Actually Using Your Engagement Photos

The engagement photo session. Many photographers are offering this service that was virtually unheard of a few years ago. I loved the concept. Sure, I have plenty of photos of Dan and I from various events, but I wouldn’t exactly call them good shots. Case in point:

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Yep, the typical, “We’re in a bar. Let’s take a picture!”

We wanted some better shots of us.

Dan’s friend/co-worker, Natalia, and her husband, Tony, are extremely talented photographers. We were lucky that they both agreed to follow us around on a Saturday morning and take some engagement shots for us. You already had a small preview from my wedding scrapbook post.

I’ll spare you the details about where we went to take the photos, where I got my wardrobe, and how early in the morning we started (ok, 7am). Instead, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
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Dan and I were beyond pleased with how the photos came out. I felt Christmas morning-type glee as I scrolled through the photos when we got them. They were gorgeous shots. But how could I display more than just a few of them without our home looking as obnoxious as the photo spread of Mark and Vanessa in Juno?

Using his creative mind, Dan came up with an awesome idea. Why not use the engagement photos to create a guest book? Genius!

I sparked to the idea, because a plain book with lines was just not going to cut it for me, and I had already looked far and wide for a guest book alternative, but nothing was striking my fancy. I first turned to etsy, one of my favorite places to find unique homemade crafts.

I saw this thumbprint tree from Love from the Thumb. I liked that you could actually hang this and see it everyday.
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I thought something like this note card guest book set from Cut the Cake Designs would be fun too.
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But a guest book made from the perfect engagement photos with space for guests to sign sounded great.

Dan started by researching some photo book companies online. He liked Blurb the best. We sifted through all the wonderful shots and came up with our favorites. Then, Dan designed each page. He discovered that the simple and easy way to make a beautiful photo book is to just pull every photo to the edges of the page (they call that full bleed). Then he added lines for the guests to write their names and any messages they wanted.
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It was a bit time consuming, but the guest book turned out great.

We borrowed the font and some design elements from our invitations, so everything matched perfectly.
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We received many complements from guests, saying they had never before seen a guest book quite like ours. And they enjoyed looking at the engagement photos they otherwise would have never seen.

We also used the guest book as an opportunity to try out Blurb’s custom books. We liked Blurb so much that we even used it to make our wedding album. It is a gorgeous coffee table book, and it saved us quite a pretty penny compared to buying an album from our professional photographer.

I’m so glad we got to showcase the engagement photos in a fun and unexpected way. How did you use yours?

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
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