The Charlottesville Wedding Blog

Wedding Planning

How to Get the Most Out of Your Engagement Photos

While engagement shoots used to be few and far between for newly engaged couples, they've since become as much of a right of passage as the first dance at the wedding! We love that more and more couples are taking advantage of this new tradition, so much so that it's not uncommon for a wedding photographer to include a session into their packages.

But while the engagement photos will most likely end up on Mom and Dad's mantle and most definitely on your save the dates, it seems silly to spend X amount of dollars on a photo shoot and not take full advantage of the use of your photos.

So how can you get more bang for your buck? How you can include your engagement snaps in other areas of your wedding decor? We reached out to some talented wedding planners to see if they could lend a suggestion or two, and they sure didn't disappoint...

We reached out to Alexis, the talented planner behind Unique Weddings By Alexis, to ask her what suggestions she offers up to her couples looking to include their engagement photos in aspects of their wedding. Take notes, ladies, because she has some fabulous and innovative ideas! Here's what she had to say:

  • The number one thing couples like to do is create a coffee table/guest book of the images they love the most from their engagement session. They leave lots of white space around the photos for guests to leave their best wishes.

  • I love to see couples use these images on their wedding website. It's nice to see recent images of the couple rather than older ones that don't resemble them as well.

  • Couples like to take photos at their favorite spots and then use those images in a frame as the "table name" at the reception.

  • Another fun thing to do is have the one image of the bride and one of the groom and mount those onto poster board. If there is a photo booth at the wedding, all the guests could feel like they're getting their photo taken with the happy couple!

Is your mind racing with ideas yet? Sit tight brides, because Rachael of Two Hearts Weddings and Events has brought even more options to think about!

"Just about any place you can think of to use a photograph is a possibility to incorporate your engagement photos. A lot of couples already use their engagement photos on save the dates, coffee table books, or matted & framed copies that serve as the guestbook for guests to write well wishes upon. But here are some of my favorites that you don’t see all that often or are new and different presentations…"

  • Hang individual photo prints from balloons and group them in masses over the buffet table. This is such a festive and chic presentation

  • Cover the inside lid of a small vintage suitcase for guests to place cards inside

  • Envelope liners! Quick tip: line the inner envelope rather than the outer because it will most likely be ripped open and your beautiful photograph detail will be ruined before it is even seen.

  • Programs - get creative with some of the cute options you can find from sites like Minted

  • Table runners & cake displays - Reprint all your favorite photos in black and white (for a uniformed look) and glue or double-side tape them together in an overlapping pattern. These would be great for a rehearsal dinner where you generally have less tables to decorate. Another option would be to completely cover your cake table in a similar manner, place a glass table top over the photos, and then your cake on top of that.

  • Your own art gallery - choose several of your favorite photos, have them blown up on to large canvases and have them hung on the walls of the reception space. Add some pin-spot lights and your space will feel like your very own art gallery. Quick tip: have them all done in black in white for uniformed, dramatic look.

Other ideas we're obsessed with:

  • Include your photos into your wedding favors: keychains, matchboxes, etc.
  • Have a slideshow to be shown during cocktail hour! Ask your venue if they have all the necessary equipment.
  • Use the images to create a unique cake topper. This is much more personal and creative than the standard bride & groom statue.
  • Use them as envelope sealing stickers for your wedding invites or thank-you cards, or turn them into a custom stamp.
  • Turn them into large puzzle pieces for the guests to sign as your guestbook.
  • Instead of traditional flowers, line your ceremony aisle with your photos by hanging them off the pews/chairs.
  • Make a dramatic statement with a custom aisle runner with your photos running the length of it.

Lastly, we suggest that you schedule your hair & makeup trial run a few hours before your engagement photo session will begin. You'll knock out two birds with one stone & you'll surely look stunning for the images.

. . . . .

A huge thanks to our planners at Wedding by Alexis & Two Hearts Weddings for all their incredible suggestions!

Now that you're convinced your engagement photos are for sure going to be included in your wedding day, click here to check out our tips to ensure a flawless shoot with your photographer!

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