Broke-Ass Tag: wedding photos


So you’ve got the ring, booked the date, and found your photographer. It’s time for an engagement shoot! If your photographer offers an engagement shoot for free (all the ones I looked at did) then jump on getting these prints. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the date for our engagement photos so I could put them on our wedding website. Our pending nuptials brought me face to face with the fact that there are very few photos of Michael and I together. We both kind of hate taking pictures and he certainly hates being in pictures. So right now my wedding website still is sporting the stock photos. Can’t send out the save the dates with pictures of random strangers still on the website. Creepy much?

Our photographers, Auntie El’s, are pretty chill and handled us like a boss (even when I was freaking out). I trolled the Interwebs and Pinterest like a boss hoping for inspiration and ideas. I’ve never gotten engagement photos before, what the heck was I supposed to already know? I picked up a few useful bits and I figured I’d save another bride a tiny bit of panic by sharing.

So here they are, Danielle’s tips for engagement photos:

Real Bride Danielle Engagement Photo2

Credit: Auntie El’s

Why are you even getting pictures?

Before you dive headlong into engagement photo bliss, stop and ask yourself: Why are you even putting yourself through this hassle? What do you plan to use the pictures for once you get them? I’m using mine for the wedding website. But a few other things a bunch of couples like to use them for are: Save the Dates, announcements in the paper, thank you cards, gifts, etc. If your photographer isn’t offering this for free and making you fork out extra dough for these pics, make sure you actually want/need them. If not, save yourself the hassle and don’t do it. (PS: photos make super cheap presents for Christmas and such.)

Be comfy

Engagement photos are supposed to be a glimpse of who you are as a couple. So unless you are super into cosplay or dressing to the nines, just stick to something simple and comfy. I wore jeans, sandals and a shirt I wear to work. Michael wore his usual polo and khakis and his least beat up pair of sneakers. Try to avoid logos or loud patterns if you can.

Get yo hair did

Give your hairdresser, girlfriend, sister or your mirror a call and set up some pamper time to make sure your hair and nails look the best. Something simple but polished — no need to get a crazy updo. I got my hair curled (a skill I lack) and paid a whopping $12 for a simple French manicure. I also threw on mascara and eyeliner, the full extent of my makeup skills.

You be you, boo

Engagement photos are supposed to capture a snapshot of who you are as a couple. What are you into? Are you both gamers, bookworms, foodies, fashionistas or maybe wizards? Then capture that. Maybe bring along a simple prop like a book, or your wand with you for the shoot. You can also get them taken somewhere that is meaningful to you both. Which leads me to …

Be Flexible

I had had great visions of getting our photos taken outdoors in a local park under the fall leaves. We woke up Saturday morning and it was pouring rain, the one and only day it had it rained all week. I wanted to cry, but Michael and I texted the Auntie El’s and made arrangements to get the pictures taken inside at the local casino. Saying I was upset was like calling the ocean a puddle. Every time I imagined the photos, they were outside. I had to suck it up and deal with this hard reality and you know what, they turned out ok anyways.

Real Bride Danielle Engagement Photo1

Credit: Auntie El’s

Have fun

Even though I was hugely disappointed about not being able to take our photos outside, our photographers made sure we were still having fun. She took us to this random secluded corner in the casinos and all around the hotel to snap pictures. Our photographer’s husband is also her second shooter. My favorite photo is one where he had been sitting on the ground near us trying to demonstrate how he was trying to get us to sit. He suddenly rushed towards us like a puppy and charged into the photo while I squealed and Michael howled with laughter. It was a simple thing, but it really broke the tension of being the center of attention. While I’m a total ham and don’t mind the limelight, Michael would rather peel his face. That little scene helped him relax a little for the rest of the photos.

Real Bride Danielle Engagement Photo3

Credit: Auntie El’s

I’m really glad the photos are over. Now I have 10 months to prepare Michael to be the center of attention again. I’m also nearly ready to launch the wedding website and send out the save the dates *booty dance*. So much relief checking off yet another box.

Have you found any helpful photo session tips you want to share?

  • 7/15

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewIt’s been a hot second since we’ve done a good Five for Friday around here, and I’m switching it up a little this week. Mixbook recently gave me the opportunity to put together my own hardcover photo book (because I got married, y’all) and I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you my top five reasons why I’m super stoked I went this route to show off my wedding photos. We did a simple courthouse elopement on May 4 (whaddup, Star Wars Day!) and Shannon (yes, of Real Bride fame) helped me out bigtime by doing my hair, making a gorgeous peony bouquet and tagging along to act as witness and snap some pics. Because gone are the days of having printouts of all your wedding snaps and here are the days of uploading all that shizz to social media for friends and family far and wide to ogle, I wanted to do something a little different and a little special. My husband is a huge fan of sentiment and really appreciates thoughtfully put together gifts — for instance, for our second Christmas together, I had an illustration of the two of us and our first cat commissioned, based on our favorite photo together that year — and because he enjoys these kinds of gifts so much, I try to pull one out of my hat as often as possible. I saw this opportunity with Mixbook to do just that. Guys, he freaking loved this. He teared up a little, and even took it to work the following day to show it off to his coworkers (god, I love him). So, aside from making my grown-ass husband weepy, here are five of my top reasons to get wedding photos made into a photo book:

    Mixbook Photo Book Cover

    They look damn good.

    The hardcover is glossy and high-quality and the pages are durable and thick. I opted for a 1010 Deluxe Square Hardcover (which costs about $50-ish). I played around with a few different pre-selected designs before I kind of just decided to go with my own. The colors reproduced really well, which pleases me.

    Mixbook Page Detail with Bouquet

    You can tell your own story.

    Mixbook has preset options where you can fill in the blanks with your information or you can do as I did and scrap the whole shebang and make it entirely yours. I wanted to highlight these details about our wedding day, but I also wanted to include little quips and snippets from our relationship throughout, and I was able to do just that.

    Mixbook overlay and page layout detail

    The layout is only limited by your imagination.

    Did I mention it took me nearly a month to put this together? No joke. I kept switching things around, trying new layouts and options and switching this and that until I was finally satisfied. I get really picky about things like this — you should see how long it takes me to set up a website or arrange furniture — because I want to be sure it’s the most aesthetically pleasing as possible. I love that I was able to add a fun overlay, like on the right, while including all of our photos in various order and being able to cohesively weave our story through the pages.

    Mixbook Page Detail with Text

    Fun extras add a little sumthin’-sumthin’.

    Once I found the stickers, and especially this script sticker with a gold background, I was lost down a rabbit hole for at least an hour. For the pages where you just need that little something extra, but aren’t sure what, these are perfect. Mixbook also provides a number of background textures and graphics so you’re not stuck with white pages throughout.

    Mixbook Lay-Flat detail

    The lay-flat design provides seamlessness.

    If you opt for a hardcover lay-flat book, you don’t have to worry about the pages getting all wonky and losing part of the image in the seam. My book only has 21 pages, and none of the images cross the center threshold, but I love this feature nonetheless.

    My Mixbook is a durable heirloom that I can’t wait to show off to our family when they come to visit, and we can show to our son when he gets older. While we do plan on having one or two of the images from our little wedding day framed, this photo book is perfect for telling our story and preserving our love.

    And right now, enjoy up to 50% off (30% off orders under $50, 40% off orders $50+ and 50% off orders $100+) when you use code SUMMER at checkout until 7/18!

  • 8/12

    So you're planning a wedding. Duh. You're here. It's a little overwhelming sometimes, isn't it? Chances are, this is your first merry-go-round and you're kinda sorta just learning as you're going. And man, that can be tough. You probably had to wade through one of those big ol' websites that have ALL the information, and then you probably narrowed down your specifications by budget, aesthetics,…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Hey newlyweds! Congratulations! Your wedding is finished, you survived the big day and now you're ogling all your gorgeous photos and reveling in the memories of your fantastic party, full of heartfelt moments and sweet shenanigans. But what are you going to do with all those gorgeous moments caught on camera? And as for all you soon-to-be-weds, how would you like a sweet-ass deal on…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    Editor's note: Our little Carrie is MARRIED, y'all! She just returned from her honeymoon, and we're giving her a little time to bask in newlywed-dom, but she wanted to pop in and share the good news with our fabulous readers! Join us in wishing her a hearty congrats! Greetings from married life, BABs!  I want to wait for our professional photos to come back before…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 12/24

    Editor's Note: Today, Carrie is dishing about the wedding photographer that made her change her mind about hiring a pro. I just wanted to take this opportunity to shout this from the rooftops - a professional wedding photographer is ALWAYS worth the splurge. (You'll notice I said a "professional" wedding photographer. While hiring a newbie or handing the task over your cousin Buzz might save…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    The big day has come and gone, and now you have a number of beautiful photographs just sitting on your hard drive or a cd...what to do with them? Why not go digital with a tablet photo album from Star Wedding Albums? Star Wedding Albums takes the photos you provide and turns them into a beautiful digital album, the files of which you can have…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!


    We just introduced you to our new sponsor, Wedding Republic, a couple of weeks ago. Now they're back and they've teamed up with Blurb to bring you a ballin' giveaway. One slammin' couple is going to be lucky enough to score a free wedding photo book when they submit their favorite engagement photo. HUZZAH! What's at stake, you ask? Well BABs, Blurb is throwing one wedding photo book…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!
  • 1/21

    You might've noticed that matting and framing your photos isn't cheap - and it's definitely not always within a broke-ass budget. If you ponied up the cash for snazzy engagement photos, and you need a simple yet elegant way to display them at your wedding, or forever after, check out The Perfect Card Box! Your favorite photos can double as fabulous wedding centerpieces or bridal…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!