicoBride: Yeah, we’re shooting for 15 minutes tops. I am using it on a loop at the actual wedding like you mentioned, but it’ll be a feature at our rehearsal dinner. I couldn’t imagine someone making theirs 30 minutes long and expecting people to sit still for the whole thing! I think 10-15 is perfect. My FSIL had one in that range and we were all engaged for the entire thing.

  18. Member
    Miss Velvet Cake 19 posts, Newbee @ 9:57 am

    Another free movie maker is the Picasa photo application.

  19. taffy Member
    taffy 3081 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:24 am

    I agree with We are going to be friends by The White Stripes. Perfect for the growing up chapters! This looks like it is going to be really cute, I hope you will post it when you are finished! :)

  20. Member
    doublemint921 499 posts, Helper bee @ 2:17 pm

    Wow this sounds like it will be amazing. I made one for my friend when she got married. It took a lot of time, but was totally worth it. Now if I only had the time to do one for mine :(. Can’t wait to hear more on this! :)

  21. Member
    West Coast Bride 708 posts, Busy bee @ 3:59 pm

    I had the same goal–I wanted a photo of each of our closest friends and family members in there (and a few that couldn’t make it, like my late grandma). For my “growing up” section I used Natalie Merchant’s “Kind and Generous”. It’s actually really moving to go through all the pictures and hear the chorus “I want to thank you thank you, thank you thank you….” West Coast Groom chose “Be Yourself” by Audioslave because that’s just his style….and for our “courtship” photos, we chose the song from the opening credits of the movie Juno. So sweet!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    jdlee, Guest @ 1:29 pm

    Had to tell you that one of my friends used “Let’s Hear It For The Boys” for the boy part of her slideshow and it was upbeat and fun. It really played a huge part in getting the audience energized. I thought it was a perfect choice and would love to use it myself, but we have many of the same people coming to our wedding and that would be too “recycled”.

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    mrsh2be, Guest @ 11:27 am

    Did you ever end up posting the finished copy of your slideshow? I was looking for it in your posts, but no luck finding it :(

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