Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dear Girl (or Guy) Getting Engaged . . .

Wedding announcements are a big deal. Engagement photos may be an even bigger one.

As a girl who spent four years in college and lived with scores of other girls, I've gotten my fair share of announcements:
After a while, you start collecting them like Pokemon cards . . . .
Some of my very favorite people made it on my house's shrine to the engaged.

It should come as no surprise that I've formed a few opinions. So, you, person reading (congrats by the way) may want to keep a few things in mind before you send out that piece of photo paper that will be immortalized on someone's fridge.

1. Faces please! I know it's tempting to get all sorts of artistic, but Great Aunt Betty might not have met your fiance yet. She'll want to have an idea so she doesn't congratulate the wrong person at the wedding.

2. Capture your couple essence! Have a little fun! You're getting married after all. On the flip side, remember this is marriage: a (at least) lifetime commitment. You're not taking Prom pictures.

3. Keep kissing to a minimum! Remember Great Aunt Betty? Let her be able to show-off your announcement. I know kissing is fun, but you don't want her (or her friends) to be scandalized.

4. Keep it varied! Should you choose to make a collage, go with different kinds of pictures. In photojournalism, we talked about how different photos make for a good photo spread. The same goes for announcements: have a close up, a long shot, an action shot and a portrait. (That is probably too many pictures for one announcement, but you get the idea.)

5. Smile! Look in love! This isn't a funeral, guys. Unless that's your thing. But maybe you should be rethinking marriage if it is.

And the bonus, not picture-related tip:
6. Proofread! Have someone else proofread! Copy editors are so important. Don't believe me? Google it. But, if you don't have money to hire one (also, if you have a hard time finding them because it's one of those regrettably extinct jobs), have a friend look it over. Twice. Make sure ALL of the date and address are correct. This seems obvious, but I've seen it.

Disclaimer (before any of my friends disown me): I've seen plenty of beautiful announcements that have broken these rules. But in the (hopefully) eventual day that I get married, I would like to remember my critical preferences before my brains get too love-addled! 

So, if you're just a one photo or a collage person, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words and your engagement pictures are that time to share your love story!


  1. I feel honored to be immortalized on your fridge still. I hope we didn't inspire this post. But I completely agree with all of your rules, policies, suggestions, recommendations, etc. I have been doing some designing for others recently and it does seem slightly disheartening to "design for the client".

    1. Yours was one of my favorites, Stephen! The only rule you broke was from my comm graphic class: "Don't use more than three fonts!" But I thought your announcement was charming, so it didn't matter! (Feel free to pass along my ideas to any of your prospective clients, haha. People need to be educated!)

  2. I feel like I need to bookmark this for the future :P All good advice. I especially like the one about keeping your collages varied. It seems obvious now that I think about it, but I don't know a lot about photography and design and might not have thought of that. Oh, and the bit about proofreading. That just doesn't happen enough.

    1. I can remind you when your time comes :D Everything could use a good proofread! Always! :D

  3. After reading this, my English major self wants to go back and proof read my wedding announcement. Good thing the only copies are in AZ! All good tips though! I hate it when I can't even tell what my friend's future spouse looks like. Or when there are so many smoochy pictures I want to gag. Btw, wherever I am in the world when you get engaged I expect an announcement I can keep forever! I'll even send you extra postage!

    1. Brianne, the queen of lovey dovey things, gets grossed out by kissing?! Hold the phone! Haha, there won't be any announcements from me for a while, but you'll be one of the first people I send one to!