Here’s How You Can Pull Off a Cozy and Casual Engagement Shoot on a Budget

Being the content manager for Bride and Breakfast, a big chunk of my job is to scout, review, and write about weddings and all things related to it. So can you just imagine the pressure and excitement I felt when it was my turn to tie the knot?! Inspiration, tips, and ideas just kept coming, and our engagement shoot planning was not spared. Breathtaking destination venues, themes, and gorgeous styling options made it challenging for us to stick to our wedding budget!

So my fiance and I talked and figured out what we both really wanted–a fun, cozy, and authentic engagement shoot that would show off our personalities. We took it from there and started planning one detail at a time. The goal was not to spend so much, but still have a very tasteful and memorable engagement shoot experience. Now, looking at our photos makes us so happy because it reminds us of who we are as a couple, which really should be the purpose of an engagement shoot more than just the aesthetic, right? Here are some tips on how we did it while keeping our wedding budget intact.

Use everyday outfits.

While there’s nothing wrong with hiring a wardrobe stylist to help you out with your overall look, we felt like it would be more personal and practical for us to use our everyday clothes instead. This way we were sure that the clothes perfectly fit our personalities, our casual theme, and our bodies! We set autumn colors as our guiding palette and from there, we put together our own combinations. It was fun and exciting to plan since we only saw each other’s outfits on the day of the shoot! Good thing we both have a similar taste and style in clothes so it all came together just how we wanted it.

Borrow items to complete your look.

You can also apply the “something borrowed” tradition to your engagement shoot! In order to save on costs, try not to buy items that you think you won’t be using after your shoot. Instead, borrow from people who have what you’re looking for. I’m not so much of an accessories person, so I borrowed jewelry from my sister and mother-in-law. Asking for help is also a nice gesture to keep them involved in your wedding planning. I’m sure your loved ones are more than willing to contribute to your journey.

Ask help from your friends and family.

One of the challenges in planning our engagement shoot was looking for the right location. We checked out themed studios, coffee shops, and cozy restaurants to name a few, but we always found it either too stiff or too tedious to book. So we started asking around for recommendations and luckily, an uncle volunteered his cousin’s beautiful home in Quezon City. What made the experience even more memorable were the stories the owners shared with us on how they were able to build their dream home. Talk about hospitality and lessons learned! Don’t be afraid to ask for help because you might just receive more than what you expect.

Choose a team you’re comfortable with.

Carlo and I had a look and feel in mind for our wedding photos. We wanted it to look warm, relaxed, and a little bit nostalgic–not overly processed and not too bright. So when we went to a bridal fair, we took the time to talk to different photographers to get their vibe and personality. Of course we checked their portfolios too, but it wasn’t the only thing we considered. We wanted to hire a team we knew we would be comfortable with. Smiling and posing will be such a task if you don’t get along with the people behind the lenses, so make the effort to get to know their ethics and style before you book them. Our whole engagement shoot was a breeze because of the fun, calm, and relaxed attitude of our photographers.

Let your personalities show.

Set a theme that both of you can relate too. Carlo is a musician and I love putting words together so we took both our interests and made it our theme. Since we were highlighting our strengths, it was very easy for us to have fun and just be ourselves during the shoot. We laughed so hard and joked around as if no one was looking. You can say that we played rather than posed for the camera, and thankfully it showed in the photos. It was what we both planned and wanted, plus so much more!

Photographer: Conspire the Universe / Hair and Makeup Artist: Gel Cases
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