Julie & Charlie Engagement Session @ Davis Island

Julie and Charlie met while working for a small cruise line both of them in training to be cruise directors, how fun is that?  Charlie loves all things Chicago, especially the Bears and Julie loves UF football!  They are obsessed with their adorable pup, Cooper, and so we of course had to include him in their engagement session.  Their wedding colors are navy and mint, and after some fun ones in their favorite jerseys, Julie changed into a flowy navy dress and Charlie a mint shirt and navy pants which looked so amazing with the sailboats and all the greenery ending with a gorgeous sunset!  We can't wait until 8.4.18 when they say "I do"!!! 

Marlaina & Tyler

Marlaina and Tyler are getting married at the beautiful Bakers Ranch next February.  They wanted to have their sweet puppy Tigger in some photos with them for their save the date on the property so their guests would already have an idea of the location.  It had literally just poured a little while before their session but the rain really makes the greenery pop.  It was a little before dusk so we still have the pretty natural light but you can see the market lights in the background. I'll have to blog their save the date as well it turned out so cute! 

Violet & Geoffrey Engagement Session @ Pass a Grille

Violet and Geoffrey are just so natural and sweet, clearly meant to be with each other!  They both went to USF for undergrad but never ran into each other while they were there.  They met online and instantly became inseparable.  I love their engagement story!!  Violet had no idea that Geoffrey had been planning his proposal for weeks on a vacation they would be taking to St. Augustine.  Geoffrey and Violet were walking around St Augustine near the Castillo de San Marcos. While they were walking along the fort and near the water, Geoffrey asked Violet where she sees herself in 10 years.   Violet knew she wanted to spend her life with Geoffrey and mentioned she saw herself married to him.  At that exact moment, Geoffrey said "I don't know about 10 years", then he got on one knee and asked Violet "how about 10 seconds? Will you marry me?" We can't wait until their Tampa Club Wedding 10.27.18!!!! 

Jan & Mark

Jan and Mark are getting married next month!  They wanted their engagement session to include their girls Jessica and Kd, Jessica's boyfriend Kyle, and of course all their pets!  Jan had just gotten this sweet new Jeep which we had to use.  I love this session because it's totally them at home with their family.  Their dogs loved being in the photos, their cats not so much so they got their own portraits:-)  We are SO looking forward to their wedding on June 9th!!! 

Christine & Matt @ Bayshore Blvd

This happens to be one of the most fun engagement sessions ever!  When I met with Christine, she happened to tell me that her and Matt have a 1950's vintage tandem bicycle they are restoring together.  It was pretty easy to decide what to do for their engagement session after that!  We may have wreaked a little havoc on Bayshore but it was so much fun:-) They are going to have some bicycle accent details at their wedding and all their favs from this session are going to be designed into a custom sign in book.  We can't wait to photograph their wedding 4.25.18!! 

Holly & Rob Engagement Session @ Philippe Park

We always ask couples what they are most excited about getting married and I love that Holly said "Everything"!  Holly is a Floridian, from Dunedin, and Rob is from Long Island.  They choose the beautiful Philippe Park for their engagement session because they never tire of the beautiful views of Tampa Bay, those amazing huge mossy trees, and of course the Florida Sunshine.  We are so excited and honored to photography their wedding 12.1.18 at Carlouel Yacht Club!! 
Hair & Makeup | Femme Akoi

Engagement Season Tips!!

Getting engaged is such an exciting time in everyone’s lives and before you know it, and the time leading up to the wedding can be a complete whirlwind. From engagement parties to showers and rehearsals, there are many events that will have brides, grooms and wedding guests staring into their closets wondering, what do I wear? Some of the most difficult outfit decisions happen when events involve photos, because we all want to look good in pictures that will be seen for years to come! So, how can we tackle this clothing conundrum and make sure we’re putting together the most picture-worthy ensembles? 

Key clothing tips!

  • Comfort. You never know how long events can last, and how much time you’re going to be standing and repositioning for photographs. Make sure you’re wearing something that’s comfortable, because no matter how hard you try to fake a smile, discomfort will show. 
  • Is it photo-worthy? Patterns can be fun, but you don’t want a striped or zig-zagged pattern shirt that will take away from the other individuals in your shot. Step in front of the mirror or even take a selfie and get a preview of what you’ll look like behind the lens. It might seem obvious, but triple check for stains and wrinkles. (A to-go bottle of wrinkle releaser can really be a life saver!)
  • Does it coordinate? If you’re a bride and groom, does your outfit coordinate with your partner? Does it coordinate with the bridal party or others in your photos? Make sure you both are on the same page with how dressed up you are, and make sure you’ve communicated the dress code to others, so they know what to wear and can meet your expectations. 

Keeping those points in mind, let’s dive into some of the actual events that couples often get photographed and figure out some photo-worthy outfit options. 

The Proposal

  • Things to consider: comfort and personality. Popping the question can be nerve-wracking so wear something comfortable. Also make sure your outfit suits your personality - especially if it’s a surprise proposal. Your soon-to-be-fiancé might know something is up if you’re stepping out of jeans and t-shirt and into a tuxedo for a simple walk through the park. 
  • Men’s outfit idea: You can never go wrong with a colored or patterned dress shirt. Find comfortable dress shirts with a variety of color and pattern options so you can find one that speaks to you, then pair it with a pair of chinos (for a dressy look) or slim-fit jeans (for something a bit more casual). Don’t be afraid to use Pinterest to check out color and pattern combos! 
  • Women’s outfit idea: Dark wash jeans can be extremely flattering, not to mention how they can be dressed up or dressed down. A bell-sleeved blouse is an adorable top option, or if it’s nice out consider a sundress that will coordinate with a sunny backdrop. 
  • Added tip: Consider booking a photographer (we LOVE photographing surprise proposals) to capturing that moment as you ask the big question! These photos will be a beautiful keepsake to remember the moment and definitely extra bonus points:-)

Engagement Party/Engagement Photos

  • Brides-to-be: Dress codes for the engagement party and your engagement photoshoot usually go hand in hand. Wear something that looks natural for you two, but something that’s also classy. Think “timeless” since these photos are going to last a lifetime. This isn’t the time to test out bold trends - opt for the black dress and flats. Here's a really cool site we share all the time for color palette's in clothing: Design Seeds
  • Grooms-to-be: Dress shirts are the perfect option for engagement photos. You can find a color or pattern option that coordinates with your partner and pair them with dark chinos are dark jeans, depending on what you’re most comfortable with. 
  • Guests: Guests don’t have to be as dressed up as the soon-to-be bride and groom, but should still be presentable. Opt for dark-washed jeans and a button-up for the men, and a fun cocktail dress for the women. 
  • Added tip: Don't forget to as us photographers if you need advice on colors, lighting, or time of day we are always happy to help!  

The Wedding

  • Things to consider: Location, theme and time of day are key. What’s the weather going to be like and are you starting out early in the day when it’s hot or staying out late when the temperature is going to drop? Dress accordingly, so you’re not too hot or too cold. 
  • Follow the dress code: The save-the-date, wedding website or wedding invitation should give you some details on the wedding dress code. If it doesn’t, reach out to the bride and groom and ask what they’re picturing their big day looking like. If they ask for black tie, invest in the tie and cufflinks. If they say semi-formal, that doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the jeans. Following the dress code is key to making sure you don’t stand out like a sore thumb in wedding day photos, especially if you’re a mother/father of the bride/groom.
  • Indoors or outdoors: If a wedding is outdoors, plan accordingly. Bring sunglasses so you can see the couple say “I do,” and layer so you can peel off a cardigan if it gets too hot, but can throw on an extra later as it chills in the evening. If you’re indoors, you can be a little more decisive on your outfit since the temperature will be regulated. 

The perfect outfit is going to be different for every person, and every occasion. The most important thing you can do is make sure you’re picking something that you’re comfortable in, so that you look and feel at ease. You also want to make sure you’re communicating and coordinating with others involved to make sure you’re all on the same page with what look you’re going for. At the end of the day, the main focus is going to be the smiles on your faces, since from engagement to “I do” it’s a celebration worth remembering. 

Jackie & Chris

Jackie and Chris wanted to do a super fun outdoorsy, winter engagement session with marshmallow roasting!  My neighborhood happens to have all of the above so they came over to my house! As we walked closer to the lake, we had a large reptilian visitor that we did not get close to!  The leaves and tall grass had the perfect fall colors that looked so amazing with their navy and burgundy color palette.  These 2 are super fun and just so natural together, there was not a single person on the playground so we took on the swings and merry go round!  As the sun was setting we got the fire pit and marshmallow roasting going! Love you guys and can't wait until 10.20.18!!!  

Donna & Drew Downtown St. Petersburg

Here's some of our favs from Donna & Drew's session.  They wanted a location that was Florida, but not totally Florida and we actually accidentally nailed it by picking this spot:-)  On the way to where they old pier was theirs a really pretty walkway with these super unique trees but also palm trees.  We pretty much just laughed and had fun the entire time.  Donna wore these fabulous Tiffany Blue totally not comfortable heels and said it's a regular thing for her to be barefoot and Drew to be carrying her shoes.  The brick building is actually a bathroom but the black iron windows and railing brought some great textures and lines in there.  10.20.18 we get to photograph them becoming Mr. & Mrs!  

Madison & Matthew

Here's some of our favs from this pretty little session with Madison, Matthew, and Winston! It was the perfect evening for a stroll around Oxford Exchange and University of Tampa.  I love the blue and pop of pink, it matched Winston's ice blue eyes.  Madison is the catering and social media coordinator at the Tampa Club and we usually get to work with her on other couple's weddings. This time, 1.6.18 we'll be photographing her and Matthew saying I do! 

Kim & Shane

St. Pete has so many fun art murals and this one was perfect for Kim and Shane's engagement session to go along with their wedding being in St. Pete.  This is pretty special because we've known Kim for a number of years now, as she is an event industry professional as well.  It's always so fun to photograph our friendor's best day ever:-)  2.10.18 is going to be fabulous!!!! 

Lauren & Anibal

We had a plan to do Lauren & Anibal's engagement session before their wedding and then timing just didn't work out, so we actually did their session about 2 months after.  Post wedding portraits, I love them!  Plus, really there's nothing more relaxing than sailing on the Lady Jane.  We sailed out around Pass a Grille and Captain Kevin took me out in the dinghy so we could get some shots of the entire catamaran with some off camera flash.  What a great way to end their summer wedding fabulosity.  

Melanie & Josh

It's pouring outside as I'm posting this, which is funny because with this crazy Florida summer rain we had to reschedule Melanie & Josh's engagement session 3 times.  Fourth time was a charm and we had a gorgeous day for their Curtis Hixon Park Engagement session!  Melanie's black lace Tieks matched her dress perfectly (and were super cute:-) I can't wait until 3.10.18 when they will become the official Mr. & Mrs. Renzoni!!! xoxox

Jessica & Benny

Jessica has grown up vacationing with her family on this beautiful beach on Indian Shores so it was the perfect spot for her and Benny's engagement session.  It happened to be the week they were on vacation so I got to meet all of them too!  Jessica's dad even setup a glam changing station for them:-)  Their game is dominoes and since the traditional set only goes up to 6, Benny fixed it so they could use dominoes for their save the date!  They had sent me a photo of this pier and OMG the golden light, architectural lines, and the two of them looked like this straight out of the camera.  We ended with a picturesque pink Florida sunset.  I can't wait until 4.21.18!!!!   

Bridget & Ricky

You might have seen Bridget and Ricky's wedding sneaks, already!  They came down the week before their destination wedding from NYC and we did their engagement session at the most unique beach location I know of.  The Longboat Key locals call it Beer Can Island, just off of Whitney Beach.  You hike down a little sandy path past the pier and there's huge rooted fallen trees and tons of driftwood on this gorgeous beach.  The white sand and aqua water makes it feel like you're in the Caribbean somewhere!  We had so much fun and even saw some dolphins and found a rope swing!! 

Annie & Justin

I got to do Annie and Justin's engagement session while they were in town from TX on their wedding venue search.  Annie's flowy navy dress and Justin's patterned shirt was perfect for the beach. There's a hilarious moment I had to include but you'll have to ask Annie and Justin about:-) That sunset, it never gets old!!! I can't wait to spend St. Patty's day with them next year for their wedding!! xoxoxo