I'm super excited to announce that I've partnered with The Villages Polo Club®, Katie Belle's Catering™, and Moonstone Artistry to give away a complimentary styled engagement photo shoot. The picnic-themed engagement shoot will take place at the beautiful Villages Polo Club with Moonstone Artistry there to take care of all your hair and makeup needs and Katie Belle's catering will provide the perfect picnic!
You've got your engagement photos scheduled and you want to make them a little, well, extra. It's hard to go wrong by choosing a location that's meaningful to you as a couple and incorporating things you love to do together. If you're struggling to brainstorm here are three fun themes you can use to infuse your photos with your personality.
Rep Your Alma Mater
Maybe you're a Gator and he's a 'Nole and the most frequent argument in your marriage will be which team is better. Show off your team spirit — it's okay, we know your team is truly the better one — by wearing team gear for your engagement photos. Of course, you won't want to do all your engagement photos in Gator gear, so bring it as a fun wardrobe change option to add an extra dose of personality to your engagement photo shoot.
Bring Your Puppy
Fido is family, too, so why not include him in your engagement photos? I love working with pups and love it even more when they're spiffed up with a cute tie or help you create fun save the dates by wearing a sweet sign. It's good to not have your pup there for the entire shoot, so enlist a family member or friend to dogsit after Fido's done making his cameo in your photos.
Pack a Picnic
Being in front of the camera isn't always comfortable and having something to do other than just pose is a good way to ease into your photo shoot. Pack a picnic and give your shoot some style — and give yourselves something to do with your hands. Just be sure to pack sparkling cider, because no one looks cute when they're tipsy in photos!
In this day and age of social media and selfies, many couples are choosing to have unplugged wedding ceremonies. And it may seem like a lot to ask of your guests to put their phones away during your ceremony but going device-free for the 30 or so minutes it will take you to get married will allow your guests to truly be present in the moment. Plus, with a professional wedding photographer documenting your event you'll have plenty of pictures. As an added bonus to a device-free ceremony, the pro photos of your guests won't be of them with their faces buried in their phones!
But if disconnecting from your device seems daunting, consider having a selfie section during your ceremony. At a recent wedding that I attended as a guest, once everyone was seated and the entire wedding party (including the bride) had walked down the aisle, the couple had the officiant ask everyone to take out their phones, snap some photos and even snag a selfie. Using a selfie stick the officiant grabbed a group selfie with the bride, groom, and everyone in the audience. Once the merriment was done (the whole process took maybe two minutes), he conveyed the bride and groom's wishes that guests put their phones away for the remainder of the ceremony.
The result was the best of both worlds: the selfie section images were some of the bride's favorite photos and a device free ceremony allowed the guests to be engaged participants in the ceremony.
If you do want have a truly device-free ceremony, there are a few ways to alert your guests.
- Pre-wedding, spread the word to your close friends and family.
- When designing your wedding programs include a note about the fact that you'd like your ceremony to be selfie-free and why
- Have a sign, like the one pictured above by Chic Signs, at your ceremony site where guests are sure to see it when they're seated
- Ask your officiant to make an announcement at the start of your ceremony
Lastly, it's important to realize that sometimes no matter how many times and how nicely you ask, some people will just ignore your wishes and snap shots during the ceremony. And while it's a bummer, don't make a big deal about it. Sometimes in the infamous words of Elsa, you've got to just "Let it Go!"
In the era of cost-conscious weddings, engagement photo sessions are among the first things to be omitted in favor of savings, but an engagement photos session is important for a number of reasons!
Get comfortable in front of the camera
Not everyone is an Instagram selfie-star and comfortable in from of the camera. Having an engagement photo session allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera and, more specifically, comfortable in front of your wedding photographer's camera. You'll get to spend time with your wedding photographer before the big day and find out what it's like to be the photographic center of attention.
Learn how to pose
Real talk: everyone has angles that are more and less flattering. You can work with your wedding photographer during your engagement photo shoot to learn your angles so that on your wedding day, you and your photographer know your best poses. That knowledge will make portraits on your wedding day flow more smoothly, allowing you to spend more time with your guests!
Time for the two of you
Wedding planning can be crazy amounts of hectic and all the DIYs and decisions can leave you craving some serious couple time. Turn your engagement photo session into some time for the two of you! Get your hair and makeup done, dress to the nines for your shoot and after spending an hour or so with your wedding photographer, go out for a just-the-two-of-you date night, no wedding talk allowed!
Pro portraits where you're not in wedding attire
Yes you'll want to adorn your walls with wedding photos, but it's also nice to have some professional photos of the two of you not in your wedding finery! And since paper is a traditional first anniversary gift, considering surprising your spouse with a couples photo shoot since photos are printed on paper. Make it a tradition and do a shoot on your anniversary each year for a fun visual history of your life together!
Create Save the Dates
Whether or not you incorporate your wedding date, engagement photos are a great opportunity to create a current image to use for your save the dates and wedding website. Bonus points for incorporating your pets who may or may not be able to attend your ceremony.
It's just plain fun!
Whether it's a shared hobby (like a love of film) or a favorite location, it's just plain fun to incorporate something that's uniquely the two of you intro a photo shoot and the resulting images make great keepsakes (and display pieces at your wedding!)