You've got the guy, you've got the ring - now you need the pictures. The first question brides always ask is about engagement portraiture. When should we do them? What should we wear? Where should we go? Here are a few things to think about when planning your engagement portraiture:
Should you include your kiddos, or your fur-kids? Absolutely. Your engagement portraiture should tell your love story and showcase the things that you love about your journey together. If that means spending time as a family or celebrating bringing your families together, definitely bring the kiddos along. If your story includes the puppy you've brought home and raised together, celebrate with some fun portraits loving on your little cuddle bug.
TIP: If you choose to include your kids or pets, bring a friend along to watch them while they aren't in the portraits. This will make it less stressful for you and keep them entertained!
What should we wear? This question can always go twelve million different ways. The first thing to think about is the formality of your wedding. Your engagement portraits will set the tone for your wedding as they are the first glimpse that family and friends will see when you share them online or on your "Save the Dates" or invitations.
TIP: If you want people to dress in formal wear for your big day, wear formal wear. If you want people in causal but nice attire, a sports jacket and nice jeans with a fun dress will give off a classy vibe.
The other big component to consider is what colors to incorporate. Make sure all of your outfits coordinate, so that if you choose to display them together, they are cohesive. Does that mean all three outfits have to be the same color palette? Absolutely not. Maybe one set is a neutral, formal outfit, one set has a fun color pop, and the last set has subtle colors that compliment the pop.
TIP: Consider what colors are in your home (or future home) and what colors you'll be incorporating in the wedding, so your engagement portraits can be proudly displayed and will look cohesive with the overall theme of your wedding or home.
When should we take our engagement portraits? What would you like to use them for? How's that for answering a question with a question? "Save the Dates" should be sent out at least six months in advance from the wedding date, and invitations should be sent out at least three months prior. SO, if you'd like to use your portraits for those, you will need to plan accordingly and factor in designing/printing time and the time it takes to address/mail them all before scheduling your engagement portraiture.
TIP: Also consider the time of year that you're getting married and the clothing you'd like to wear. Going back to having cohesive outfits and complimenting your wedding color palette, you may not want to display a ton of portraits at your winter wedding of you two in colorful summer outfits.
Where should we take our portraits? Do you have locations you like to use? Of course, most photographers will answer with yes, but your portraits should be taken somewhere that means something to you. Did you meet at a college with a gorgeous grounds? Do you spend most of your time together on your family farm? Do you enjoy an afternoon sipping coffee and stopping by the small shops downtown? Take a second to think where you spend the most time together, and give that information to your photographer. Maybe a destination session to a fun city nearby suits you perfect, or maybe a slow, cozy afternoon in a comfy sweater and cuddled up on the porch swing of your future home together fits your story.
TIP: Keep thinking about making a cohesive set. Maybe an open field isn't the perfect location for you if you're having a downtown, urban wedding. The portraits should be a chapter in your wedding story and should flow with the overall vibe. If you'd like a little greenery but still keeping it with an urban vibe, a location with beautiful architecture and floral design is right up your alley.
Why do we have to do this? Always a big question from the grooms-to-be. You're doing all of this planning for such a big, special day, and this "engagement season" truly is another chapter in your story together. So it's only fitting to celebrate it! While planning your engagement portraiture, think about incorporating something for him. A few pictures with his beloved truck, letting him wear his hat for a few, pictures at his favorite stadium with his collector jerseys on - anything to give him something to look forward to and really enjoy a few minutes of the portraits!
TIP: If you two enjoy a fun night on the town or checking out distilleries/breweries/local pubs - start your session there with a quick drink and chat with your photographer! Another great idea is incorporating a bottle of champagne to pop and sip. Not only do these make for an easy, casual start to your session, it also gives you the chance to relax and just talk to your photographer without a camera in your face.
How do I style all of this? Unless your a fashionista, leave it to the experts! Your photographer should know what styles and clothing photograph best and what will be the most cohesive for your overall vibe and color palettes. Be open with your photographer about your vision and what unique things you would like to incorporate to really bring your story to life. Also consider leaving your hair and makeup to an artist for the day. Not only is it nice to be pampered, but if you choose an expert that knows how makeup photographs, it will set your portraits apart from the everyday photos you take with each other. This is a special time, celebrate it and treat yo self girl!
TIP: Use Pinterest as a tool to decide on a vision that you like (be it scenery, outfit styles, color palettes, etcetera), but don't ask your photographer to recreate each shot on your Pinterest board. Generally, your photographer will be an expert on posing your body types and outfit styles to best suit you two and will have ideas on how to tell your love story through portraits. If there is a unique idea that you'd like to make sure to get, let your photographer know ahead of time that there's one shot that is a "must have" so they can plan for how to execute it perfectly for you!
BONUS: WINNER OF THE WEDDING DAY SURVIVAL KIT GIVEAWAY
If you've been following the Brides from the Bluegrass group on Facebook, you know that we are giving away a Wedding Day Survival Kit to one lucky winner, and it is...... *INSERT DRUMROLL*
If you'd like to create your own Wedding Day Survival Kit or one for your favorite bride, find a list of must have items here.
If you're a Kentucky bride or vendor and would like to join the Brides from the Bluegrass group, please request here.