The most common question I get asked before an engagement session is “What should we wear?!”. While I can’t answer that for you specifically, here are 5 tips to keep in mind when you’re planning your engagement session outfits:
1.) Don’t Try To Match
Complimentary colors are your friend. I’d recommend avoiding white as well. You’re going to have a TON of pictures of you wearing white soon enough!
2.) Stick To A Maximum of Two Outfits
Purely for logistical reasons (there are very few public restrooms downtown) I’d recommend sticking with a single outfit, but if you decide to go with two, most of my clients go with one casual outfit and one more formal.
3.) Be Bold, Just Not Super Trendy
Imagine looking back 10 years and realizing that you did your engagement session decked out in Ed Hardy gear? Didn’t really age well did it?
Your engagement session should absolutely be about you and what you and your partner are all about, so don’t be afraid of bold colors or a crazy jacket lining just be aware that these photos will be around for a long time!
4.) Make Sure You’re Comfortable
High heels are great, but if you can’t walk down the block in them without your feet hurting it might be a good idea to change shoes (or at least bring a spare pair of shoes to walk in!). You don’t want to be constantly thinking about your feet by halfway through the session.
5.) Empty Your Pockets
You don’t want to have your phone, keys or wallet poking through your pants during the session. A small backpack or purse will hold everything you need and make it super easy to set down when you’re shooting. In a pinch we can carry anything you need in our camera bag.
It’s all about you.
In the end though, don’t listen to me, your engagement session is all about you so if it makes you happy, go for it!
We’d love to shoot your wedding!
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To first look, or not to first look? That is the question asked by dozens of my clients every year. One of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in the wedding industry over the past 10 years is the number of clients opting for a first look. While it’s purely a personal decision, here are 4 reasons why you should consider a first look, and 1 big reason why you may not want to:
1.) It clears away the pre-wedding jitters
Seeing your partner before the wedding ALWAYS clears away the nerves. Every bride I’ve worked with who’s done a first look has told me how much better they feel after doing a first look. The getting ready process can be a little hectic, but no one likes waiting around for a big event to happen.
2.) It’s a special moment for just you and your partner
Your wedding day is a group activity. From getting ready to the ceremony and into the reception, all eyes are on you and your partner. You don’t get many opportunities to just be together without a hoard of well-wishers surrounding you. Your first look is just a moment that’s all about you, your partner and the love you share, without all of the pomp and circumstance.
3.) You have the opportunity to get a makeup touch up if you get really emotional
I cried like a baby when I saw my wife walking down the aisle. Luckily though I wasn’t the one wearing makeup.
If you’re worried that crying might mess up your makeup, a first look gives you the opportunity to let all of your emotions out without worrying that you’re going to mess up your photos later. Just be sure to ask your makeup artist to stay until the first look is complete.
4.) It can give you way more time with your guests
Traditionally, one of the biggest hurdles wedding photographers face is how to knock out as many of the family and bridal party photos as possible without the bride and groom seeing each other. Once you eliminate that hurdle, you’re free to do family photos, bridal party photos and the majority of the portraits of you and your fiance prior to the ceremony. That way you can enjoy more of your cocktail hour and spent more time with your family and guests!
…And one big reason you might not want to:
It’s tradition for a groom not to see the bride until their walking down the aisle! A first look isn’t for everyone so weigh your options prior to the big day and discuss things with your photographer and wedding planner.
In the end it’s purely a personal decision, your wedding will be awesome no matter what you do!
A wedding planner might seem like just another wedding expense, but in reality, your wedding planner can make you day so much better and really cut the amount of stress you deal with in both the planning process and on your big day.
Our friend Meagan over at Stella Jane Events just put together an awesome list of 5 real reasons why you need a wedding planner! Check them out below:
1.) Want To Talk Over Ideas? Your Planner Can Give You Informed Advice
A planner can be a sounding board for you. Wedding planning is not an easy task, especially for the bride. You have a lot of family and friends that want to be involved and let you know what they think and what you should do. I do think you should be polite and listen to what they have to say. But you can always tell them, “Well let me ask my planner what I should do.” I always tell my brides to call me if they need to vent about the planning process. Even when you have a planner doing most of the work you can still experience stress during your wedding. I like to think that I am there for my brides when they need to talk about things to a neutral party.
2.) Planners Can Help You Get The Most For Your Money
The wedding market is very competitive and so is the pricing. Weddings can get out of control when it comes to what you have to pay. I get asked a lot if I get a discount with certain vendors. I don’t but I do let my brides know that I sometimes can help get things that might have been overlooked. I have had a flower crisis where the glass centerpieces were blowing off the table since the wind had picked up that afternoon. Just goes to show that you never know what can happen at an outdoor wedding. Luckily having worked with the florist multiple times and having a good relationship with them I was able to have them bring me centerpiece vases that would work and we were able to change them out before anyone noticed.
3.) Planners Can Help You Narrow Down Your Ideas
Narrow in your vision and give you new ideas. Pinterest is a great tool for wedding ideas but it can also be overwhelming. You start to want to incorporate every idea you see. I am all about the details but I do think that you can start to have too many ideas and things can look jumbled. A planner can send you pins that fit your theme and budget. They can keep track of your original vision and let you know what details to focus on and that will be noticed by your guests.
4.) Planners Can Help You Find Vendors You May Not Know About
Up and coming vendors. As a wedding planner I am always interested in new vendors, meeting them and getting their story. Without a planner you are limited to websites to find your vendors or by word of mouth. I am always trying to meet people that are good at what they do and are trying to make a name for themselves in the area.
5.) Planners Can Help Plan So Much More Than Just Your Wedding Day
Planners can help you plan more than the day. Weddings now have evolved into entire weekends and sometimes vacations for guests. As the hosting couple you want to let them know what there is to do when there are there. This is where a wedding website is very important. I love helping with the wedding website and adding the best spots in town to visit.I am always there for my brides with recommends for them. Even if it is from the simplest thing like my favorite nail salon to where to have the rehearsal dinner.
Hair and makeup is such an important part of your wedding! Your wedding day is the single most photographed day of your life and your hair and makeup is in all of those photos. We’ve teamed up with our friend Carrie from Paper Dolls Wedding Hair and Makeup to walk you through an underrated part of the hair and makeup process; the trial. Check out her tips below.
The Importance of a Hair and Makeup Trial
I recommend that all brides do a trial run. It gives you and your artist an opportunity to work together in a low stress environment to create the perfect wedding day look. I’ve put together a few tips to help you get the most out of your trial run experience.
1. Search For Inspiration, But There’s Always Room To Combine and Create Looks
Thanks to all the wedding blogs, online wedding magazines, Pinterest, Instagram and Google you have plenty of resources to find inspiration for your hair! Try to find models with hair color similar to yours for your hair inspiration. Try narrowing your searches by searching specific things. Instead of “low bun” try searching “brunette low bun”. Instead of “wedding hair” search “bridal half up style”.
Most hair pictures only show the style from the back or the side. Remember that you can choose elements from multiple pictures to create the perfect wedding day style! These photos only serve as a guide to get you and your stylist on the same page at your trial run.
I love when brides say “I like the look and shape of the bun on this photo but I like the placement of the bun better on this other photo and I love the texture and volume on this photo”. You don’t have to find one perfect photo of the look you want! If you plan on wearing a veil and/or hair piece you should bring it along to the trial run if possible.
Also, don’t eliminate styles you love because you assume your hair won’t do something or that you won’t have enough hair for it! Most talented artists can give you the hair of your dreams you may just need to get clip in extensions or filler hair for the style!
2. Learn To Read The Makeup In Photos
When searching for makeup inspiration try to find models with a similar skin tone to yours. For example if you are fair with freckles try searching specific hashtags and keywords like “natural makeup for fair skin”. Searching for makeup inspiration pictures can be tricky! You have to look past the pretty face in the picture and actually look at the makeup in the photo. Here is an example of how I usually break the photo down into sections when a bride shows it to me. For some reason I always start with the eyes!
What colors can I see on her eyes? determine what colors I see on her eyes and make sure that my bride is on the same page as me
What color is her eyeliner? Is it winged? Is there a liner along the waterline (inside on the bottom) or not?
What about a shadow along the bottom lash line?
Are there false lashes?
Is the cheek peachy, pink or bronze?
What about a shimmer/highlight on the top of the cheek?
Is there contouring below the blush to chisel out the cheekbones?
Usually for this step we go with the brides preference and try to keep her in her comfort zone. Most brides have a color they wear every day and incorporating that can help you feel like yourself!
Is the finish on the skin dewey and glowing or is it more matte?
These are just a few things to consider when looking at a makeup inspiration photo! Try to imagine each element of the photo on your face. Talk through each of these steps with your artist prior to starting the makeup trial run. Don’t ever just show a photo and have the artist just start right up on you! Each face is different and the makeup needs to be customized to accentuate YOUR best features, not look like a carbon copy of a pinterest photo! Also, try to avoid photos that are super edited and filtered. Everyone has pores – even celebrities!
3. Think About The Timing Of Your Hair And Makeup Trial
Try to schedule your trial run on a day where the weather is similar to what it will be on the wedding day. This can be tricky when planning from out of town but it’s really important, as your hair may hold up beautifully in a down style at your trial run in January, but it may not stand a chance in the Charleston humidity in July. Also, try to wear your hair and makeup after the trial run for as long as possible to really test out the longevity of it – your wedding day is going to be long and you want to make sure that your hair and makeup will last. After all, that’s what a trial run is for!
4. Schedule Your Trial and Bridal Portraits Together
If you are planning on doing bridal portraits, try to schedule them the same day as your hair and makeup trial run. If you aren’t planning on doing bridal portraits you could always schedule your dress fitting for the same day – this way you’ll be able tovsee your entire look put together.
5. Let Your Artist Know What You’re Thinking
This is the most important tip I can give you! If you aren’t 100% sure about anything at all SPEAK UP! We are professionals and we won’t get our feelings hurt if you want to see a different style or change something about the hair and/or the makeup! We really, truly want our brides to love their hair and makeup on their wedding day and the whole point of the trial is to try different things so we get it right. Don’t ever walk out wishing you had asked to have something changed – a true professional won’t get upset.
Your wedding dress is one of the most important elements of your entire wedding day. It’s the thing that everyone is dying to see you in and for most people, it’s the outfit that you’ll be photographed in more than any other in your entire life! So obviously you want it to be perfect.
But the dress shopping experience can be a bit overwhelming so our friends over at Bridals by Jodi have put together an awesome guide to get the most out of your dress shopping experience, enjoy the experience more and most importantly, find the perfect dress!
1. Make An Appointment and Plan Ahead
Yes, we will absolutely take a walk in appointment if we are available, but making an
appointment guarantees you a consultant and a fitting room. It also means we are ready to
receive you and give you the best possible experience! Several things go on behind the scenes in
the store and when you walk in you risk us being busy and not being able to give you the
attention you deserve.
Trying on wedding gowns is a VERY different experience than normal clothes shopping and you
do need a consultant to guide you through the process!
Know that is it is never too early to find your gown. 1 1⁄2 years to 8 months is the sweet spot for
dress shopping. The gowns take about 6 months to get in and then need 2-3 months for
alterations. We can work with a shorter timeline, but brides will be looking at additional rush
fees and having to purchase off the rack.
2. Know Your Purchase Power
Too often we have brides who come in and have not discussed their wedding gown budget/ and
or do not have the person with them who is ultimately paying for the dress. This makes wedding dress
shopping difficult for several reasons. Knowing your budget will help you and your consultant
pull dresses that are appropriate. Nothing hurts more than falling in love with a $3,000 dress
only to find out you can only spend $1000. Once you have put on the more expensive wedding dress and
fallen in love, sadly there is often no going back.
Having the person responsible for paying for the gown with you is also important. Many brides
will come in alone or without this person to “just look.” We have found that you never know
when you are going to put on the one and have that magic moment! You may also miss out on
any special discounts the store is running that day by having to come back. Or worse, the dress
may only be there for a special event or could be sold off the rack. Trying to recreate the magic
at a later appointment is difficult for you and your consultant and by not shopping with
Mom/Grandma or whomever you miss out on savings!
3. Leave your group at home/ Save your Bubbles for the Bridesmaids
Limit the group to 4 people max! Your aunt’s best friend does not need to be at your
appointment to help you find the most important dress you will ever wear! Only bring in the
people whose opinions matter to you the most! Too many people turns shopping into a
production and this is the only time we have brides call the next day with dress regret. The
group picked the wedding dress and the bride’s opinion was lost. It is also our feeling that the less people
that see your dress, the more fun and special it is on your wedding day!
Don’t feel guilty about excluding some of your maids from shopping day as well. You can always
book a bridesmaid appointment at a later date so your girls can see the gown. And then you sit
back with a glass of bubbly while they find their dress! Side note- Don’t pick bridesmaid dresses
hoping the girls will wear them again. They won’t. Pick a dress and color that you love- it is your
pictures and memories! You will one day return the favor for your girls and wear a dress and
color of their choice!
4. Limit the shops you go to
Do some research prior to wedding dress shopping to make sure you are going to a shop with styles and
prices that you are looking for! Also limit yourself to 2-3 gown shops. More than that can quickly
overwhelm you and take the fun out of shopping. Typically you narrow down your favorites to
one or two wedding dresses at each shop and then go from there. If you are shopping at 6 shops, you
then have to choose from 6 favorite dresses which leads to a very stressed out bride! If you go
to your first round of 2-3 shops and legitimately find nothing, absolutely keep shopping!
Normally, brides have found the “one” pretty quickly! (More often than not it is the first dress
they ever tried on!)
5. Keep an open mind and have fun!
So many brides come in with a set idea of what they want, but purchase something completely
different! It is good to look at Pinterest and designers websites for general ideas but be willing
to put on anything! You never know which dress could be the one and refusing to try on certain
styles really limits what may look best.
Enjoy the experience and don’t stress. This is the fun part of wedding planning!
Hope you enjoyed this article! Check out Bridals By Jodi for all your wedding dress needs and of course, all photos were taken by Nicholas Gore Weddings. Let us know what you think in the comments below.