Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Engagement Pictures. Yay or Nay?

When we first got engaged, I immediately started thinking of when and where I wanted to have engagement pictures done. I had visions of myself and Manny frolicking in the snow, wearing adorable boots and hats while a photographer captured us at our winter best.  Manny had shown some slight resistance to this idea but I just brushed it off as "being a boy." And he of course assured me that if I really wanted them, then we'd do it.

When we began discussing it more in earnest, Manny posed this very relevant question...what exactly is the purpose of engagement pictures? Good question. So I began to ponder, determined to come up with some brilliant answer. I didn't come up with much.

When I asked myself why I wanted engagement pictures, the only answer I came up with was "because all my friends have them."
So then I asked myself, well what would I do with the pictures, and when the first thought that came to my head was "put them on Facebook," I began to rethink the idea of formal engagement pictures.

Spending several hundred dollars "because all my friends have them" and "so I can put them on Facebook" hardly seems rational. So what's the deal with engagement pictures? Is there some greater purpose that I'm totally missing here? If not, I mean, I would actually love to create an album of pictures taken by family, friends, and ourselves to document our engagement. Then it would really be a documentation of that time, rather than a snapshot (hehe) of one day.

Thoughts? Comments?


  1. I didn't get engagement pictures done, and I don't regret it. Paritally because I was planning a wedding while in a long distance relationship so we didn't exactly have the chance to do it, but partially because I just didn't want to spend the money on it (there were a couple visits where I could have made it work).
    That said, a lot of wedding photographers offer engagement pictures as part of the wedding picture package, so that is an option. I guess it comes down to what is important to you (not what everyone else has) and whether or not you want to spend the money on that, in addition to everything else you will be spending money on.

  2. They are good to have... Ours are still scattered around the house. We used ours as a setup at our reception as well, so it was worth doing.

  3. i've had the same dilemma and i've decided to forgo formal pictures. i don't know about ya'll, but rob & i are working on a very slim budget and i would much rather spend the money some other way.

    i've had cute picture ideas in mind (particularly us with Harley) but I think that maybe we can just take a bunch of regular pictures with a regular camera and make like an engagement scrapbook or something.

    i think that being from the South, there is a lot of pressure to be a certain way and do things a certain way, and it is easy to get overwhelmed with the "i have to's..." But, when it all comes down to it, it is your & Manny's wedding. If you want to naked cartwheels down the aisle or lift your dress over your head & say "MAMA LOOK AT MY PANTIES", then by God, do it. It's your day, enjoy it.

  4. We didn't get engagement pictures done, and I regret now not having them done. Engagement pictures are the documentation of the actual start of your relationship. How you look, how in love you are, you will NEVER again have that look in your eyes that you aren't together but can't wait to be his wife. I say fork over the $50 it costs and get them done! Really there are plenty of photographers that do hour sessions for $50, at most its $200 for an hour or two and then you get the CD and print what you want! Really you'll regret not having them done. It's a chance to actually get dolled up with your honey and set aside time for each other. Look at it as trial wedding pictures, get use to being in front of a camera and kissing each other 8 billion times in a half an hour.
    DO IT!
    And if you don't like them, you can always toss them, but you can't ever take them again.

  5. Thanks for all the feedback! The field seems pretty well split. haha. I'm going to consider a few different options and see what we come up with. Thanks again for all the input!

  6. It's an old hold over tradition from when couples had very long engagements and had many relatives who had never seen the betrothed. At least that's what i came to understand when i was trying to decide rather or not to do them. We chose not to since we had so many recent pictures to use for save the dates, slide shows, facebook, and all other reasons we needed pics of us together :)

  7. So this is my very first comment on your blog *yay* and I have to say you need to look for wedding photographers before you do anything with this engagement photo shoot stuff!

    I'm getting married this year... and me and the finance did photos last October. I wanted them for a number of reasons: For formal announcements in the paper, for Save-The-Dates that my family would get, to put on the entry table at the wedding, and to give to my family and my fiance's family as gifts. Also--it's REALLY nice to have some formal photos of the two of us... considering we don't have a lot, and the wedding day ones will be us in a setting, dressed up differently. As in.. it's not what we're like every day. Engagement ones are more comfortable, relaxed, and you get to wear normal everyday clothes!

    We looked at getting just engagement photos done at first... pricey! $400 ish for just that! Then we thought of my dad doing them (he's handy with a camera). It ended up that 99.9% of the wedding photographers we looked at iNCLUDED engagement photos in their price. So that's what we did. We got engagement photos done by a photographer, and are so happy we got a feel for his style and personality then. It'll make the wedding day that much easier to communicate what we really want!

  8. I like the idea of engagement pictures but I totally understand not doing them. So, I came up with a list of things you could do with them if you do decide to do them.

    -save-the-dates: these look way cuter with a picture on them. You could use Snapfish or another photo/picture card site to make these fairly cheap
    -a few on the table with your guest book
    -pictures to enclose in Christmas cards/use as a photo Christmas card since your wedding pictures probably won't be in yet
    -have them framed and give them as nice gifts or thank yous to your parents/grandparents
    -have them framed and put them in your house
    -buy one of those multi-picture frames and put a selection in them to have at home
    -have a photo collage made (Nikki did this; it's super cute)
    -slide show at your rehearsal dinner

    I'm out of ideas, but I'm going to go with Amber and say do what you want. Your photographer may include them, but that requires you and Manny to go to NOLA fairly soon, and I'm thinking that's not possible.

    Maybe you have a friend who's handy with a camera who could take them and y'all take him/her to dinner and pay for the printing costs?

    This is going long and I'm sure we'll talk more about this soon, but ideally, you should make a decision on this soon since y'all have training and the deployment coming up and you don't want to be stressed.

    One more thing...if you or Amber (or both!) don't do "MAMA LOOK AT MY PANTIES" at either your rehearsal or bachelorette party, I'm going to be really disappointed. :)

  9. @Reese: thanks for the comment! unfortunately here's the sitch...we already booked our photographer who is in a different and very faraway state (our homestate) which is why I didn't really think about it at the time. Oops. And at the time (and maybe still now) I wasn't/am not sure I give two hoots about engagement pics. hehe. Thanks for the suggestions though! :)

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