Say Yes To The Mess: Engagement Photos. Friend Or Foe?

To Reiterate.

Yeah, we all loved The Notebook. But putting on a pageboy hat and posing with some letters runs the risk of just making you look like you’re trying too hard. But if you’re trying so hard that you make something amazing, like this entire series of Up photos, then more power to you.

Keep your shirt on.


Know somebody famous.

I’m pretty sure that no engagement session could top this one that Bruce Springsteen accidentally photobombed. However, if you know someone famous, try to make it someone like Will Ferrell, who won’t mind posing with you to get your photo in The New York Times Vows section.

So in conclusion. If you can follow in Anne Hathaway’s footsteps, get your photos taken for free. My husband and I skipped the whole engagement photo process, but we ended up having to go to a park with a friend to take some shots, because the Times rejected our original photo submission for our wedding announcement.

CLEARLY the Vows editors missed a major opportunity for awesomeness here:




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    • victoria

      as a former wedding planner, i always encouraged my clients to have engagement photos taken to prepare themselves for the horror of having their picture taken all day long at the actual wedding. it helps them to get comfortable in front of the camera!

    • Colleenc

      My fiancee and I are getting our engagement photos done this weekend. Our first actual date (where we weren’t just hooking up at his place after sexting for hours) was at our favorite bookstore, where we had coffee and wandered the shelves and learned about each other’s taste in literature. So, for the photos we’ve arranged with the manager (I used to work there and still know all the staff) to have our photographer do our shoot in the same store. We’re going with vintage nerd type outfits – he’ll be in slacks with a shirt and tie and suspenders – trying to get him a fedora as well, and I’ll be in a pencil skirt with a blouse and cardigan and pearls.

      Our photographer made our engagement photos part of the package deal for our wedding photography, and we’re going to use them for our invitiations. Plus, my mom wants pictures of us together to frame and to show off to my grandmother.

      • Lisa

        Oh. Good. Lord. Did you not read the article?

    • Fabel

      I always thought engagement photos were a way for those terribly cutesy Facebook couples to legitimate their hobby of posting albums with 32901415 pictures of themselves in loving poses. But I can see Victoria’s argument being valid.

    • Missh

      All of these engagement photos are turrrible. People, stop inflicting your cheesiness on the general population.

    • Avodah

      How is it a “wedding mitzvah”? Engagement photos have nothing to do with a halachically valid wedding. I don’t get the joke. Maybe it was just a crappy joke.

    • Odbery

      If you go about it the right way (ie Zombie Apocalypse, Up etc) I can see engagement photos as something fun to do. Plus, when you start decorating your house with pictures of you and your spouse (as many do before they have kids to take up the space) they’ll break up the monotony of wedding photos.

      …Most of these are pretty gross though, and definitely did not require a professional photographer.

    • Dee

      I don’t know.. I’ve been on the fence about engagement photos. My fiance and I have a lot of photos together, but no professional shots. I mean, I’d like to have them just so we can build an album and hang a few nice non-wedding shots around the house, but as stated.. they’re expensive. And it’s not like we really *need* them. I guess I’d just like to have a few really nice photos of us– nothing creepy or costume-y (personally I think Hathaway’s photo with her dog and fiance by the tree is adorable.)

    • Hanna Brooks Olsen

      I won’t lie–I think that engagement photos are much more for the couple than for anyone else…unless they’re really awful, in which case they’re a gift to all of us.

    • Kelly

      Why is everyone hating on engagement photos? People take photos to commemorate all kinds of life events – graduations, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or even just because they want a picture of their family. Hell, there was a time when pictures were taken after someone died. Why are engagement photos any different than any other kind of celebratory picture?