Broke-Ass Tag: engagement photos


Work has calmed down a bit in the last few weeks, so Ev and I have started putting some official wedding prep in motion. I managed to wrangle everyone’s address, and after entirely too much obsessing, I picked out an invitation I liked and customized it. We are just waiting on our engagement photos to come back so we can post them up on our wedding website, for ultimate adorableness when people go to RSVP.

My initial thoughts on engagement photos were that it was an unnecessary frivolity. Instead, we chose to ask Evan’s brother, who enjoys photography as a hobby, and has a great camera, to snap some photos for us. He did a great job, and we were thrilled with the results:

Real Bride Holly's engagement photos

However, my opinion was swayed a bit after we selected a photographer whose package included a free engagement session. Of course, we weren’t about to turn it down! I have to say, the experience was lovely: I got to dress up again, we got to hang out in a beautiful location, and we spent two hours being ordered to snuggle up to each other and daze dreamily into each other eyes. If you’re not uncomfortable with PDA, I do recommend it!

She also explained to us that doing a session before the wedding helps her to get to know us so she can get a better idea of our “style” for shooting the wedding, and we can iron out any issues before the big day. She also had lots of useful pro tips from experience that we didn’t know when we did our first session. We didn’t really have the know-how of how to properly co-ordinate our outfits, and Ev forgot to take his wallet and phone out of his pocket, which didn’t look great in a lot of the photos.

Still cute as hell though

Still cute as hell, though!

She also knew a lot of great hidden spots for shooting. We ended up getting really lucky, and the weather was amazing that day, too. I’m excited to get the pictures back, and I’ve decided to use the photos for both the wedding website, and for some kind of project like featuring them in our guestbook, maybe.

So, I guess the question is, if I had to pay for the session, would I have still done it? I don’t know, to be honest. Maybe? I definitely feel would be more likely to do it now that I’ve had that experience. I guess it comes down to how important photography at your wedding is to you. If excellent photography is a must-have, I’d probably recommend it, even it it’s just a small one-hour session. I think it serves as a good “test run” before the big day, and can help ensure that you know that your style gels with your photographer.

Now I’ve just got to try to patiently wait to see the final result!


What are your thoughts on engagement photos? Are they a must-have or a lucky bonus?

  • 10/19

    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?

  • 1/11

    The Interwebz has so much solid engagement shoot inspiration -- loving couples staring dreamily into one anothers' eyes, holding hands and generally being adorable as shit. But that kind of seamless romanticism isn't for everyone. When Pennsylvania-based McMasters Photography sent me this amazingly awesome take on the regular ol' schmoopy e-sesh, I about died. And you will, too. At our initial meeting with Cari + Eric…

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    Ah, the holiday season. The season where we celebrate and make memories with friends and family, head outdoors to see the Christmas lights or go ice skating, and then snuggle up by the fireplace with hot cocoa at the end of the day. Kind of sounds like the ideal time to propose, don't you think? Let me guess -- your Facebook newsfeed is flooded with engaged couples…

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    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…

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    You're probably pinching pennies for your wedding, but hopefully you haven't yet resorted to robbing banks, hot-wiring cars, and burgling sweet treats from tots to finance your big day. (Right?!) Today we've got a real treat for you -- a cheeky, sneaky, hilarious e-sesh from friends-of-BAB Alex Meiners and Kim Bubar. Alex is the screenprinting genius behind Family Industries, who made all our awesome tees…

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    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…

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    Today our real wedding/engagement feature comes to you all the way from New York, yo! Ohhhh, fuggedaboutit! No, just kidding, don't fuggedaboutit....listen carefully to this brilliant broke-ass bride. Katerina (I wish I could call her K-Lo from the block, but I'll refrain) decided that in order to be a money saving maven, she would have to come up with way to trim her budget wedding…

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