Broke-Ass Tag: Engagement Session

5/16

I am a huge DIY girl. I always look for a deal, and I have some crafty skills. I am also a photographer. I am sure that I could have saved some cash by shooting my own engagement photos. I chose not to. Here’s why: I wanted the experience of dressing up, showing up and going home. I know how much work is involved with photography, and I know how much it takes after the shoot to get to the final gallery. I did not want to put in the work to save the money, I wanted the experience of being photographed, I did not want the stress of a DIY on this, and I am so glad that I went with what I wanted. I splurged and it felt great!

I wanted a particular look for our session, so I set out to find the right person for the job. Looking for someone to capture your engagement session or your wedding day is a daunting task. It is overwhelming and can be expensive, but I believe it is worth it if photography is a priority for you. It’s not a priority for everyone, and that is okay too. I made it a point to make room in my budget for it, because it is sooooo important to me. I wanted heirloom type photos that were professionally done. I love the professional vintage portraits that I have of my relatives. I treasure that even though he’s been gone for many years, a lovely black and white photo of my Grandpop greets me from atop an antique desk every day as I walk through my front door. My grandmother, in her youth, sits on my end-table with finger waves in her hair and a lovely, pensive gaze that cuts right through the portrait. They transcend time. One day, I want my grandchildren to see me like this.

I talked to several photographers, and looked at many portfolios on websites. I looked at style first with everyone, not price. I made a list of people’s portfolios that caught my eye and I put them in order of 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc. Then, I inquired about price with only the ones that made my list of the best artistic fit. Because, to me, photography is an art form, I chose not to begin my search based on price. My search began based on what I was drawn to artistically, after that price became part of the process of course. I decided on Jessica Bailey Photography and set to work.

I posted before about the 1920s-’30s vibe I was going for in the formal shots, and that I had scored a serious DEAL on a bad-ass dress. When my photographer took us to a speakeasy (located inconspicuously on the back side of a deli) for this set, I knew that my splurge was worth it and I knew that she saw my vision too! So, here is how it turned out folks! Its like my vision was brought to life, and I couldn’t be more stoked about these!

 

Heather's 1920s themed engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's 1920s themed engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's 1920s themed engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's 1920s themed engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's 1920s themed engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

For the casual shots, I wanted a more light and airy feel. We had a more laid-back wardrobe on this set, and I love those options, too. We used one of the most unique special event venues that I’ve been to. It was a historic gym that had burned down, and the remains have been turned into an open air event venue complete with amazing antique brick. This was also a fitting location for the urban-esque casual shots that I described.

Heather's engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's 1920s themed engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's engagement session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

Heather's 1920s session || Photos: Jessica Bailey

My take away from this experience is that, its okay to spend on the things that are important to you. Whether its flowers, photos, or a bad-ass dress … if you can make it happen, do it! Its okay to not do it all yourself. Find what you want, and go after it. Don’t go overboard, but don’t miss out on the important experiences either!

All photos by Jessica Bailey Photography

What splurges were your top priorities? How did you choose the right person for the job?

 

  • 2/22

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewHello out there Interwebz! I am so excited to be planning our engagement shoot. We are doing the session in April, but I am over here cooking up ideas in the meantime. We have two looks that we will do with our photographer: One will be more vintage-casual, and the other is a more stylized, glamour look while maintaining the vintage feel. My goal with these photos is to capture art — things that we will put on our walls and our grandchildren will pass down … few timeless moments that go on forever. I love the Old Hollywood look of the 1920s and ’30s, and I have talked to our engagement photographer about my vision and I believe that artistically we are a good fit. After nailing that down, my first course of action was to find a dress to fit the vision while not spending a million bucks (or even a hundred). So, let’s get down to this dress business.

    I will go ahead and disclose this from the start, I hate shopping … in stores. I am, most definitely, an Amazon Primeaholic. For me, it’s worth the fee because I order from it constantly and I use the video services on my tv streaming devices. I searched for dresses internet wide, but I ended up finding one that I kept going back to, and it was a seller on Amazon.

    real bride heather dud or deal dress

    I left it in my cart for a long time before I bought it. I kept debating it. These were my concerns:

    • Would it look like a halloween costume  or be poorly made?
    • Would it not fit and I would have to return it?
    • It’s not available on Prime, so I have to pay shipping, and is it a reliable seller?

    I finally decided that I would buy it. I am always iffy about sizes in online clothing purchases, but there were lots of helpful reviews where people detailed their own height, weight, the size they ordered and even shared pictures. That helped me tremendously in choosing my size! The dress was $49.98 with shipping when I ordered it, and I had an Amazon gift card, so my out-of-pocket cost on the dress was $24.98!! It came in the other day, and I will have to say that I am impressed, and so excited to have this photo session done!!

    Real Bride Heather: Engagement Session Dress, Dud or Deal?

    The dress was shipped from China, so it took a few weeks. I ordered it February 2nd, and it arrived February 17th, which fell within the estimate given to me at checkout, and of course postal tracking was provided. It came in a shipping bag, not a box. There were some slight wrinkles in the sheer fabric, but nothing that won’t fall out after being hung up for a few days or steamed. I think its gorgeous, y’all! I don’t think that I could have found a better deal — I am officially stoked to do this session!

    Here are some photos of the dress that I took after hanging it in the closet for two days.

    Heather's engagement session dress

    Heather's engagement session dress

    Heather's engagement session dress detail

    Heather's engagement session dress bust beading detail

    So, what are your thoughts? For $24.98, do you think this was a deal or a dud? I am voting DEAL!! I can’t wait to start looking for my fiance’s outfit now. Stay tuned to see if I can work any super savings on that!

    Have you had any luck with a super score during your planning? Tell us in the comments below!

  • 11/25

    When we first got engaged, my parents asked my fiancé and I what our “must haves” were for our wedding. His criteria included good food, great wine and an outdoor ceremony. But, knowing those were givens, my priorities were (in no particular order): All of the twinkle lights Gorgeous, ethereal photographs that left everyone in awe for years to come With the knowledge that I…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    8/20

    Here's what I have to say about our engagement photo shoot. It was hotttttt. Unfortunately, I don't mean that we looked hot (even though we totally did). I mean that when you live in Atlanta, Ga., and you battle schedules and wind up with a shoot at 5 p.m .in the beginning of August ... well ... you best be prepared to sweat. And sweat…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    8/4

    In just over one week, Jersey and I will be cheesing it up in front of our photographer for our engagement shoot. No need to remind us that it's only been ... oh, NINE months since we got engaged and we are just now getting this done. Trust me, we know. Our schedules have been impossible to coordinate, but at this point I'll be happy if…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    7/11

    Nicole and Jason's sweet e-sesh almost didn't happen. Because of their broke-ass budget, they couldn't afford to book an engagement photo shoot. So, putting their photographic fate in the hands of Lady Luck, Nicole found Kim Greenspan Photography's contest on Facebook and crossed her fingers. And, as Lady Luck does, she smiled upon the couple and they nailed the win. So sit back, chillax, and…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    2/22

    You guys, I think it's time for a sweet 'n' savvy e-sesh. Don't you? Kristal and Justin returned to a spot that was uber special to them -  with photographers and a videographer in tow - to snuggle, frolic and dance in the rain. Our engagement session was inspired by a couple of things: One, being our first mini getaway; two, our love of nature;…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!

    6/17

    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…

    Read the full article →
    Share this!