How to Prep for Your Wedding Day Engagement Shoot

Now a days, most photographers include an engagement photo session in their wedding packages. If one is not included, I strongly recommend making the small investment. Most brides don’t realize all the benefits of this engagement photo session. Your photographer will get the opportunity to see which light, angle and pose work best for you and your fiancĂ© BEFORE your wedding day! And you will get to have some fun and relaxed pictures of you and your future hubby.

Once you have scheduled your photo shoot, here are a few thing you can do to prepare:

Fashion

First, decide on how formal or relaxed you would like your pictures. Do you want your engagement pictures to show your more causal every day relationship? In that case, a simple combo of t-shirt and jeans will work. Are you more of a fashion forward couple? Do you envision yourself in a more formal look? Whatever you decide, make sure that both of you are on the same page.

Ask your photographer what they recommend, but most will say to avoid clothes with busy patterns, floral prints, and excessive black or white fashion. Sticking with solids are a safe bet.

Location

There are endless possibilities for locations of your photo shoot. Some couples choose the comfort of their home, while others venture out. Do you and your fiancé have a place that is special to you? Do you both love the beach, or maybe a rustic outdoor location? Did you go somewhere special on your first date or where he proposed? With all the options, pick the one that you can have the most fun with!

Beauty

I always recommend that my brides attempt to schedule their hair and make up trial for the morning of their engagement shoot. I’m sure you want to look fabulous for the pictures anyway! You will also get the chance to see how your hair and make up hold up as you prance around with your photographer. Just to be safe, have a little time between the trial and photo shoot to adjust any beauty needs.

The most important advice is to HAVE FUN! You will have hundreds (if not thousands) of formal pictures after your wedding. Your engagement photography shoot is the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine. When planning your wedding be sure to ask your photographer all of the questions before venturing out to your engagement shoot.

Happy Planning!

10 Tips To Make Your Wedding More Eco-Friendly

Go Green with your wedding. From “borrowing” items to offering only locally sourced foods, there are may things you can do to have a more environmentally friendly wedding. Being eco-friendly isn’t a one time thing, its a way of life that you can incorporate into your wedding. Many companies are more aware of the impact certain choices make on our environment and are now able to accommodate different requests to make the event more “green”. Here are 10 tips that you can incorporate into your wedding to make it more eco-friendly.

  1. Be Conscious Of Your Jewelry Choices – When purchasing your wedding jewelry, especially your engagement ring and wedding bands look for companies who offer “conflict free” or “blood free” diamonds. Additionally, gold mining is one of the dirtiest in the world, producing twenty tons of mine waste just to make one gold band. Shop at Certified Fair Trade/Eco-Gold / Green Gold jewelers to minimize your impact, or ask your grandparents or family members for vintage pieces from their collections to use.
  2. Select Eco-Friendly, Recycled Paper – Paper plays a big role in your wedding: from invitations, to the RSVP cards, escort or place cards, menu cards, thank you notes, even the non-linen napkins at your cocktail reception. Select recycled options where available or items that were produced from sustainable resources. When selecting the ink for these products opt for soy based inks.
  3. Select From Local Food Sources – Have your caterer purchase the produce from local farmers and/or those who produce organic produce in season. The further away the food needs to be shipped from, the more carbon footprint is being created. Create dishes that are seasonal in nature as well.
  4. Select Flowers From Local Sources – The same rule of thumb applies for flowers to food. Select flowers which are in season that are grown locally. If you try to import that exotic orchid think of the carbon footprint you are creating!
  5. Buy A Vintage Wedding Dress – Or use your mom’s! You could also have the materials from her dress repurposed into a new dress. A vintage dress or a second hand one is the way to go if you are looking to reduce and recycle.
  6. Have A Unity Rose or Sand Ceremony – Candles can send toxins into the environment. An option to the unity candle ceremony which is eco-friendly is to have a Rose or Sand Ceremony.
  7. Your Reception In An Outdoor Daylight Setting – Think parks, beaches, sculpture gardens, or indoor areas which have large windows and natural lighting. This will reduce the amount of electricity used during your reception.
  8. Go Digital- While a paper photo album is nice to flip through, who really prints pictures anymore? Make sure all your media for the day – the songs, the photography, the videography is captured digitally. There are digital photo frames which can capture your photos to display in your home – and upload them to a cloud service so you will never have to worry about losing your precious memories again! As a matter of fact skip the RSVP cards and have your guests call or RSVP on a website instead.
  9. Think Outside The Box For Wedding Decorations – wine bottles for vases or candle holders, the corks can be turned to the side for place card holders, paper cut up and banded with ribbon for banners, collect twigs and tie them around glass candle holders with twine for rustic lighting. Look for things around your home that can be recycled into decorations.
  10. Give Them Something They Can Eat or Donate to Charity– Skip the favors or give them the gift of an edible favor such as organic chocolates, organic coffee, or locally harvested honey. If you want to skip the favors, make a donation to a local charity or organization.

Wedding Planning Theme

Have you thought of a theme for your wedding Day? As part of your wedding planning you want to consider where you want the wedding to be held and if you would like a particular theme running through your big day.

Some of the more popular themes have been vintage, rustic, fantasy, glamour, beach, countryside, colour based themes and so on. By selecting a wedding theme early on in your wedding planning, you can help to alleviate any pre-wedding stress and give you enough time to plan creative and implement practical ideas to support your theme for the day.

Whatever your theme, there are many ways to trim down the wedding expenses, particularly when it comes to your wedding invitations, decorations, venue, wedding day book and a memorable wedding cake.

Luckily in our day and age we have access to the internet and using the web can really cut down on costs for invitations. If your guests are all on line you could design a pretty invitation, based on your chosen theme for the day, and holding diary date for the wedding with an RSVP option via email. Then, if you want to send a physical one out you could use the same image on printed card using your colours and theme. There are a lot of options now for designing your own cards if you want to and adding that touch of personalisation. Alternatively, there are many web based companies that specialise on creating invitations to your specification and hosting an RSVP site for you.

As part of your wedding planning, you may wish to set up a wedding day book. This can be a photo album or scrapbook with empty spaces for the guests to sign and leave some special words for you. Also, if you provide inexpensive throw away cameras on each table, your guests can take pictures of the event and leave it for you in a basket at the end – so you have some lovely informal pictures to enjoy later. Alternatively, set up a few instant cameras, so each photo once taken can be added to your wedding book by your guests.

Think through the best venue to match your wedding theme and how you can decorate it to create that special day. Your wedding planning needs a section on looking at potential venues that match your wedding theme and budget. Remember, you can decorate a room to match a theme.

The wedding cake can be selected to match your theme and maybe it could be made by a family member or members and then decorated as a whole. You can also decorate it using flowers and other themed items. Alternatively, shop around and check out what your local bakers could produce for you, so you get what you want but for a sensible price.

Above all, by setting up all your wedding planning nice and early on, you can develop ideas for your wedding theme and ensure everything fits together ready for your special day.