Engagement Photo Ideas + Newlywed Chat
Today we've officially been married for two months and the question I keep getting is "how's married life?" TBH not much different but I did have an "AHA" moment over the past month that's kind of interesting.
Another question I've received on IG a ton is ALL things engagement photos. What to wear for engagement photos? Where to take engagement photos? Should you take engagement photos? All V good questions... haha.
Keep scrolling to see snaps from our post wedding shoot with Gina + Ryan, why we opted out of engagement photos, my tips for engagement photos (if you do take 'em) + post wedding sessions, and how I'm feeling about this whole newlywed business.
Engagement Photos + Post Wedding Sessions
Although we didn't take engagement photos, I think you can definitely consider our post wedding shoot as somewhat engagement photo-esque. I'm not a professional photog but as someone who spent the last 6 months deep in all things wedding I feel like engagement photos serve a few purposes:
1. Get to know your photog! It makes things less awkward on wedding day.
2. Get to know your S.O. in a photo setting. What makes you guys laugh? How do you pose together? Do you both have the same good side? Does it take a minute to get out of awkward fake smiles?
3. Capture some great imagery for your wedding website, save the dates, and life long memories!
With social media and great cameras at our finger tips, I feel like numbers 2 and parts of 3 are a little less important nowadays. Most people have a handful of great pics they can use for their wedding prep needs (one of the reasons we opted out of engagement photos), so definitely keep that in mind. It's pretty common for wedding photogs to offer engagement photos with their packages but if you're not interested then maybe chat about changing that to a post wedding shoot.
Where to shoot your engagement or post wedding photos
The most important thing is to BE YOU! What is the essence of your partnership? Do you enjoy hiking? Musical theatre? Playing on the beach? Are you homebodies?
I remember saying to Andy... "the idea of doing a beach shoot pains me because I feel like everyone does their engagement photos on the beach wearing jeans and white t-shirts" (kind of true) BUT at the same time THE BEACH is our happy place. Our relationship was built driving up the PCH at 8am on Saturday mornings, vacationing to tropical destinations, and living on the westside of Los Angeles... we are truly beach people. The beach made 100% sense for us.
If you're homebodies, do a shoot at your house! I've seen some incredible couples photography taken in kitchens and bedrooms - you'd be surprised. Nature your thing? Go to the forest and wear boots and parkas... be you with maybe just a little more makeup on and styled hair! These are photos that have the chance to live for a long time and it would be the worst to look back and think "man, we were trying really hard... this is so not us!"
Know your vibe but have no idea how to find your location? Pinterest is your best friend. Just start throwing in key words and create a pinterest board of images you like and those that feel like they represent what you're going for. Once you do that, share it with your photographer and with their expertise they can provide location suggestions! That's exactly what we did with Gina + Ryan and they discovered this insane and totally uninhabited location in Los Cabos just a little drive from our wedding venue.
What to wear for your engagement or post wedding photos
I've had SO many DM's about this and while it would be super easy to just put together a round-up of dress ideas it's a little more personal than that. Without knowing where you're taking your photos it's kind of hard to share outfit ideas. I also think this is where you can play with some exciting or super glammed-up looks (if that's your vibe).
- Chose 2 -3 outfits depending on how long your session is
- Want to have one look that's just totally out there? Go for it, you only get married once!
- Wearing white is TOTALLY fine. Remember it typically makes people look larger on camera than other colors.
- Don't make your S.0. wear a jacket or dress shirt for every look (unless that's his style)... that's just mean.
- Look back at old pics of you and your beau - are there specific colors or styles that photograph well on you?
- Don't break the bank with outfits. In the grand scheme of ALL the wedding things, this is such a small part.
- Checkout The Stylist LA to rent looks or shop your closet!
- If you're good at doing your hair/makeup how YOU like it, this is definitely not the time to try Drybar or Glam Squad. If you rather have a profesh do it, by all means, go ahead!
Why we opted for a post wedding shoot
I have my photo taken for a living... weird, but true. And Andy has participated in a handful of shoots throughout the years (like this one in Paris that happened right after we got engaged! I didn't know we were going to be engaged when I planned the shoot.) Anywho, my point is that we both feel pretty comfortable together in front of the camera. Also we ended up planning our wedding in 4.5 months and by the time we locked in our photog our wedding website and save the dates had already been sent, so it just felt totally unnecessary to take engagement photos.
A part of me still wanted some kind of fun couples shoot that wasn't just from our wedding day AND after I landed my dream reception dress I knew I wanted to shoot it in the daylight because it really needed to have it's own moment in the sun. Enter: our post wedding shoot! These shots are part 1 of that shoot (we just did two looks) and I love how they capture a really sexy but fun side of us. This slip dress is from my closet (yass!) and I've actually shot it for the blog (see here). I wanted something easy that could move with us and not be stuffy or too over the top. Also I didn't want to worry about it getting wet or sandy.
Honestly, one of my favorite things about doing a post wedding shoot is that all the stress is gone. You're so so happy to be married and overjoyed by the weekend that you just experienced. I can see it on our faces... much different than our welcome reception pics (stay tuned for those).
Two Month Newlywed Update
It's kind of crazy to think we're married. As most brides will tell you, it comes and goes so fast. I don't think I've really had the post-wedding blues because I threw myself into work the second we got back from our honeymoon. If anything we both get kind of nostalgic for the weekend especially when we got our videos and photos (eeek, all coming SO soon!).
Aside from the cachet of calling each other husband and wife the biggest reality for me has been "through sickness and health." Even though Andy and I wrote our own vows and that phrase wasn't specifically said, there's an understanding in every marriage that you're in it through thick and thin. Towards the end of our honeymoon Andy caught a bad cold and has pretty much been sick since then. Last week he underwent sinus surgery to clear out some inflammation and open up his sinus passages and although elective, it was still major (he had to go under) and he is still recovering. Definitely not how I imagined my first two months of marriage to say the least. And yes, I know it's not the end of the world by any means, but I miss him. My healthy, funny, cuddly buddy of a partner who enjoys date nights and playing on the beach. The guy who typically shares adulting duties with me 50/50. My partner who revels in my successes and wants to share all the exciting things he's been working on (being sick = no work). He's on the mend and we will be back to our active and fun "us" in no time, but this period has been a good reminder for me. Marriage isn't going to be 50/50 and I have no doubt that this is the first of many moments in our lives where one of us will have to do the heavy lifting. Aside from that, it makes me want to work harder to be healthier in mind + body and to push Andy to do the same. Because I want us to live our best life together for a very very long time!