By Guest Blogger and Bride Sarah Beckman
My mom and I love to compare my parents’ 1981 wedding to my upcoming 2011 wedding. My mom wore a dress handmade by my grandma, whereas I tried on hundreds of dresses at a bridal boutique. My parents’ reception was cake and punch in the church basement. Mine is going to include cocktail hour, a seated dinner, and dancing under an outdoor reception tent.
The differences don’t stop there! When my mom got engaged, engagement photos were simple head shots used to announce the engagement in the local paper. Nowadays, engagement pictures are elaborate photo shoots, complete with multiple locations, wardrobe changes, and props.
My fiance, Chris, and I had a great time getting our engagement photos taken, but we found that preparing for them was a little stressful. We found that it’s all in thinking about the details and making decisions in advance.
Long gone are the days of boring photos in front of plain backdrops. Consider taking your engagement photos at a place that’s special to the two of you. Is there a park you love to frequent? Or was your first date at a noteworthy spot? My fiance and I had two locations for our engagement photos. First we went to a quaint, historic downtown area and then to a beautiful park. Neither spot was special to us as a couple, but we knew we wanted outdoor photos.
Between you and me, I am the more fashion-conscious one in the relationship, so I picked out my outfits first. We decided to do one dressy look, as well as one casual look. Before I started shopping for engagement photo outfits, we decided we want to wear timeless outfits that aren't too trendy and that reflect our personal style. For the dressy look, I wore an emerald-green dress. Chris wore grey dress pants and a black polo. For the casual look, I wore a white, collared, sleeveless top and Chris wore a light blue button-down; we both wore jeans. Our outfits reflected clothes that we’d both normally wear -- your engagement photos aren’t the day to try out a new style! Also remember when it comes to pictures, solids photograph better than patterns.
Like with outfits, the day of your engagement photos isn’t the time to try a new makeup style. I usually keep it natural when it comes to makeup, and my engagement photo makeup reflects that. When you're getting pictures taken, it's okay to wear a little more makeup than you usually would, though. Use a matte concealer, foundation and translucent setting powder to give yourself flawless skin, and eyeliner and mascara will make your eyes stand out. Also, here's a makeup tip I once got from a makeup artist: if you're getting photos taken, don't wear shimmery or reflective makeup -- the flash will reflect off your makeup and cause whiteness on your face! I couldn't get any makeup on Chris' face -- but my guess is some guys wear a little powder to get rid of shininess!
I love engagement photo props! I think they're a great way to make your photos fun, unique, and personalized! Some great ideas I've seen are setting up a picnic in a park, toasting with champagne, or using personalized signs. Chris and I had a white milk glass-framed chalk board that we wrote our names on. We also had a small pennant banner that has his last name (my future last name!) stitched in it. I bought both from Etsy. We plan to also incorporate these props into the wedding!
It was so fun getting the disc of all our engagement photos, looking through them, and deciding which ones to print. I'm still trying to think of a clever way to incorporate some of the photos into our wedding reception -- please leave your suggestions in the comments!
Author Bio: Sarah Beckman is a editor and blogger at Affordable Scarves. At work, she writes about how to style fashion scarves and get expensive looks for less. When Sarah's not working, she and Chris are busy planning their October 1st wedding!
Fancy being a Guest Blogger on Wedding High too? Get in touch with me at weddinghigh [at] gmail [dot] com