Taking engagement pictures with your spouse-to-be is a special (and fun!) way to celebrate your love together and share the big news with friends and family. Whether they’re featured on your official Instagram announcement or on your wedding invitations, engagement photos should reflect your personalities and who you are as a couple. Using the right photo props is a great way to do just that.
“Use props that are meaningful to you whether it’s food and drinks, your favorite hat, or something that symbolizes your jobs,” says Michelle Robles, a Southern California-based wedding photographer. To help you create stunning engagement photos you’ll love for years to come, we asked Robles to share her top photo prop ideas and recommendations.
For something extra sentimental, she suggests popping a bottle with the Frank and Loons Custom Engagement Champagne Label and writing a special message on the Threshold Wood letter Board. For something simple yet romantic, you can’t go wrong with the Miss Fleurs Dried Flower Arrangement or the Everly Quinn Pappilion Upholstered Loveseat.
Read on for the best photo props for your engagement shoot.
Courtesy of Etsy
Price at time of publish: $7
“You’re engaged! A pop of some champs is a way to celebrate and also get super fun candids,” says Robles. “Pro tip: it also helps to loosen the couple up while shooting.”
Courtesy of Etsy
Price at time of publish: $27+
Robles recommends adding a bridal touch to the photos. “Order a cute dried bouquet on Etsy, or ask a local flower shop to small bouquet for your engagement shoot.” It’s a nice (and more affordable) way to try out flowers you might want to include in the wedding itself.
Courtesy of Lack of Color
Price at time of publish: $149
“A hat can change up a look completely,” says Robles. “You don’t have to wear it throughout the whole shoot—just pop it on for a few shots!”
Courtesy of Wayfair
Price at time of publish: $510
Robles suggests using interesting furniture pieces to help switch up the poses and set a new scene for the shoot. Retro sofas and chairs like this one are a “fun way to bring a vintage vibe to the photos,” she says.
Courtesy of Amazon
Price at time of publish: $10
Robles suggests adding this banner to the back of a vintage car for a unique and retro flair. “There’s something about vintage vibes that are so in for wedding and engagement photos,” she says. “Look for a rental car or ask around to borrow one for a few shots.”
Courtesy of Target
Price at time of publish: $23
Get creative with your announcement by using an interactive, retro-inspired sign. “This is a fun way for your photos to actually speak to your friends and family,” says Robles. “Spell out your names, a new last name, or a fun little message.”
Courtesy of Amazon
Price at time of publish: $29
“Your engagement photos must show off your newest accessory,” says Robles. “Use a fun ring box to showcase your ring in another way than just rocking it on your finger.”
Courtesy of Amazon
Price at time of publish: $4+
Don’t forget the most valued member of your crew: “Your pet is quite possibly the best prop you could use! It’s fun to capture this monumental moment in your life with your entire fam.”
What to Look for in Engagement Photo Props
The most important thing about your engagement photos is that they properly showcase your love for each other. It offers a chance to reflect on your relationship, be playful, and let your personalities shine. An engagement shoot is a perfect time to celebrate as you embark on your journey to marriage, and photo props are a great way to make your pictures unique to you.
When searching for the perfect props, consider the style and aesthetic you want for your photo shoot. “First, let your photographer know what vibe you are going for,” suggests Robles. “Do you want mostly serious, or are you guys silly and want candid fun?”
If you’re a boho bride-to-be, a vintage-inspired hair accessory or an earthy bridal bouquet like the Miss Fleurs Dried Flower Arrangement is right up your alley. Are you a couple who’s not afraid to make a statement and have a little fun? Robles recommends popping a bottle of champagne or taking your photographer on an adventure to all of your favorite spots for a memorable and celebratory shoot.
“The first thing I always suggest to my couples is to pick their location. Let me third-wheel your date night,” says Robles. “Have them choose a place that is special to them; maybe a spot they went on a first date, a place they frequent, or somewhere they love to go together. Bonus points if they want to take you on an adventure. Action and candid shots look so much better when they are actually doing an activity. It makes the shoot much more meaningful to be capturing something or somewhere they love together.”
“A casual outfit and a fancy option,” Robles advises. “I always suggest wearing something comfortable–try to stick with solid colors and do your best to coordinate with each other. Bring a jacket or a hat to throw on and create another look with this casual option. Photos always come out best when the couple is comfortable in what they’re wearing.”
She continues, “Part two, go all out with your fancy option. You’re shooting a prequel to a day you will be dressed to the nines, so bring the heels out and a glamorous gown or dress (use Rent the Runway if needed). Gentlemen, throw on a coat and some dress shoes. Engagement photos are just as important and should be just as loved as your wedding photos. You’ll like having at least two looks to choose your save the dates from.”
“Try your best not to just smile and pose. I know it’s hard with a person/camera all up in your business. But breathe, relax and try to connect with your partner. When in doubt, keep moving around so you don’t look stiff,” says Robles.
“Pro tip: sometimes it’s better to do a champagne pop earlier in the session than later! Lastly, it always helps to set the mood and tone of your shoot to play your favorite music. This is also a great way to loosen you up and allow your personalities to show.”
“A fun way to make photos feel personal is to include your favorite food! Make it fun–have a picnic or a pizza party in the back of your car,” Robles recommends.She also suggests using your parent’s veil or another cherished family item to make the photos extra special. “Bring a sentimental element into these photos and borrow an accessory from a loved one, especially if you can’t quite figure out how to tie something in on your wedding day.”
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Chloe Caldwell is a Commerce Writer for Brides who specializes in shopping and lifestyle topics. She has more than five years of journalism experience writing about all things fashion, beauty, travel, and wellness.