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Newly engaged traditions...questions??

Okay I have been engaged for exactly a month and a day :) Here are my questions...

-What is the point of getting engagement photos done? Do you send them out with invitations? Are they important? I want to get some done, just because my fiance and I have never had any pictures done, but I don't want to spend a lot of money. What's a reasonable amount for e sessions?

-Are engagement parties necessary? How soon after being engaged should they happen? Can they be informal (as in sending out invites on Facebook?) Is it okay for it to just be a small get together with a few friends?

I'm trying to budget wisely, because I want to spend most of the money on the actual day! Thanks so much for all of your help and advice!

Re: Newly engaged traditions...questions??

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    I would like to add regarding the engagement party:

    1. You can't host your own; someone else needs to throw it for you. By all means, have a get-together with friends, but don't call it an e-party.

    2. Anyone invited must also be invited to the wedding (same as with other prewedding events like showers and bachelor/ette parties.
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    Hi and Congrats"

    Engagement sessions are for the most part a ''bonding'' session between you and your photographer as well as a memory keepsake for you and FI.  IMO completely unnecessary if you're budget conscious.  The cost really depends on the photographer you will be using.  There are a really nice memory to have and I enjoy looking at other people's engagement shoots even if I chose not to do one.

    Engagement parties are not necessary either.  The point is for people to celebrate your engagement and start giving gifts for the household.  You can most definitely have an informal invite however I would not recommend doing it on FB.  The horror stories you will have if you announce anything wedding related on that thing isn't worth the easy invite.  (people will harass you for an invite and will start to become increasingly annoying, the less info you share on FB, the better)

    Good luck!
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    For e-pics, many photographers offer them as part of your package.  You can use them to make STDs, or a website, or just to AW on FB.  Personally, I would never have done them if they weren't included in our wedding photography package, so I think anything more than free is too much.  But if they are included, I think it's a fun way to get to know your photographer and make sure you like his/her work.  

    As for e-parties, if someone offers to throw you one, anything goes.  The only rules are 1) you don't throw your own and 2) everyone invited needs to be on the wedding guest list.  
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    We only did e-pics because they were included with our photography package.  I enjoyed getting a chance to work with our photographer to get a feel for how she was at giving direction, the quality of her work, how she made US look (it's easy to be awed with a photographer when they are shooting a stunningly beautiful bride, but unless you are a model, it's great to see how YOU photograph).  It also gave us some great professional pics of us to use for our photo STDs and photo guestbook.  However, if you photographer doesn't include them, I wouldn't say they are 'worth' the extra money.  We also didn't take our e-pics until last month, which was about 6 and a half months after we got engaged, so it's nothing that needs to be done immediately.

    We also never had an e-party because no one offered us one.  They aren't common here and I've never attended one.  We are, however, going to be throwing a BBQ in the next few weeks for our families to meet.  But this definitely isn't an "e-party".  It really has nothing to do with our engagement, just enjoying the weather before it gets hot and giving our parents the opportunity to meet each other before the wedding.  There will be no gifts, no toasts, etc.
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    Read MNIN's post.  But use my voice.  Because it's what I would have said.  =)
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
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    1.  We got engamgent photos because up till now, all of our photos had been of us taking pictures of ourselves (you know, arm outstretched with camera in hand...).   So we kinda wanted something nicer to have, and to give our families.  A good friend of mine is an awesome photographer.  The session (two hours) was $250.  From there, we could order whatever prints we wanted (very reasonably priced...I think 14 prints cost about $110). 

    2.  You don't trhow your own engagement party.  If someone else wants to throw you one, the timing is up to them.  It can be as formal or informal as the host wants.  
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    Yeah, that's kind of what I wanted to do for an "e party" but I wasn't even expecting gifts or anything! I just want to have a little get together to be with friends and family! Nothing like a shower or anything! I don't even have to call it an e-party!
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    1. engagement pictures can be used for all sorts of things. my FI and i are getting a package deal with our photographer and we feel it is a way to get comfortable with his work style.  we'll use the pics for save the dates, thank yous, websites, home decor, and possibly shower or wedding decor on the cake or guestbook table, etc

    again, we chose to do it that way because our photographer is fan.tas.tic and produces works of art, not just pictures.  if the photos arent all that important to you, then you can go cheaper or do them yourself.

    2.  the EParty is to celebrate your engagement, and to start introducing families to each other.  It is a great way to get them talking so they aren't strangers at your wedding!
    A formal EParty is not thrown by the two of you (usually a family member offers), and it includes gifts and a toast given usually by the bride's father.  it can be a sit down dinner, or cocktail hour type event.
    Informal parties can be thrown by anyone, and the rule of thumb is to not call them an EParty (because most people will automatically think of the formal version).  BBQs and informal get togethers will naturally be a "ohmygoshcongrats!" party especially if this is the first time people get to see you both...but theres less pressure for gifts and other formalities.

    My grandma offered to throw our party (though I helped plan 90% of it). We had a relaxed 'open house' type of cocktail party just because there were so many people.  We did have a toast and everyone went around and introduced themselves - again so other family members could start putting names with faces.  it was a lot of fun, and not too formal.  It was a strict "family only" event, so my friends  took us out to dinner the night before as the 'informal' type party.  Aside from paying for our dinner, there were no gifts or formalities.

    The only hard and fast rules are that if you throw your own - keep it informal and less EParty related. Also, anyone invited should also be invited to the wedding.

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    Someone may have said it and I missed it, but on the engagement photos - 

    1). They do not go in your invitations. I've seen some new invitation styles in magazines that were made out of a photo and I think they could be cute for a really informal wedding, but generally, no photo in the invite. 

    2). They were "traditionally" just of the woman, and the purpose was to put her photo in the newspaper when her parents announced the engagement. This is relatively rare nowadays - our newspaper uses photos of the couple - but you'll still see it here (I'm in Louisiana), particularly in old school small towns.

    We just took ours this weekend and we had a lot of fun with the photographer, and while I've known him forever, my FI hasn't, so it was a great chance for him to get to know our photographer/how he works. The photos came in our package as well- I'd definitely consider doing them with the photographer you want for the wedding, especially if you've never worked with him/her before. 

    Everybody else covered the rest!
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    will47will47 member
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    edited April 2011
    We did our engagement pics a year ahead of time. We used some of our photos that they had printed to go with thank-yous as "save-the-date" cards instead - just stamped our names and the date on the back.

    We've showed people a couple, but we're saving most of them for the day of -- we'll display some of them as people come in to the reception.

    I would like to add that if they're included in a package, they're not really "free" - you're paying for the package, and thus paying for the engagement photos. Photographers seem to like them, partially because it helps them get used to photographing you, but I assume it also has something to do with the fact that it earns them more money.
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    We did some informal engagement pictures (shot by a friend who's taking a photography class) in the outfits we were wearing when he proposed, about six weeks later.  Probably on the early side, but humor me, I was psyched :-)  With most packages at phtographers we were looking at, you got a discount on the engagement shoot, but it wasn't necessarily included with the wedding package.  We decided we didn't want to spend an additional $200 on engagement pictures but my friend's photos turned out fine for our purposes.  You can use the photos for save-the-dates or engagement announcements, I did announcements and got lots of compliments on them.

    And ditto pp's that you it has to come from someone else to offer to host anengagement party for you.  Our friends/family are pretty scattered so we didn't have one!
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    also, if someone throws you a surprise engagement party, you don't have to invite everyone there, although hopefully the person throwing it would know you well enough to only invite your nearest and dearest anyway (this happened to one of my friends)

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    We had a friend who had a really nice camera take our engagement pictures...and they look professional. Then you can have them printed at Walgreens, or wherever, and don't pay a crazy amount for printing.
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    I told my photographer i was just going to do her normal wedding package with no e-pics. Shes sorta a family friend she offered to go ahead and do them anyways =)
    Just depends on if this an important thing for you to spend your money on.
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