Hiya! My name is Ariana Watts and I’m a Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer in Burlington, NC.
I love engagement sessions. They’re my favorite types of sessions. It’s your announcement to the world that you found your perfect match and you are indescribably happy! But I speak, not as a photographer, but from personal experience – they can be slightly nerve-wracking. What do I wear? Where do we go? Should I bring props? How long will it take? Heels or flats? Makeup or no makeup? Fiance or no fiancé?!!!
Okay well hopefully you can answer some, if not most, of those questions (yes, bring your fiancé, silly!) But in case you can’t, I thought I’d share a couple of tips to make your session as fabulous as you are.
1. Choose A Special Location
Couple always ask me – where should we meet? Any suggestions? Of course, we HAVE suggestions. We know the prettiest parks and locations in a 60 mile radius, and beyond. But how much more sentimental and sweet is it to get an engagement shot on the steps of the coffee shop where you met? Or the playground you both grew up on (where he used to pull your pigtails!) Or how about that college campus where you had your first kiss? Every time you look at your photographs, you won’t just be seeing a photo of the two of you, you’ll be seeing the story of your relationship.
2. Pamper Yourself
The last thing you want to worry about is your makeup, nails, and hair. I mean you’re gorgeous – I know it, and HE definitely knows it. And it’s your ENGAGEMENT session, with your husband to be. You should be focused on him – his hair, his cute dimple, his laugh. Not YOUR hair silly girl. So go get pampered. Get your hair, makeup and nails done (they’ll be taking photos of that ring, you know). The best part? You will feel AH-MAZING. You’ll walk like you look amazing. You’ll smile endlessly. All because you’ll know you look beautiful, which you are. Duh.
**Side Note – Of course, we’ve all spent YEARS perfecting our makeup applying and curling iron techniques. So if you can do it – by all means do it. This is just my suggestion so it’s a totally stress free session for you!
3. Show Us Your Love
Yes, we know you love each other, and as photographers, we loooOOoove to see it. The sideways glances, the tickling, the ear nibbles. Those are the things that make you guys unique. Only you laugh like that when he kisses you on your cheek. And he’s the only guy in the world who giggles endlessly when you tickle him. Its what makes you two… YOU! Be yourselves and give us the chance to document it.
Engagement sessions are fun. Relax. Enjoy them. Be in love. Be you. It’s an amazingly awesome part of your life and you need to make sure EVERY. ONE. KNOWS. IT. For reals. And if these tips make it a little easier, well I’m a happy photographer! Happy loving!
It’s Thursday and I’m going on vacation tomorrow (sorry to rub it in!. Hopefully, I’ll be productive today…but I’m not making any promises. I’m so excited I kinda can’t stand it but I’m even more pumped to share today’s real wedding with you all. Yesterday we featured Peter + Nicole’s rustic Cotton Dock Rehearsal Dinner and today we’re following it up with their winter wedding that I’m pretty sure you’re going to fall in love with. Once again, Peter + Nicole enlisted the talents of The Daniels and Eventa Bella and, no surprise, they did not disappoint. The couple hosted their guests for an evening of live music by Charleston favorite, Plane Jane, at the picturesque Pepper Plantation,. It was the perfect backdrop for Nicole’s rustic pewter color palette, cozy lighting and of course, some cowboy boots!
The Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation is easily one of my favorite venues in Charleston. Nestled along the marsh of the Wamponcheeone Creek, it provides the perfect Lowcountry setting along with an always needed cool, salty breeze. This past Winter, The Daniels were on hand to capture Peter + Nicole’s gorgeous rustic rehearsal dinner. Sabrina with Eventa Bella did an AH-mazing job with the decor. I love the cozy, elegant vibe she was able to accomplish…and who doesn’t love those twinkle lights? Most couples don’t enlist the talents of their photographers for their rehearsal dinner but I’m so glad Peter + Nicole did. Not only did The Daniels take some killer detail shots but is that last image not perfection? Love…
If that wasn’t awesome enough, don’t miss Peter + Nicole’s Pepper Plantation Wedding tomorrow!
My husband and I got married a little over a year ago and we were so touched that so many of our friends and family made the trip to Charleston for the weekend. Since I grew up outside of Atlanta and my husband hails from Florida, even though we didn’t consider our Lowcountry shindig a destination wedding many of our guests did. Those travel expenses can add up pretty quickly! So, needless to say, it meant a lot to us that, in addition to just attending the wedding, they also showered us with gifts.
While most guests stuck to our registries (which my kitchen very much appreciates!), some veered off and did their own thing…and not always in a good way. Let’s just say I still haven’t acquired a liking for a few of the items. I actually considered taking a picture of some of the “interesting” and cheesy gifts we received but figured that’s pretty rude. Like I said, I am more than thankful for any and ever gift we received, it just made me think that if guests choose to stray from the registry, it should be for something the bride and groom will treasure and not just toss to the side.
I guess you could say I’m a pretty sentimental person and I love any gift that has significant meaning, so I thought I’d round up some of my favorite wedding day gifts that are absent from your everyday registries. I can promise you all of these keepsakes will be cherished for years to come.
“Remember the Day” Pillows
I may have a slight obsession with burlap which is why it’s probably no surprise that Etsy dealer, Next Door to Heaven‘s, “Remember the Day” Pillows are one of my favorites. These are the perfect day-to-day reminder of a couple’s nuptials.
Remember the Day Pillows from Next Door to Heaven
Point DeVue is a Chicago based company that is a master of architectural artwork. These unique sketches will add that personal touch to your gift. What could be better than a constant reminder of the venue that was home to their magical evening.
Venue Prints from Point DeVue
Custom Heirloom Bowls
Located in Austin, Texas, Paloma’s Nest specializes in all things heirloom. They offer a large selection of handmade beauties that are intended to last for generations (just the way we like ‘em!). One of our favorites is the Large Custom Heirloom Bowlsand it will look perfect displayed in the bride and groom’s home.
Heirloom Bowls via Paloma’s Nest
Ahhh, sweetgrass baskets. The art of sweetgrass weaving is a Charleston staple that takes local palmetto strips and hand stitches them into intricate designs. These sturdy keepsakes incorporate themselves nicely into any Lowcountry woman’s serving ware collection.
I just love these. Chocolate Butterbean makes the most beautiful wedding signs…don’t you think? They are completely customizable and come in a range of sizes, mediums and the message is up to you. The newlyweds will welcome this heartfelt addition to their humble abode!
Weddings Signs via Chocolate Butterbean
Weddings Signs via Chocolate Butterbean
Weddings Signs via Chocolate Butterbean
Wedding Art Prints
I ran across Jenna Sue Designs on Sparkle & Hay last week and I’ve been smitten with it ever since. This print is perfect for the sentimental bride and groom and can easily be reworked to include the couples own vows or the words their first dance.
Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! Even though, I’m pretty excited about the idea of cooler weather (and football season), I can’t believe the summer is wrapping up. One thing I love just love about Southern Weddings, and the South in general, is the vintage feel. You know that a Southern bride is going to look classically beautiful. She’s not going to overdue it with too many accessories or crazy hair and make up. It’s more about her personal style then the current trends and fads. She has a timeless appeal in every aspect of her wedding day, from her flower selection to the choice of music and the end result is always a stunning affair. That’s what I love about Shannon’s Orchard House Bridal Shoot from our friends at Connections Photography. I’m pretty sure I was gasping as scrolled through every image.
Her hair – perfect. Earrings – love ‘em. Setting – Nailed it. Go ahead…get your swoon on!
Being a Georgia grad, I’m kind of a sucker for anything that has to do with the city of Athens. (Speaking of, did you hear the Georgia Theatre finally reopened?!) Athens is just a charming Southern town. It’s got great people, an awesome music (and bar!) scene and obviously a fabulous football team :) So, naturally when the talented Nick Branch sent over Shannon + Quincy’s April wedding I couldn’t wait to get it up on the blog. Shannon was a knock-out in her David’s Bridal gown while the men rocked tuxes from Men’s Wearhouse. She walked down the aisle of the Seney-Stovall Chapel (an Athens staple) carrying a beautiful bouquet of red rose. After the ceremony, the crowd headed down the street to the Hardeman-Sams House where they enjoyed the rest of the evening.
So, have you been racking your brain trying to think of the perfect gift for your fiance and still can’t come up with anything? Well…our friend Meredith from Risque Boudoir is heading the Lowcountry September 16-18th to assist you in creating a memorable gift for your sweetie. Because Meredith and team specialize in upscale boudoir photography, they are experts in how to style, pose and edit your images. Trust me, you (and your man!) will be more than pleased with the outcome.