Why you should consider an Engagement Session before your Wedding

First, thank you for the wonderful discussion yesterday.  I loved hearing that our weddings should be “a fabulous party that reflects us and doesn’t stress us out financially.”  I will also admit that my perspective on styled photo shoots has broadened.  As Jaimie pointed out, styled inspiration shoots are a great way for wedding vendors to express themselves creatively while also researching new vendors for their brides.  (Jaimie is a wedding planner and designer in Atlanta.  If you missed the discussion from yesterday, please take a peek at the comments.)

Today, however, I want to share our engagement session.  I am a huge proponent of having an engagement session done.  I realize that not having a session can be an easy way to save money.  But if, like me,  you get nervous in front of cameras, it is a great way to warm-up to your photographer before your actual wedding day.  Also, I enjoy having great pictures of us – all of our before pictures were camera phone quality at best!

But here’s the real secret:  if your photographer does not already include an engagement session in their quoted service, then you should negotiate in one for free or little cost.   Many photographers will be happy to offer a free engagement session or work with you to lower the costs of one if you are willing to sign a contract that they can do both the engagement session and your wedding.   When you’re going over their proposal simply state “I love your work, and I would love to hire you today, but my budget needs to accommodate both the engagement session and the wedding.  It is possible that we could adjust the cost to ___?”  

Without further ado, here’s our engagement session by the awesome Krystal Kast Photography

Engagement Pictures Guitar Krystal Kast Photography

Did I mention my partner plays the guitar?

Engagement Pictures Guitar Krystal Kast Photography

As well as the piano 🙂

Engagement Pictures Guitar Krystal Kast Photography

It was hard for me to not laugh - cameras give me nervous-laughter!

Engagement Pictures Guitar Krystal Kast Photography

We are standing on train tracks near where we had our first date. This shot was the photographer's idea - and I love it!


From Day-of to Everyday: Etsy Artwork for your Wedding & Home

I am a huge proponent of using your home’s decor to style your wedding.   Not only will it create a more authentic wedding, but using pieces of art from your home imbues them with sentiment that you can keep forever.  The silhouettes used for this guest book table could easily be framed on a wall later.  Similarly, the whimsical drawing in this welcoming display.  In our wedding we are using our “Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake” print on our dessert table  – a fun touch that made better  by the fact the print is already hanging in our living room.  

Below are six art prints from Etsy  that would easily transition from a wedding to a home.  These art prints would be great tucked behind a guest book, on the gift table, near the entrance to a reception area, on the candy bar or favors table, or even (in a smaller size!) incorporated into a centerpiece.  They are all affordable, with most of them less than $25.  Michael’s is a great source for either custom framing or pre-fabricated frames – and you can get an extra 40% off anytime by printing a coupon from here.

1.  Hand-drawn art print, professionally printed in an array of colors by TypePosters.  $15

Type Posters They Lived Happily Ever After - hand drawn for $15

TypePosters "They Lived Happily Ever After" - hand drawn for $15

3.  theloveshop on Etsy’s Infinite Love print is Infinite Love a fabulous design featuring beautiful hand drawn typography – available in many colors, the red makes a statement! $17

theloveshop "Infinite Love" Print $17

theloveshop "Infinite Love" Print $17

2.  Tessyla’s 11 x 17 print is a play on a reproduction of the popular vintage WWII poster. $28

Tessyla's "Keep Calm and Marry On" Print $28

Tessyla's "Keep Calm and Marry On" Print $28

4.  This original Fifi du Vie design is burned on the silk screen using a photo emulsion process. It is then  printed on 11×14 185 gsm paper, signed and numbered –  each one an original piece of artwork.  $25

oh darling, let's be forever and ever screenprinted poster - 100 handmade

"oh darling, let's be forever and ever" Handmade, screen printed for $25

5. GraphicAnthology will customize this 8×10 print to match your wedding colors, and each one is signed by hand. $18.

I'm So Happy We Ended Up Here by GraphicAnthology $18

"I'm So Happy We Ended Up Here" by GraphicAnthology $18

6.  This last pick is a customized splurge by PERSONALIZEDprints.  They customize the modern canvas scroll  to the places of your relationship – how perfect would this be for your wedding and then wall?

Wedding Canvas Art Scroll - Relationship Timeline 18x48

Wedding Canvas Art Scroll - Relationship Timeline 18x48 $195

So, what do you think? Would you use actual artwork in your wedding decor?