Valentine’s Day Proposals

Valentine’s Day may be a commercial holiday, but at the end of the day, many couples agree that it’s nice to take one day to celebrate your love. Case in point? It’s an extremely popular day for proposals.

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The latest  American Express Spending & Saving Tracker consumer report surveyed Americans’ Valentine’s Day plans and found that six million couples are likely to get engaged on Feb. 14.  That’s up from 4 million in 2012. The total number of engagements planned or expected for 2013 remains steady at 14 million.

Here’s some other stats about Valentine’s Day:

Increased Spending On Gifts
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How much will you spend on your significant other this year? Eighty-three percent of couples plan on giving each other gifts and will spend $260 on average — up from $196 from last year. Men will spend an average of $272; women will spend $209. The most popular gifts include greeting cards (57 percent), flowers (32 percent) and jewelry (17 percent). Gift cards and cash are less popular gifts than last year — 21 percent will be gifting these, down from 26 percent in 2012.
Virtual V-Day Wishes

Valentine’s Day is going virtual — 62 percent of couples will utilize some form of technology or social media to share Valentine’s Day messages. Most will send a text (34 percent), 33 percent will send a Facebook post or message, 26 percent will send an email and 22 percent will send an e-card.
Average Cost Of An Engagement Ring
slide_278704_2061151_freeThose 6 million people planning to propose on V-Day better start saving: the average estimated cost of an engagement ring in 2013 is $2,410.
Valentine’s Day Overrated?slide_278704_2061246_free

Everyone, breathe a sigh of relief. Valentine’s Day may not be as important to your partner as you think: 30 percent of women in relationships think the holiday is overrated.
Share with us your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day! Leave us a comment!
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What To Wear For Engagement Pictures

I am a firm believer that the three elements you need for a successful engagement shoot are simply 1. a good photographer 2. a couple in love and 3. stylish outfits! I know that may sound a bit shallow, but when I looked back at my favorite engagement sessions they all contained those three key things. I am not a stylist, fashionista and definitely not an expert, but after a little research I found some great tips and pointers from the people who would know best, photographers.

1.  Coordinate Colors. This doesn’t mean matchy-matchy, it just means that you wear colors that complement each other and pieces that have common shades. Here’s a great example from Pinterst.

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An easy way to pair colors is to choose one hue (like the pink blouse below) then combine it with a neutral.

2. Be bold with color. Black is slimming but it doesn’t always come out well in photos so try and pick a bright color that will stand out.

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From Hazelnut Photography

3. Wear extra make-up! Your engagement session is a great time to try out your wedding make-up artist. So try and see if you can coordinate a trial on the day of your engagement session. If not, make sure you wear heavier make-up than your everyday look, and definitely wear lipstick! Be sure to bring your make-up with you for touch ups.

4. Don’t be afraid of prints. I know they may be a bit scary, but a head to toe print can look great in photos. Just make sure it’s one that is flattering and hits you in the right places! Also, stay clear of logos and designs on shirts, etc. To balance the print, have your fiance wear a solid color.

From Hazelnut Photography

5. Choose clothes that complement your surroundings. Try and wear an outfit that matches your location. For example if you are going to be shooting in a wheat field, then wear a casual sun dress with cowboy bootsBut if your shoot is more formal, a cocktail dress or nice pair of slacks and sweater is the way to go.

6. Have an outfit change. It’s a good idea to have one casual outfit and one more formal one. And if you are unsure of what to wear, bring a couple options to your shoot and ask your photographer which one they think will work best.

7. Wear playful accessories. Play up your femininity if the outfit is edgy or choose edgy jewelry to balance super feminine outfits. If your outfit is pretty casual, try sprucing it up with a pretty necklace, high heels or cute flats.

8. Avoid anything too trendy. You want your outfit to be current and contemporary, but not something that’s going to be embarrassing in a couple months!

9. Wear layers. In my research, there were quite a few photographers who said that clothes photograph better when they are layered. So add a cardigan, blazer or jacket to finish your look!

10. Be true to your style. It sounds like a cop out, but really and truly the best photos are the ones where the couple is just being themselves. So above all, wear an outfit you’re comfortable in and that accentuates your style and best features.

 

Wedding 101: Engagement Party

When is the right time to… have an Engagement Party?

I asked around about this, because I myself had my engagement party about a year and half before my wedding, but I’ve seen them occurring just a few months before the wedding too.

What I have found is that if you’re going to have an engagement party, it’s best to do it about a year before your wedding. Think of it as a way to sort of “kick off” your engagement. In a perfect world, I would suggest doing it soon after getting engaged so you’re REALLY celebrating… it could even be before you set a date! It’s also a good idea to have an engagement party if you’re planning on having a long engagement, hence the year prior to the wedding suggestion.

Planning your wedding in less than a year? Still go for the engagement party, as long as your wedding isn’t like 4 months away. If that’s the case, you have way too much work to do and you won’t necessarily have time for an extra party!

Who hosts the engagement party? Traditionally it’s the bride’s parents, but the party can also be hosted by the groom’s parents, your friends, or other family members. Engagement parties hosted by friends are always fun.

As for whether to even have an engagement party, that is entirely up to you, your fiance, your friends, your family, etc. But I will leave you with this little thought… EVERYONE loves a good party. 😉

Photo Source: Corey Potter Photography

So now how about you… have you had an engagement party? When did you have yours, and who hosted it? For those of you who haven’t had one yet and still have some time before your wedding, do you want to have an engagement party?