WW: What to Wear for Engagement Photos

 

Wedding Wednesdays are back again. Now that I showed you my dream NYC proposal (if you didn't catch it, click here), let's have a chat about how to dress for engagement photos. Once you get a chance to breeze through our pics, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page to catch the interview with our wedding photographers on what to wear.

NEW YORK ENGAGEMENT PICS

Most couples have the luxury to shop and pick out coordinating outfits for a few weeks. Yet, on the day of the proposal, Jared surprised me with a next day engagement shoot with the same wonderful photographer, Kelly Christine. That may sound like enough time, but since I didn't even know that I was getting proposed to just a few hours earlier, my mind was...well...still swirling. 

Jared and I blasted through Soho the next morning for our outfits. Talk about a woman on a mission. We visited Top Shop, Zara, and a number of other stores. I wanted a city outfit - sleek and current. Jared wanted to "twirl me", as he said, so he pushed for a skirt. My new fiancé won. I couldn't deny those dimples!

j&j_engagements.jpg
j + j engagement
jj_engagements_june2014-140.jpg
j + j engagement pics
j + j engagement pics

Location was a big deal to us since, after all, we were in New York City. So we ventured from Central Park to the Meat Packing District for a non-touristy, city feel. The photos truly captured how special that week was for the two of us. 

jj_engagements_june2014-182 copy.jpg
subway.jpg
j + j engagement pics
jj_engagements_june2014-197 copy.jpg
jj_engagements.jpg
jj_engagements.jpg
jj_engagements_june2014-234.jpg
jj_engagements_june2014-248 copy.jpg
jj_engagements_june2014-237.jpg
j + j engagement pics
jj_engagements_june2014-277 copy.jpg
jj_engagements_june2014-278 copy.jpg
j + j engagement
jj_engagements_june2014-255 copy.jpg
j + j engagement pics
For more pictures and our feature on Green Wedding Shoes,  click here .

For more pictures and our feature on Green Wedding Shoes, click here.

WORDS FROM TEALE PHOTOGRAPHY:

We're actually going to do another shoot with our wedding photographers, Teale and Justin from Teale Photography, in the coming months. Now that we have time to plan for our shoot, I asked them for a few words of advice about what to wear. I know how to style on a creative set for an artist, but I wasn't sure how similar it was to style for a lovebird shoot, especially when I was one of the two lovebirds. 

1. When are engagement shoots usually shot?

Save the dates are usually sent out 6 months or so before the wedding and invites are 2-3 months before the wedding so they book their engagement session accordingly. If a couple wants pictures in their save the dates, they will plan their engagement session prior to sending out the save the dates. If they don't want pics in their save the dates they will book me closer to the wedding. 

2. Are there certain colors that look better on camera? Are there any colors to stay away from?

Vibrant colors look best on camera. But, it really depends on the photographers edit and the clients preference. I love bold colors. Some love naturals and neutrals. It's more about what looks good on the client's skin.

3. Does it help for the couple to bring a few ideas they have to the table?

- Yes, as busy photographers, we don't personally want to come up with everything the client wears or props they bring. We can help them with ideas if they give us an idea of their vision.

4. How matchy, in your opinion, should the couple be?

Again, this is preference on the client's end. Every photographer is going to like a different style. I think the themes of clothes should match, but not the colors. I love different patterns and color schemes. Again, it must be flattering to the couple. I would always avoid making them look identical. That's like a family shoot and not an engagement session. We want to see the femininity in her and the masculinity in him.

5. Last bit of advice you have for couples getting photos taken: 

Dress to move around and act like 'lovers'. There will be lots of PDA! Dress your style times 10. Don't be afraid of bold color.

WORDS FROM ME

My last bit of personal advice is to pay attention to the surroundings and make sure to pick something that is complimentary. For example, if you are in a field, wear a color other than green so you don't blend in. A complimentary color, like red, will pop. A purple/blue hue will compliment, but in a subdued way. (See Central Park photos above)

Also, if you change locations like we did, don't be afraid to change your outfits to fit the surroundings. Just be aware of time because the change usually counts towards the allotted time for the session. 

When it comes down to it, wear something that screams you, but remember, the photo is supposed to scream your love more than anything. Have fun with them!

Hope this information helped! Remember, even in your engagement photos, be the best you! 

Wedding Wednesdays: The Proposal

 

So I’ve decided to do something a bit fun. If you follow me on any social media at all, you’ll know that I recently got engaged to a hot Aussie dream named Jared. It was documented on Green Wedding Shoes here. Since this is my one chance to blog about a wedding, I think I will dedicate a few Wednesdays to “Wedding Wednesdays” and update you on the process.

Engagement is a blissful time. It’s exciting to shop for everything and dream big. What a lot of these wedding websites don’t tell you is the bit of stress involved. You wake up thinking about a wedding and you go to bed thinking about a wedding, especially if it’s a 5 month engagement like ours. So Wedding Wednesdays will be dedicated to the good, the bad, and the ugly of wedding planning. 

Today will be a good post because it’s about what started it all: the proposal.

 

THE PROPOSAL

Jared surprised me two weeks beforehand with a trip to NYC because he had a few big gigs in the city that week. It’s rare that a significant other gets to experience a touring musicians life on the road, so I was beyond ecstatic. Upon arrival, he had the entire week planned out. Little did I know that he had been talking to my city-dwelling best friend, Payal, for a while to make sure the entire week was planned out. 

The day after I arrived, he took me to my second love, Brooklyn.  We ran into a number of fellow Aussies and found some wonderful shopping spots. Needless to say, my love tank and shopping bags were full! I’ll share more about these crazy cool places in one of the next coming posts.

We rushed from Brooklyn to soundcheck at Radio City Music Hall and then to Central Park, for a "casual stroll". Yeah right. We casually walked up to the rowboats, jumped on a boat and he rowed like a madman to get to The Lake. To the point where people were dodging our creaking boat.

JARED HERE: I was nervous about my small window of time between soundcheck and show, so sweating bullets, I walked her to the park (after having no luck finding a cab going uptown) and eventually got a hold of a pedi cab driver telling him to high tail it to The Lake. Because of the recent bad weather, my backup plan was to propose on a bridge right by The Lake but once we got to the row boats and I saw them operating, I just had to go for it!

rowingproposal1
jj_proposal_june2014-5.jpg

Back to me. Once out there, Jared stopped at a specific spot. Little did he know this was my favorite spot in Central Park. It was a location I had visited many of times in the past years by myself. 

JARED HERE: When trying to figure out how to propose to Jenna and make it as big as I could, yet still intimate, I jumped on Pinterest (it's ok fellas, pinterest is cool for guys too!) and was immediately struck by a picture of a couple on The Lake in Central Park, in a row boat, in front of the San Remo Towers. I just thought it looked way cool and that it would be amazing if I could somehow pull it off myself.

The shot.

Jared then whipped out a beautiful custom ring, his best speech and then this...

jenna_jared_proposal3.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-47.jpg
jennaandjaredproposal.jpg
jenna_jared_proposal1.jpg

Once I looked up, I saw that we were surrounded by people in boats, lining the bridge and the entire sidewalk. There seemed to be hundreds of people and they all stared in anticipation.  I asked, "Who are these people? Is this a flashmob?!?!” He disappointedly said no, but that they were waiting for my answer. So, I screamed YES at the top of my lungs as the crowds cheered and clapped in pure excitement. It was unreal.

jj_proposal_june2014-31.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-36.jpg
jenna_jared_proposal10
She said yes!
I said yes!
jennaandjaredproposal12.jpg

We rowed back and Jared said he had one more surprise. I was already dying with overwhelming excitement. (You'll be able to tell by the wide open smile) He led me to the Loeb Boathouse, turned me around and I immediately started the ugly cry when I saw these people: my dad and stepmom, flown in from Ohio, and my childhood best friend, Payal.

jj_proposal_june2014-68.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-70.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-71.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-77.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-110.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-81.jpg
jenna_jared_proposal20
jenna_jared_proposal
jennaandjaredproposal
jj_proposal_june2014-100.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-123.jpg
jj_proposal_june2014-117.jpg
jenna_jared_proposal22

At that point, the show was in a few minutes so we ran to Radio City Music Hall. He surprised me with even more after the show, but the one I'll share with you was a 2 hour limo ride that took us through Manhattan and to a delicious meatball restaurant on the Lower East Side. Perfection.

The dream day ended on a rooftop, drink in hand, overlooking the city and reflecting on the perfect day that just took place.

Like I said, he had more surprises for me...but you’ll have to wait for one of them. Thanks for going on this journey with me as I step closer to marrying the most thoughtful, humble, creative, hottest person I know.

Moral of the Story: Always do your make-up. You never know when a complete stranger is going to photograph 2 hours of your life. 

 

*Memories captured by the talented Kelly Christine. Thank you so much!

Dwelling on Love, Not your Status

 

As I started to piece outfits together for my Valentine’s Day “What to Wear” post, my heart was tugged in a different direction. So today, rather, I'm going share a topic of the heart.

Although I’ve been in the dating scene for quite a few years now (former serial dater recently gone exclusive...thank you very much), rarely have I spent a Valentine’s Day with a "special" someone. If I can be completely honest, although I absolutely loved my single life, there were quite a few glimmers of loneliness.

See, women have a way of mustering up independence and feelings of empowerment by the time February 14th rolls around. Rather than sulking, maybe they find other single girlfriends that want to share a memorable night out on the town. Who needs a guy?! Well, until the second glass of wine comes around and they all agree that, if they are completely honest, they would rather be on a hot date than with their beloved company.

Or single girlfriends decide to just stay home and prepare a meal together (all the while thinking how much their future mate would love their cooking). Who needs a guy? Only until they are faced with the dilemma of whether to watch a romantic comedy with possible depression to follow or just go ahead and watch Die Hard to avoid any chance of butterflies. 

Let’s be honest, with the addition of each year of singlehood, it can get harder and harder. Here's the good news - this doesn't have to be the case. So whether you’re single and loving it, single and hating it, or the second half of a pair of love birds, here's some ideas on how to make this time of year a season of life and love.

 

TO ALL MY SINGLE LADIES...

LOVE YOURSELF FIRST, BEFORE ANYTHING OR ANYONE ELSE.

It’s literally not possible to love someone else with all your heart until you learn how to love yourself...the good, the bad and the ugly. Be real with yourself. 

 

DISCOVER WHAT KIND OF EGGS YOU LIKE. 

Don’t wait for a man to make you happy. Be happy before he finds you. How do you do this? Find where your confidence can blossom. After all, confidence is the most attractive trait.

I think I’ve done this in snippets throughout the years, but finally, last year, someone got in my face and said...”Would you just figure out what kind of eggs you like already?!” Some of you may know what she was referencing. I didn’t. But after researching, I found that this concept was from “Runaway Bride”. Brilliant.

The main character, Maggie, had been engaged several times. When she would start to date each of her men, she would decide that she liked her eggs prepared the way they liked them. As silly as it sounds, it represented her lack of identity. Before she could ever walk down the aisle to say “I do”, she would instinctively bolt for the fear of losing the potential of who she could be. What did she finally do to overcome this? She took time for herself and discovered her dreams, interests, and hidden talents. She even experimented making different types of eggs. She discovered who Maggie was to the core.

 

BE IN LOVE WITH YOUR LIFE. ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Know that this is only for a season of your life so enjoy the pleasures of single-hood. You have every right to focus on yourself and make it the life you want. Decorate your house the exact way you want it. Jump in the car and go on a last minute road trip whenever you want. Eat dessert before dinner. Volunteer. Blast your music without any fear of having to turn it down. Pick up new hobbies with each new season. The possibilities are endless.

Quote by Jack Kerouac. Artwork by moi.

Quote by Jack Kerouac. Artwork by moi.

TODAY ISN'T ANY DIFFERENT.

Remember that you are just as single on Vday as you are on another day. This may sound depressing, but I'm merely stating that you shouldn’t let this one day ruin the anticipation of an upcoming day when love meets you. 

 

APPRECIATE YOUR DESIRES AND KNOW THEIR ISN'T A SCARCITY.

It’s ok to want to be with someone. Especially as a woman, you are meant for relationship. You are meant to be balanced out. 

Remember, also, that it just takes one person to fulfill that desire. Out of the three billion men in this world, I think there may be one out there for you. So when you want to say, "There's just no good single guys", know that there's probably a few and you get to choose which one you want!

 

CELEBRATE OTHERS.

I got to a place a year or two ago where I was going to scream if I had to attend one more wedding or baby shower. I know...that’s ugly. But as a single girl in her early 30’s, I had been to a lot of events. You know the movie “27 Dresses”? Yeah, didn’t need to watch it...I lived it. But what I found was monumental.

If I couldn’t rejoice in other people’s joys, I probably wouldn’t reap in similar ones. 

A fun saying came into my community of friends and it’s something that has forever changed my attitude towards this dilemma. It’s simply, “Me too!!”. Instead of looking at someone else’s "dream" situation and then turning the attention to my lack, I now rejoice with them and by saying “Me too!!” I've literally had to shout it out loud at times just to get it into my head. I want to believe it. I want to believe it's coming for me too.

I've also discovered that this is a great litmus test for friends. The ones cheering for you saying "Me too", rather than "Why her?", are the keepers. 

 

TO ALL MY COUPLES...

YAY FOR YOU.

I’m extremely happy that you’ve found the love of your life. (Me too!) Even if there are times that try you and test you, you are setting an example for hope and love.

 

BE REAL.

At a young age, the minds of girls are taught to look at marriage or relationships like a fairy tale. You fall in love, he whisks you off your feet, and you live happily ever after. Maybe frolicking in the meadows in between long walks on the beach. Of course this is an exaggeration but marriage is glamorized, while it’s actually really hard work. Even the hard work is glamorized. So, talk about your ups. Talk about your downs. Show singles that real life is actually better than a fairy tale because with the downs, the ups become that much stronger.

 

DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR A SINGLE. 

I understand that need for quality time with your significant other. In this world of busyness, life can pass you by. Love has to be extremely intentional. In a similar way, be intentional with your single friends. As an example for Valentine’s Day, go out to eat with your boo...but then what would it look like to invite couples and friends for a night out or over to your house? Valentine’s Day is for love. Include singles because sometimes those are the loneliest times when the mind likes to play tricks and say that every couple is having the best night of their life. 

Also, let them know they are loved now and it’s easy to love them. This can be done as easily as leaving a little VDay present for your single babysitter that had nothing better to do for the evening. Or it can look like sending a sweet card, or something as simple as taking time out and going to them, rather than expecting them to come to your house. It’s so simple...but those little things speak wonders. 

 

DON’T ASK POINTLESS QUESTIONS.

When I was single, a constant question I received was “How are you still single?!” Now, I know this was meant as a compliment. It was flattering to an extent. But that didn’t help bandaid the singlehood.

The truth is....I was single because I chose to be single. I hadn’t found someone that fit my standard. And I was loving my life the way it was because I was already whole whether someone was in it to join me or not.

I talked to a few of my single friends, and hands down, this was something that came up across the board. So, just be sensitive to phrases or questions like this.

 

YOUR STORY ISN’T SOMEONE ELSE’S STORY.

Oh my goodness, is it fun to share your love story? For me, it was the “I liked this certain someone for years, but I had written off love due to heartbreak after heartbreak. So, in this time, I worked on myself and put my blockers on to avoid any and all distractions. And then poof....our worlds collided and the rest is history.” Now, as lovely as our stories are (which singles do love to hear), be careful not to put your story on others. 

Meaning, phrases like ”When you're least expecting it, that’s when he’ll fall into your life” or “When you, yourself, are ready...he’ll come at the right time”. While those are actually very true...they’ve been overused. They bring little comfort. And probably not until they’re on the other side of the game, will it click.

 

LISTEN AND SYMPATHIZE.

One of the best things you can do is just listen. Often singles need to explain the void and get it all out. There doesn’t need to be a solution or epiphany. Just an ear to listen. Encourage them in who they are and that there’s a good future for them. 

 

FINAL THOUGHT...

Quote by Elbert Hubbard. Photo by moi.

Quote by Elbert Hubbard. Photo by moi.

I guess what I want to say can actually be summed up pretty easily. Don’t wait for love to come on Valentine’s Day. Love on Valentine’s Day, but love even stronger all the proceeding days because there is something different about the mathematics of love. Pretend you have a few dollar bills. You decide to give each dollar away. Now, how many dollar bills do you have left? None. Love is more powerful than money or anything else in life because it defies the odds. See, the more love one gives away, the more joy it produces. I have never felt more loved than when I’ve given it away. 

So on this Valentine’s Day, love the person across from you. Whether that’s your long time spouse sitting across the kitchen table. Whether that’s the father of your children and you’re both just happy to have peace, even if it’s for an hour. Whether that’s the first date that has sweaty palms across the table from you. Or whether it’s a dear friend that just wants to love and be loved as you engage in beautiful conversation. Just love. 

jenna_xox_wide2.png