A sunset engagement shoot that's going to inspire you

We love engagement shoots. Why?

  • Because ... They announce your engagement to the world
  • You can try out a photographer to see how the shots work for you
  • The two of you can have fun and relax, there's not that wedding day pressure
  • You can use the photographs for your save the dates, your wedding stationeryYou can send them to relatives and grandparents in advance of the wedding
  • You can experiment with different looks and you can get a fabulous photograph of THAT RING
  • You can wear different clothes
  • You can visit a place that's special to you both
  • You'll have the photographs to look at to remind you what it's all about, when you're feeling snowed under by wedding planning
  • You can put your dog in the photos if you want
  • Nobody is around to tell you what to do - it's just you, your partner and the photographer
  • You can try out different venues to see how they work for you

And so the list goes on. We picked out this engagement session by This Modern Romance because we thought it was the stuff dreams were made of. It's beautifully lit. There's a golden glow in the field - these photographs were taken at the perfect time of day (which is something to discuss with your photographer). We love the lighting, the couple - who obviously just adore one another's company. The girl's dress is inspired - rustic and simple to reflect the surroundings of nature. The shots are simple and gorgeous and really show the love of this couple. The golden field and the sun setting just right...sigh, perfection. If you're planning an engagement shoot, cast your mind over where might work for you. If you both love the countryside, then something rustic like this could be perfect for you both. Enjoy!

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Images by This Modern Romance

Rules For Keeping the Love Alive Before the Wedding

Rules For Keeping the Love Alive Before the Wedding

Getting married is one of the most exciting moments in your relationship, but it can also cause quite a bit of stress on the both of you. It's important to focus on keeping the little fights to a minimum and maximizing the love in the air. Its's natural for the romance to fizzle during the long stage of wedding errands, however you don't have to wait until the honeymoon to rekindle that fire. From pre-engagement talk to wedding day events, follow these simple ground rules to deal with the changes to come in your love life.
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Be Open

Naturally, there are certain things about your partner that are going to bother you, and it goes both ways. From the beginning, establish a sense of honesty in your relationship. Go into the wedding planning process with the idea that you should both be able to express how you feel in certain situations. With an open line of communication, you will likely feel less lasting resentment.

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Date Night is Important

Talking about wedding plans at a local coffee shop does not count as a date! Carve out time in your busy schedules to actually go out and enjoy yourselves without thinking or conversing about the wedding at all. It's necessary to take a break from all of your to-do lists and focus on the true meaning of your marriage.
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Motivate Each Other

Stress does so much to our bodies and minds. When stress levels are high, it's the most critical time to focus on your health. Help each other stay active by going to the gym together, or taking a hike. Plan out nutritious meals and make a date out of cooking for each other. Not only will it keep your bodies in tip shop shape for the big day, but studies show you will feel less of the effects of stress when you are abiding by a proper diet and exercise routine.
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Get Away

Repeat: don't wait until the honeymoon to unleash the romance! Plan a weekend retreat, day trip, or even staycation to prelude the honeymoon. Think of your "mini moon" as an opportunity to unplug and just be together. Taking this time away will help your relationship flourish and also eliminate those pre-wedding jitters.
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Simple Reminders of Love

We tend to forget that whisper the simple words "I love you" really means so much. Especially when tensions have been high, stop to just show your love towards each other. Small things make the difference, like leaving a note out before your lover goes to work to simply remind them. Verbalizing those three words can negate all those harsh feelings that have been slipping into your mind.

Photos by M&J Studios and Logan Cole Photography.

What Your Diamond Says About You

What Your Diamond Says About You

Every woman knows that “A Diamond Is Forever.” In today's culture an engagement isn't complete without sealing the deal with a sparkly ring. Quite a bit of thought should go into your engagement ring. With so many combinations of stones and bands, your groom to-be should enlist help to be able to narrow in on a style that has just as much character as you. Because the diamond is always the center of attention, we've decoded how the different cuts transpire into your bridal personality.

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Radiant

The radiant-cut diamond is a lover of light with plenty of sparkle to show for it.  This gem is loved by brides who aren't afraid to take the spotlight. Whether you opt for a daring dress or a well-known DJ, your guests will surely remember your wedding as an energetic party for years to come.

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Round Brilliant

With 58 facets, a round brilliant cut gem sparkles like no other. You are a traditionalist to a T. You've dreamed about this day from the time you were five years old and you won't leave out a single detail. You want everything to appear timeless, so you pick a tulle ball gown and hire a violin quartet to serenade you down the aisle.

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Pear

Combining the styles of the oval and marquise cuts, this unique shape is a perfect choice for those who thrive off of independence. You play by your own rules and your motto is that two is better than one. You probably opted for a destination wedding because of the nature of a vacation and ceremony in one! emerald

Emerald

This retro-inspired design was more of a traditional style in previous decades. The cut tends to show any flaws the diamond may have, meaning that you love to take risks but in a way that is effortless and cool. You are drawn to minimalist elegance, so your ceremony will never feel over the top.

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Cushion

You love glitz and glamour which is why your ring is most importantly a statement. Think classic elements that also incorporate current trends. Underneath it all you are a hopeless romantic, and your wedding will not be short of luscious roses in rich hues.

 Photo by Vasilis Lagios Photography. Rings by Betteridge. 

Romantic Quotes to Share for Valentine's Day

Romantic Quotes to Share for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's day coming up next Sunday, there is love in the air. Valentine's Day is a day of expressing love to everyone around you and taking the time to appreciate the great love you have present in your life. Take the time to take a closer look at your relationship. If you are newly engaged, recently married, or celebrating your twentieth anniversary, there's a reason why the two of your souls were meant to be together. Sometimes it's hard to articulate exactly what that love means to you, so we gathered our favorite quotes about romance. Whether you incorporate them in your vows, verbally recite them to your partner, or write them down on a card, share them with your nearest and dearest this Valentine's Day!

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"To be brave is to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return." -Madonna

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"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." -David Viscot
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"Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable." -Bruce Lee
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"I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, every day we are together is the greatest day of my life." -The Notebook

arnaudubois"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it." -John Lennon
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"I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn't matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together." -Julia Roberts

Photos by Tyler Branch Photography, Cole Logan Photography, Merari Photography, and Arnau Dubois.

How to Celebrate Your Recent Engagement

How to Celebrate Your Recent Engagement

If you're recently engaged and ready to jump in head first, we recommend stopping to take the time to really celebrate what has just transpired in your life. Whether it's stepping away for a rejuvenating moment alone, or creating memories with family and friends, you'll want to cross off a few of these to-dos off your list before the main event. After all, your engagement is a milestone that should be cherished for years to come!

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Go On a Date

It may seem simple, but going on a proper date after the proposal will truly seal the deal. You want to be able to soak up the excitement alone without any other distractions. Treat yourselves to a day in the city or a romantic dinner to signify your own personal little engagement party.

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Show Off the Ring

The best part is having the pleasure of telling all your friends and family of the fabulous news! Take a creative photo of your engagement ring to send out and post to social media. It's always nice to say a little something sentimental along with the photo.



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Take a Trip

Your honeymoon may be a ways off when you get get engaged so make the time in your schedule to get away before all the big planning takes place. It doesn't have to be far away but it does have to be a trip that is both relaxing and romantic.

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Hire a Photographer

Oh the art of engagement photos! After you've said yes to the ring, start researcher a place, time, and theme for some sentimental photos of you and your beloved.

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Have a Party

Kicking off the wedding planning process is always the engagement party! Whether casual house party or formal soiree, let the champagne corks fly! Invite those closest to you to send you off on the journey to your special day.

Photos by Rhythm Photography, Black Hue Photography, Bonnallie Brodeur Photography, Arnau Dubois Photography, Open Iris Photography, and Valentina Glidden.

Why Holiday Engagements Are So Special

Why Holiday Engagements Are So Special

Decking the halls with boughs of holly, navigating the mall to search for the perfect gifts, and singing christmas carols while the snow gently falls outside, it's always the most wonderful time of the year. However just as common as folks greeting each other with a simple "Merry Christmas" is the awaited phrase "Will you Marry Me?" among couples. Why you ask? The holiday season is filled to the brim with fun and excitement. It's the one time of the year where spirits are most bright and cheery and an engagement at this time of year just feels natural.  The memories of years past add a very sentimental value to a very important new memory that you are making together in the next step of your lives. Although on the other hand some may consider aspects of the season to be stressful, an engagement is also an opportunity to be reminded of the joy that surrounds. We also love that there is a very over-the-top quality of the holidays in general. Couples who want to stage a big proposal have plenty of opportunity to do so in a picturesque setting with a large audience. In many cases the hope is that the people in the audience are also family members of the beloved. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years are traditionally a time for families to reunite and spend quality time together. What is more special than sharing your own special moment with everyone that you care for in one place? Not to mention there's one secret perk for the brides...some men feel inclined to spend more than they would have normally planned on an engagement ring during the holiday season. Whether it's neatly wrapped in paper and ribbon under the tree or served with champagne at the stroke midnight on New Year's Eve, in our opinion a diamond ring is the greatest holiday gift of all!

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Share your holiday engagement photos with us on social media by tagging #RealDessyWeddings!

Photos by Willes Milton Photography, Casso Tweed Idalia Photography, Imago Dei Photography, and Stephanie Hunter Photography.

The Do's and Don'ts for Announcing Your Engagement

The Do's and Don'ts for Announcing Your Engagement

Engagement season will soon be here if it isn’t already for most couples, so we thought we would provide some “Dos” and “Don’ts” when it comes to announcing your engagement. 

Do tell your parents or immediate family members first before telling the rest of the world. This should be done in person or on the phone if possible.

Don’t put it on social media before telling immediate family members – like your parents.  The last thing you want is your mother or father finding out through a Facebook status.

Do be prepared for people sending messages wanting to see the ring.  Just because they’re asking doesn’t mean you need to immediately show them.

Don’t forget to tell close friends before telling the rest of the world.  Let’s be serious, will you really forget?  We didn’t think you would either.

Do expect to have a wedding date and time of year in mind upon announcing the engagement. You will want to start looking for a venue pretty quickly after you make your announcement.

Don’t feel you have to though! It is all up to you!

Do go out and get a manicure before taking that engagement ring selfie.  Psst! Send us your selfies! Click here to see what you need to do! 

Don’t be afraid to refrain from answering the tough questions about your ring.  Like how much the ring was, the number of carats it is, etc.

Do expect you will have friends and even family members who won’t be entirely happy for your happiness. It happens.

Don't allow anyone to try on your ring, it can be admired on your hand, but not on someone else's.

Already thinking about bridesmaid dresses? Check out all of our newest fall styles at Dessy.com!

9 Unlikely Places to Pop the Question (She'll Love It, We Promise!)

9 Unlikely Places to Pop the Question (She'll Love It, We Promise!)

As we head into engagement season, where men everywhere are holding engagement rings anxiously trying to find the best way to pop the question, we thought we would make this a little easier.  We ask that you leave this post open on his desktop.  You're welcome!



Her Childhood Home: If her childhood home was a place filled with wonderful memories, this could be a good idea for the perfect place for a wedding proposal.  She can add this to all the wonderful memories she already holds dearly.  It's a great way to show the connection between her past, present and future.

School Playground: Take her to the swing set or the sandbox and get down on one knee.  This is especially a good idea if the two of you met as children.   Chase her around a bit like kids do before you get down on one knee, to add to the fun.

Where You Two Met: This isn't entirely an unlikely place, but it could be unique depending on where you met.  For example, take her to the coffee shop where you two first bumped into each other,  or the laundry mat if you two met over the separation of whites and colors.  It's sweet and different!

The Top of a Skyscraper: There isn't anything more beautiful than being proposed to surrounded by beautiful scenic views of a city.  The top of Empire State Building perhaps?

On a Ski Lift: It will get hard to get down on one knee here, (wait until you get to the top) but how romantic is it to propose on the way to the top of a high mountain? It's a great way to say, "I am willing to soar mountain tops for the rest of my life with you."

The Same Place Her Parents Got Married:  Do her parents have a wonderful love story? Emulate that by proposing to her where they got married.

A Place You Find Special: Is there a place you go to from time to time? Maybe it's the golf course or quiet place in nature that brings you peace and serenity?  Take her there and get down on one knee and propose. It shows how committed you are to having her be part of your life forever, that you want to make this place the place for your proposal.

The Zoo: Nothing says he wants to take the plunge of getting married like proposing in front of the lion cages at your local zoo.  In all seriousness, this could just be a fun idea if you two have a love for animals.

The Aquarium:  If you can get someone at the aquarium to hold a "Will You Marry Me Sign" in the fish tank,  all you will need to do is get down on one knee.. she will get the rest.  A good one if she loves fish!

Ok girls, here are some ideas, now all you have to do is leave it where he can see it!  Also, once he does propose, make sure to take a selfie and send it to us!  Read this post by clicking Here to find out more information!

Also, don't forget to visit Dessy.com when you begin shopping for bridesmaid dresses!

Featured photo by Origin Photos

How to Plan Your Wine Country Bachelorette

How to Plan Your Wine Country Bachelorette

Post and Winery Images By My Best Friend's Weekend

Amazing as it is to believe, the official start of fall is fast approaching. With that, wineries enter crush season … aka one of the best times of the year to throw a wine country bachelorette. As veterans of multiple wine country trips, here are some of our favorite things to do (and wear) on a wine country bachelorette.

Where to Go:

Napa and Sonoma are the obvious choices, but don’t discount other areas of the country if a flight to San Francisco isn’t in the cards. The Finger Lakes region in upstate New York has some stand-out wines, and you can have a fabulous time in more off-the-beaten path wineries in Virginia, Maryland, Texas, or the Midwest.

Key Things to Remember:

The itinerary is crucial to pulling off a great day of wine tasting. Keep the number of stops to four or fewer. You should budget at least 90 minutes per stop and look for wineries that are fairly close to avoid too much time spent in transit. Hire a driver or plan to bike so everyone can enjoy the wine along the way without worrying about how you’ll get home. Make sure to budget some time to eat (wine, sadly, is not food). You can also score some great deals on tastings if you plan on purchasing some wine along the way – check in with the bride and her fiancé about their favorite varietals as you plan the day.

Want a special gift for the bride for her to tuck away her purchases? Get her this adorable Best Day Ever Tote bag available at Dessy.com to hold all her winery purchases.

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The Best Day Ever Tote bag comes in a variety of colors! 

What to Bring:

Make sure to pack for comfort and style! Bring things that will be easy to walk around in, as you’ll be traipsing around vineyards, so pick up some great sandals.

It can get chilly in the evenings, so grab shawls for the group, we recommend the Pashmina Shawl/Evening Shawl  and a simple, cute jersey dress will make an easy transition from a day of wine tasting to a fancy dinner out on the town … plus being indestructible and the easiest thing in the world to pack.

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The Pashmina Shawl/Evening Shawl, Scarlett dress by After Six and T-Strap Sandal are all you need for your day at the winery!

Most important thing of all? Have fun, and leave time for a post wine tasting nap. Trust us on that one.

Happy travels!!

6 Reasons You'll Love Your Engagement!

6 Reasons You'll Love Your Engagement!

Getting engaged is a wonderful time, there is so much to look forward to and so much to enjoy as you plan one of the most important days in your life. We thought we would share some more highlights of your engagement that will definitely make you love this time even more!

1. You won’t stop smiling! Smiling is always a good thing, especially when the person you love more than anything has asked you to marry them. This will be wonderful feeling especially when you know you are going to be with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Smiling this much will also come in handy for all of those beautiful engagement photos you will take.

2. You’ll get to be the center of attention! For the first few months of your engagement, people will want to know about how he proposed and they will want to see your ring and want to know what your wedding plans are. Who doesn’t love being the center of attention every once in a while?

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A beautiful photo like this is a reason to love your engagement! Photo by Nick Ghattas Photography

3. Magazines, wedding websites and more! Who doesn’t love looking at wedding magazines, wedding websites, downloading apps and even creating a wedding board on Pinterest for their dream wedding? Well now it isn’t just dream, it will soon be a reality. Make sure to visit The Dessy Group Pinterest page for your wedding!

4. Engagement ring selfies will definitely be a must during your engagement! Especially today with social media sites like Instagram and Facebook being so popular for these types of pictures!

5. Shopping for a wedding dress is always fun! One of the first things you will do and definitely enjoy doing is shopping for a wedding dress.

6. You get to pick some of your favorite people as your bridesmaids! Over the years you probably envisioned who would stand beside you as you say “I do” and now you get the opportunity to tell those important people in your life how much they mean to you by asking them to be part of your special day. And after you've picked your bridesmaids, be sure to check out all of our newest spring bridesmaid dresses at Dessy.com!

7. Engagement party– Yes! Whether you’re planning a big shindig or something quite and intimate with just close family and friends, your engagement party is one of the many perks about getting engaged! More reasons to love being engaged!