planning the perfect engagement party :: tips from an engaged wedding photographer
Jun 5, 2019 | By: Kiamarie Stone
Ten wedding seasons for me and I was always the photographer, never a Bride. That all changed on Christmas of 2018 when the love of my life asked me to be his wife! Our love story is so sweet, it was even featured over on Style Me Pretty!
I immediately knew I wanted to take my time and enjoy this beautiful journey which meant first up would be our engagement party. I have been capturing weddings for 11 years and teaching wedding photography for almost 5, so styling/decorating/planning for a party was in my blood and I wanted our party to be organically magical.
First thing I had to select was my venue. I knew I was going to select a place that would 1. mirror the overall aesthetic of my future wedding and 2. have all of the elements that matched my ideal color palette. My first and only choice was Beyond Organic Growers after I had done a shoot there with a fellow photographer. It radiated nature, love, light and joy...all the elements of not only my future wedding, but my life and business brand as well. I never looked anywhere else, this was my ideal spot hands down!
My next order of business was to chose my colors and tones. Blush, gold, cream and sage had my name written all over them and it was easy to bring these colors into my venue of choice because the venue was white, neutral and organic green. It was practically a clean space waiting for my decor.
After venue and colors were in order, it was time to decorate! This was probably the funnest part of the entire planing process! My youngest daughter and I did countless trips to thrift stores, estate sales and even met with people in their own homes who would sell amazing decor on the Facebook Marketplace for literally next to nothing! If you haven't hopped on there and searched for items in the past, definitely do it ASAP! I also found some pretty things at Wayfair, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Oriental Trading and Home Goods. The best thing about all of my finds for the engagement party is that a lot of the items I purchased can also be used for our upcoming wedding!
I can not say I had no help at all because the last thing on my to do list was to gather the professionals that would bring my dream day to fruition. I absolutely opted to have a professional photographer and videographer. I wanted this day documented from all ends. I have a pretty good memory but I wanted to see, feel and hear the day forever and I knew I needed a team of pros to help me capture those moments.
I also needed a few creatives who specialized in the little things like cake toppers, signs, invitations, florals and desserts. I chose all my favorite wedding vendors who I will list at the end of this post. They were all the true magic makers behind the little personalized details that I knew I wanted but could never buy from any store.
Our day quickly came and it was truly amazing! I wish I could do it over and over again believe me! How much did I spend? A lot. Did it bother me? Absolutely not. I would rather hire professionals and buy/order things that are top quality then invest in mediocre professionals or details. I am only going to do this once so I didn't place myself on a set budget and am still completely happy with that decision.
I hope my little blog has given you some inspiration and helps you plan the day of your dreams and that you love the moment just as much as I did! I am always here if you need any help with your own parties. Who knows, maybe there is a future planner in me after all?
And if I can leave you with the best advice of all...get yourself a wedding planner, not the person, the one you can actually write in! I got mine on Zazzle and it makes for a really pretty keepsake too!
If you ever need help planning your special day I am always here to make the magic happen!