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5 Engagement photo tips for the perfect Save the Date

An engagement photo shoot is an exciting way to capture moments of your personality while you and your Fiancé spend time with one another. Not only will the photos make a great Save the Date to send to your family and friends but this time can be great to get to know your potential wedding photographer. So take this opportunity to let the photographer get to know you and find that comfort zone with one another for the big day. So, if you have just said "YES!" or are looking to create some special moments, we have come up with our TOP 5 photo tips to help you create the perfect Save the Date photo. And know that while not everyone can be as camera-friendly, the key thing to remember is: Be confident and be yourself. Everything else will fall into place after that.

Engagement Photo Location

Destination Save the Date. Photo by Studio Castillero

Photo tip #1: LOCATION
When you choose a location that you are familiar with, the more comfortable you will be in front of the camera.
Think about a meaningful place for the both of you as there may be plenty of photo opportunities available. Perhaps a favorite restaurant you like to go together or maybe the city you both met in. Think of it as a taking a trip down memory lane from the location of where you first met or had your first date to a special place in the current city or town you will start your life together. Of course weather and the time of the year can also serve its purpose so be prepared for Mother Nature and use it to your advantage for the perfect setting. Timing of the day also plays an important part in the available natural light for the photographer to work. Often great lighting is available right after sunrise or before sunset.

Engagement Photo Makeup

Simple Seal Save the Date. Photo by Studio Castillero

Be Camera ready and look your best before the shoot. If you aren’t the best at doing your own hair and makeup, perhaps scheduling a wedding make up trial the same day as your engagement photos could be helpful. This way you have checked off another item from your wedding to do list.

When it comes to what to wear, be comfortable in the outfit you choose as it will show in the photos. We suggest planning your outfits together as well so that they compliment with one another. We don’t mean wear matching outfits, but rather, wearing colors that complement each other. The end result should be that you are both dressed on the same level of dressiness or casualness, like you’re headed to the same place. Try pieces that have common shades or even bright hues that will pop from the background. Can’t decide between two outfits? Why not bring both for a wardrobe change. You can even ask your photographer for their opinion as to what will look best with the location.

Engagement Photo Action

Floating Ribbon Save the Date. Photo by Max Wanger

Photo tip #3: ACTION
Stop over thinking and don’t worry about what pose to create next, leave that to the photographer to direct.
The best photos taken are of the couple in their natural, comfortable element; what you see is what you get.
So remember to relax, laugh with one another, smile, and have fun together as you take in the moment.

Engagement Photo Props

Gelato Save the Date. Photo by Max Wanger

Photo tip #4: USE PROPS
Now that you have your location in mind and scored the perfect outfit, think about bringing some props to liven up the shoot. If you chose a landscape scene, pack a picnic basket and a blanket to lie down on. Perhaps you and your Fiancé can take a bike ride down your favorite bike path. Even something as simple as eating your favorite ice cream can make a big impression in a photo. From Balloons to Flowers to vintage bottles, a prop can make a big difference when added to the photo.

Engagement Photo Personality

Road Trip Save the Date. Photo by Studio Castillero

Incorporating a favorite hobby or pastime into your shoot can be a great way of showing your personality as a couple. You can bring one of your favorite games to the park or your favorite coffee shop. Take a stroll one Saturday morning while shopping at a flea market. Even hopping in the car or on your Vespa for a drive down the street can be fun! Each everyday activity can say so much. Another idea, bring your Pet with you and let him or her be a part of the shoot; after all they are a part of this relationship too.

Finally, don’t be afraid to brainstorm your ideas with your photographer before the shoot. Browse through our variety of PHOTO SAVE THE DATES prior to meeting with your photographer. If there is a a favorite design you like, share this with them so they can make sure they know what you have in mind. Ready with your photo but not sure which design works best? Contact us, we’re happy to help!

Wedding filled with California Love

Janine and Rusty Wertz

Set in a venue that represents the couples love for the beach and the outdoors in Southern California we present the wedding of Rusty Werts to Janine Torres. The couple was married at St. Edward Church in Dana Point, CA where they choose to incorporate the Brides Filipino wedding traditions as well as recite their own vows to each other to provide a more meaningful ceremony. Janine tells us the highlight of the Wedding for her was when the priest surprised the couple by reading love letters the couple wrote to each other, She recalls “When Father Martin told us to write them, he told us he was not going to use them in the wedding but just to get to know us. We didn’t know he would read them word for word in front of all of our guests in the church. It was hilarious, special and a moment we will never forget in our entire lives.”

reception entrance
love bird table
Jenga Guest Book

The celebration then continued afterward at Franciscan Gardens in San Juan Capistrano. Janine and Rusty were going for the fresh, fun and outdoor feel. Being in the heart of SJC, the reception had a natural rustic look with a Spanish influence, which the couple loves. A fun idea the couple chose to incorporate was to replace the traditional guest book with jumbo Jenga pieces for their guests to sign and the couple to enjoy as a favorite game of theirs. Also at the reception, a unique and special moment included a special surprise birthday cake presented to the Father of the Bride after his emotional father daughter dance and speech.

long reception tables
First Dance
sisters of the bride
Dessert table

Janine’s advice to couples currently planning: “Prioritize what is really important to you (whether that be the photography or food, etc.) and focus more of your attention and budget toward those items. Never regret the decisions you make for the wedding, because obviously being married to your best friend is your highest priority.”

laughter with the bride and groom
goofy groomsmen
Beautiful Bridesmaids
Mr. and Mrs. Wertz
evening toasts
Cheri Wedding Invitation

Janine and Rusty chose the Cheri Invitation for their wedding stationery.

Ceremony location: St. Edwards Church | Reception Venue: Franciscan Gardens | Photography by: Brett Hickman Photographers

Bride and Groom take center stage

Today’s Real Wedding truly represents the brides advice for couples planning a wedding “Do it your way!”.

Vanessa and Brandon celebrated their special day in a personal way, choosing a location that was special and unique to them. Being a Drama Teacher, Vanessa felt that a theater was the best venue to say their “I do’s”. The celebration then continued at a restaurant, La Zingara Trattoira, which was a perfect setting for the couples personal style and taste. Brandon and Vanessa wanted something smaller and intimate, Vanessa explains “The look I was going for was soft, simple, modern, and elegant, and I think we pulled it off well!”

couple photo
wedding location
theater wedding
long tables
reception details
florals and the newlyweds
Place To Be Invitation Suite

Bride & Groom chose our Place to Be Wedding Invitations, Place to be Response card and Place to be Belly Band for their wedding stationery.

Wedding Venue: Capitol Theatre | Reception Venue: La Zingara Trattoria | Photography by: Brandon Scott Photography

Bride and Groom Place Cards

These chalkboard place cards are a nice way to show where the bride and groom will sitting. The size of these folded cards is 3.5" x 2". Available to print instantly at home or at a local print shop, these wedding place cards are easy as cake to create

bride and groom place cards

Words of Wisdom Cards Printable Template

Most of your family and friends have marriage advice ready to share with you. These words of wisdom cards can be used at a Bridal Shower or Bachelorette Party. You can also use the cards at your wedding, by placing a box with cards next to the guest book so guests can fill out the card when they sign the guest book. These words of wisdom printables can be purchased and downloaded instantly. The size is 5" x 3.5". Print them on white, colored or kraft card stock and have fun with them!

Unique birthday party invitations