Hello! Carly Witzburg here with Milk Glass Productions (Wedding and Event Planning Company). It was so fun being introduced to your readers last month (check the post out here). I am beyond excited to share my engagement photos with you all this month along with a few tips for when it's your turn!
Question: Do you have to take engagement photos?
No! Of course not! One of the first things I always ask my couples is whether they want to send a save-the-date with or without a photo (and they usually know right off the bat what they want). Either way is totally fine. The main reason I like to check is because it will impact the timeline. With that, I thought I would share some benefits of taking professional engagement photos.
There are countless fun ways to integrate your pictures throughout your planning process (making it well worth the money). You can use them on your wedding website, in a guestbook or incorporated at the wedding/or pre-wedding events (shower, bachelorette, engagement party). And, of course, to simply remember this exciting time in your life!
If you are sending a save the date with a photo, it is important to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. This is because it may take a few weeks to find the right photographer, collect quotes, sign the contract, gather the deposit, and make sure the photographer has a date available for an engagement shoot in the near future. *Always double check to ensure your schedules align and that you are on the same page prior to booking!
After the shoot, you may have to wait a bit; once you receive your photos you can choose a save the date template and send them out! In our case, we worked with the amazing film photographer, Tamara, from Tamara Gruner Photography. Start to finish, you may be looking at a month to three-month process. So, you do have to plan ahead!
Another benefit to engagement photos is that you get to have a trial with not only your photographer but hair and makeup as well. We had an amazing trial with Cassandra Garza (Pink Lashes MUA). This is a great time to get comfortable with one another and make sure everyone is meshing! Also, make a note if you would like any tweaks for future hair and makeup. It is also an opportunity for you and your fiancĂ© to get comfortable in front of the camera as well.
Question: Once you have decided engagement photos are for you, how can you make them your own?
I love to help couples plan around a hobby, a special place you met, a restaurant from a date, something special about your love story, or it could even be the time/season of the year. For engagement shoots, there is by no means a need to go over the top (and get a reindeer for example haha). Some of my favorite couples' engagement shoots have been on a hike, at an arcade, cooking in their kitchen, fishing, having a picnic, on the slopes or just enjoying those unbelievable Colorado views. For our engagement photos, we opted for combining a holiday shoot with our engagement shoot. We were lucky enough to do our photos at Laughing Valley Ranch in Idaho Springs, a private reindeer farm followed by a short trip to Vail for the grand finale.
Tip: Don't have too many outfit changes.
Brides-to-be often try to bring too many outfits which can be very overwhelming. You don't want those vibes, keep it simple. I would suggest 2 outfit changes at the maximum. My fiance and I opted for just one. I was lucky enough to use a gorgeous gown from a&be bridal shop in Denver. They have an amazing selection and really go above and beyond to help you find something that fits your location, style and aesthetic. They had this unbelievable fur vest that really went with our modern chic vibe. My fiance, Tucker, had a black corduroy jacket, silk satin green patterned tie and herringbone pants from Banana Republic.
Tip: Don't be afraid to incorporate props.
It is fun to incorporate props such as blankets, floral, sweets, candles, and maybe your new last name!
For ours, we did a combination of all. We had a really fun sign from Before Noon Paperie that read "The Wildes EST 2019." Kelly, from Before Noon Paperie, also did calligraphy tags that said fun things such as "Save the Date" which we put on top of cakes by Button Rock Bakery, along with macaroons with sprinkles.
Fiori Flowers in Boulder is always my go-to for next-level innovative and different floral arrangements. We chose one type of flower in one color for a high-impact bouquet with a lush look. We used red florals which gave us a big holiday pop.
We also had some adorable props from Plank and Pearl including blankets, stools, cake stands and more. They have such unique pieces, which are great for styled shoots, real weddings or events.
Tip: Ask your photographer for help!
Another tip I would suggest is to ask your photographer for help! Believe me, they will have opinions in a good way! You picked the photographer most likely because you liked their style and work. Artists tend to have a specific vision. Tamara Gruner Photography was so helpful in sticking to the vision and helping navigate all my crazy ideas. Her confidence and fast answers really show you that she knows what she wants and that's my kinda gal!
We also had this wacky idea with Love Story Films, Sherri Innis, to do "Reasons Why We Want to Get Married" on film during the shoot. It ended up being Tucker and I on top of the mountain, reading the reasons we are so excited to marry one another. We wrote these in these gorgeous velvet books from Velvet Raptor. As we gear up for this crazy year of planning, it was such an amazing and intimate experience to put everything into perspective of what's important and why we are doing all of this!
My biggest piece of advice so far is to be in the moment with your partner! Be on the lookout in the new year, as I check back in with engagement party fun, asking our bridal party and save-the-date advice.
Have a good holiday!