How to Choose the PERFECT First Dance Song

So you're planning your wedding. You've already made what seems like one billion decisions, and that little hint of "Wedding-Planning-Fatigue" might be starting to set in. At this point, choosing a first dance song is just one more decision to make... But, have no fear fiances, this detail CAN be an exciting and fun opportunity to create a beautiful and lasting memory together, and the task is a lot less daunting with a little bit of guidance, so let's dive in!

Here is a step by step guide you can use to make this decision a heck of a lot easier (and a heck of a lot more fun):


Step One: Imagine Your Wedding Day

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Is your wedding Formal? Laid back? Intimate and Romantic? Rustic? Beachy? Think about the vibe of your wedding day and start to imagine what kind of song would fit that vibe. If your day is all about romance (rose petals, candles, lace, etc.) then you'll want to choose a song that makes you feel romantic. If your day is all about laid back fun (outside, yard games, craft beers, etc.), then you'll want a song that expresses that feeling. Once you've figured out your wedding day vibe...


Step Two: Pick a Genre

Choose a genre of music that will fit that wedding day vibe. For example:

Formal: Big Band (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin)

Laid Back: Acoustic, Indie (Jack Johnson, Van Morrison, Edward Sharpe)

Fun: Motown, Pop, Rock (Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, King Harvest, Pharrell)

Intimate: Country Ballad, Singer/Songwriter (Ray LaMontagne, Adele, John Legend)

Rustic: Country, Folk (Zac Brown Band, The Avett Brothers, Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan)

By no means is this list exhaustive, but hopefully it offers a starting point. Once you've settled on a genre of music that both you and your fiance enjoy and that matches your wedding day vibe, you're ready for...


Step Three: Explore

Explore a bunch of music within that genre. Spotify is an amazing resource (and free!) to explore different genres of music. Type in "Motown" and you'll find a number of playlists with top Motown tracks that you can listen to. Write down your favorite tracks, and don't feel like you have to find the perfect one! This step is all about generating ideas and having lots to choose from. Once you have your list, you're ready for...


Step Four: Google the Lyrics

It's very important that your first dance song has the right sentiment in the lyrics. Many seemingly romantic songs are actually about heartbreak, unrequited love, etc. So, google the lyrics of each of the songs you have on your list and eliminate any that don't quite fit the bill.


Step Five: Does it Make You Want to Dance?

Listen to your narrowed down list and eliminate any songs that don't make you want to move and groove with your partner. If you've really never danced before or aren't typically inspired to move and groove as it is, this is a great time to seek out dance lessons. Your instructor will be able to help you narrow down your list of songs to THE ONE and teach you how to move with grace and confidence to that particular song. If dance lessons aren't a reality for your budget or timeframe, no worries! Simply go back to step one as you listen through the songs again. Imagine your big day, imagine that one special moment of your first dance as you listen to each song. Go with your gut and choose the one that feels right.


Extra Tip:

After you choose THE ONE First Dance Song, contact your DJ or band to create a shorter version. Most songs these days are upwards of 3 minutes long, which is just too long for a first dance. We recommend 1-2 minutes tops for a great first dance that will keep your guests engaged and excited. Most DJs are willing to cut your song free of charge and most bands are happy to accommodate as well. If for whatever reason, your band or DJ are unable to make the song shorter, just invite your guests onto the dance floor to finish the song with you! (This is also a great way to get folks out on the dance floor right away and get the party started).


Learn to Dance for Your Wedding

3 Reasons to Take Dance Lessons Before the Wedding

There are endless details to account for when planning your wedding. There are SO many details in fact, that some of the seemingly smaller moments might get overlooked. The First Dance is often one of the first details to go by the wayside, which is why you've been to wedding after wedding where the first dance is just an awkward sway + make out session while the guests are forced to watch... It's pretty awkward when you put it like that, isn't it...? But beyond just avoiding awkwardness, there are tons of great reasons to take dance lessons before your wedding. Here are our 3 BEST reasons to get you feeling inspired to find your local dance studio, put on your boogie shoes, and get some pointers for your first dance:


1. Spend Quality Time Together

Wedding planning can be tough: families at odds, thousands of decisions to make, pressure to make every little thing perfect... So how do you remedy all that stress? Building in a date night for you and your fiance to just relax and enjoy each other's company is CRUCIAL to your happiness as a couple when wedding planning gets tough. Scheduling a weekly dance lesson is a great way to unwind, laugh, smile, and hold your partner in your arms for a whole hour. It might sound a little crazy that learning to dance would be "relaxing" especially if you've never done it before. But, with the right teacher, you'll feel confident, comfortable, and have a great time learning together. We've had countless couples tell us that dance lessons were their favorite part of wedding planning. Yes, even better than the cake tasting ;)

2. Create Something Truly Unique for Your Big Day

All of your wedding planning efforts (unless you're a DIY-er) involve selecting other professionals to create something beautiful and show up with it on your wedding day. Whether that's centerpieces, your dress, your hair and makeup, table linens, food, the cake, etc., you get to pick it all out, but you don't have any part in that final product. With your first dance, you are in complete control of how it goes on your wedding day. Whether you decide to just learn a couple of basics to lead and follow or if you prepare a fully choreographed first dance, this is your moment to shine, be creative, and truly show who you are as a couple.

 

3. Keep Your Dancing Skills Forever

Like learning any new skill, if you continue the practice, you'll never lose it. When you learn to dance with your fiance before the wedding, you'll have those skills forever! Want to groove in the living room? Done! Going to a friend's wedding next year? Already awesome dancers! The greatest thing about learning to dance is that it's an activity and a hobby that you and your partner can share for the rest of your lives, any time the mood strikes. There's no better way to kick off a lifetime of togetherness than finding an activity you can always enjoy together.


Learn to dance for your wedding!

Jessica & Hector's Romantic Vow Renewal Ceremony at the Pinery

Jessica and Hector renewed their vows after 10 years of marriage at The Pinery at the Hill in Colorado Springs, CO. It was a beautiful and heartfelt ceremony, followed by a relaxed and joyous dinner reception. We wish you many more happy years together, Jessica & Hector!


Click the button below to view more wedding & engagement photography by Love Springs Studios.

Wedding Dance 101: 5 Tips for an AMAZING First Dance

There are hundreds, if not thousands of details to account for when planning your wedding. Most couples have no idea where to begin when planning for their first dance, so we've got your backs with 5 simple tips to bring grace, comfort and ease to this special moment.

1) Have a plan.

Whether your plan is to: 1) Create a fully choreographed dance from start to finish or; 2) to just not have a plan at all, make sure you discuss the first dance with your fiance EARLY in the planning process. That way, you have time to address any fears or concerns about dancing in front of your friends and family; decide if you want to take dance lessons and seek out an instructor; choose a song that suits you; etc. Communication is key!

2) Choose a song that's totally you.

Put simply, the first dance serves as a metaphor for your relationship. So ask yourselves: what defines you as a couple? Choose a song that reflects that sentiment and make sure it's a song that you both enjoy! Are you romantic? Choose a song with sentimental lyrics. Are you silly and fun? Choose a song with more bounce and flair! Are you laid back? Choose a slow song that makes you want to sway. 

3) Keep it short and sweet.

Most songs are 3 minutes+, which is WAY too long for a first dance. But, not to worry! Whatever song you choose, have your DJ/band fade it out or trim it down for you. The perfect length for a first dance is 1-1.5 minutes.

4) Consider your attire.

Brides to be, if dancing at your wedding is important to you, we advise against 2 specific dress styles: the ballgown and the mermaid. The less fabric or the less restriction that you have, the more you can boogie without worrying about getting stepped on. If you've already committed to one of those styles, just make sure you get a minute to dance it out with your fiance before you get out on the dance floor so there are no surprises about how big of steps you can take, how close you can stand to one another, etc. Grooms to be, just be cautious of those awesome, trendy, slim fit suits...don't do the splits or anything crazy ;)

5) Perform what you practiced.

If you have practiced for your first dance, make sure you stick to the plan! Of course, sometimes anxiety can get in the way of executing your steps perfectly, but there's a difference between a couple of missteps here and there vs. throwing in an unplanned back-flip or dip. Just avoid any un-practiced moves that might land you face-first on the ground or make your fiance nervous.


 

If you'd like more Wedding Dance Tips, check out our YouTube Channel (coming soon), and stay tuned for more monthly Wedding Dance 101 Blogs! 

Love Springs Studios offers private dance lessons for couples getting ready for their wedding. Learn anything from just the basics to a fully choreographed dance. Check out Wedding Dance Page for more information or shoot us an email: rachael@lovespringsstudios.com to talk to a human!

Welcoming Sage the Puppy to the Love Springs Family!

We brought our adorable Australian Shepherd puppy home on Sunday, April 9th. A huge thank you to Laura Yoder and her family + Aussie parents Silver & Ginger for creating this beautiful boy just outside Cañon City, Colorado. We love our little guy! And, our older Aussie Arroyo seems to be enjoying him, too.

Andy & Leslie's Couples Session at Palmer Park

What's better than a beautiful couple in a beautiful outdoor location? Well, all that, plus an adorable dog! Check out the images from Andy and Leslie's couples session at Palmer Park, taken in March of 2017. 

7 TIPS for A GREAT Engagement Session

Check out these 7 Tips, then fill out the form at the bottom so that we're all on the same page about the details of your session. If you're not 100% sure how to answer each question, simply write down any ideas you have (or lack thereof) so we can help guide you in the right direction.


1. LOCATION

What location speaks to you as a couple?

Is there a place nearby that holds meaning for you? Maybe it's where you met, where you proposed, your favorite hiking trail, a downtown neighborhood you spend a lot of time in, or even your home! When choosing a location, it's important to consider the beauty of that location to make for great images, but remember that these photos are meant to capture who you are as a couple, not the backdrop.

Alex & Rebecca chose a youthful, quirky downtown session.

Alex & Rebecca chose a youthful, quirky downtown session.

Gaby & JC chose an old downtown square for a romantic vibe.

Gaby & JC chose an old downtown square for a romantic vibe.

Not sure what type of location suits you? 

Mountains = expansive, majestic, nature lovers, peaceful, unchanging, steady

Artistic neighborhood = art lovers, music lovers, unique, indie, youthful, fun

Old town square/architecture = rustic, classic, everlasting, romantic, picturesque

Home = introverted, cozy, relaxed, romantic, sweet, in your own world as a couple

Park = simple, playful, fun, casual


2. ACTIVITIES

What activities/hobbies do you share?

Creating an activity to do during your engagement session provides fun and natural images that capture your personality. Do you love biking? Climbing? Taking road trips in your car? Walking your dog? Painting? Playing musical instruments? Cooking? The possibilities are endless! Consider the time of year as well. Summer lends itself to fun, upbeat activities, while winter tends to feel more cozy and sentimental.

Michael & Jessica enjoying a candle-lit picnic.

If you don't have a particular activity you do together, we can also create an activity surrounding an emotion you'd like to convey. For example:

A picnic = romantic & relaxed

Apple picking = cute & sweet

Hiking or climbing = adventurous

Dancing = fun & energized


3. PROPS

What items suit your location, activities, or relationship?

When choosing props, think about what would capture the feeling of the shoot and of your relationship. If there's something particular that you enjoy doing together like drinking beer, eating ice cream, or riding motorcycles, that's a great place to start. If not, think about what items can capture the feeling you want to convey: blankets, letters, picture frames, balloons, chalkboards and signs, pets, cars, bikes, confetti, picnic baskets, musical instruments, sparklers, the list is endless! If you're at a loss, ask us for suggestions!

Kristy & Jeremy used a picture frame for a rustic look.

Kristy & Jeremy used a picture frame for a rustic look.

Gaby & JC added an element of fun to their engagement shoot with balloons.

Gaby & JC added an element of fun to their engagement shoot with balloons.

Sean & Andrea got on a school bus for some cute and nostalgic images.

Sean & Andrea got on a school bus for some cute and nostalgic images.

Not sure what props suit your style?

Rustic: plaid blanket, rustic picture frame, rustic lettering, burlap banner, chalkboard sign, boots, horses, old truck, twine, bonfire, wooden signs, vintage bike, picnic

Fun: balloons, bubbles, confetti, body paint, a themed shoot based on your careers/interests, "nerdy" passions like video games, Harry Potter, etc.

Romantic: blanket, river boat, picnic, tandem bike, sparklers, hammock, boho linens & pillows, candles, flowers

Vintage: vintage books, bikes, motorcycles, cars, chairs, candy/sodas, hats, crates, magazines

Classic: picture frames, scrabble letters, signs, flowers, pets


4. WARDROBE

What style suits your location and personalities?

We recommend wearing something that you already have in your closet that you feel comfortable in; just be yourself! Choose complimentary colors to wear with your partner. For example, wear various blues and greens or wear all neutrals with one pop of color. Rather than matching exactly, create a look that matches your location. Dress up for a downtown shoot, stay casual for the park, or even don your hiking gear for the mountains! If you can't decide on one look, we can also shoot you in two different outfits (as long as your session is 90-minutes or longer).

A few things to avoid:

Large logos on your clothing

Colors that are unflattering to your skin tone or hair color (from my own personal experience, I can say that my pale skin does not look very good with neon green...)

Clothing that isn't appropriate for the weather (there's nothing worse than being cold during your session!)

A style that's too "stylish." You want to look back on these photos in 40 years and still love them!

Wearing all black or grays (make sure to include a pop of color)

 

Sean & Andrea both wore blue jeans and brown shoes to bring the outfits together, but then chose different color tops that compliment one another. Their casual look matches the look and feel of their environment.

Sean & Andrea both wore blue jeans and brown shoes to bring the outfits together, but then chose different color tops that compliment one another. Their casual look matches the look and feel of their environment.

Glory & Isaac matched the style of their clothing. Isaac wore a neutral suit (notice, no red tie to match her dress). And Glory got to be the pop of color!

Glory & Isaac matched the style of their clothing. Isaac wore a neutral suit (notice, no red tie to match her dress). And Glory got to be the pop of color!

A few extra grooming tips:

Some brides like to use the engagement shoot as a hair and makeup trail, but we recommend only doing this if your wardrobe, location, and theme match the style of the hair and makeup. It's best to wear a little bit more makeup than usual, but maintain a natural look. 

Consider getting a haircut 1-2 weeks before the shoot so it has time to grow in a little and look natural.

Grooms, we recommend shaving the day before, rather than the day-of to avoid razor burn.

Start wearing sunscreen daily at least 7 days before the shoot to avoid burnt skin and tan lines.


5. HAVE FUN

Make it an all day affair.

Plan some fun activities to do as a couple on the day of your engagement shoot. Forget wedding planning exists for the day and go on a day-date! By the time your engagement photo shoot comes around, you'll already be laughing, smiling, and feeling romantic, which will offer natural photos that capture the real you at your very best.

A candid moment between Glory & Isaac.
Natural, genuine smiles.

6. FORGET YOU'RE AT A PHOTO SHOOT

How do you typically interact?

When you hang out together, are you usually silly and playful? Serious? Romantic? Intimate? Adventurous? What defines you as a couple? Whatever that is, be ready to bring it out! We'll place you in good lighting and give you all the guidance you need, but it's up to you to relax and just enjoy your time together.

Get lost in the environment. When you look back at these images, you'll remember how you felt on this special day.

Get lost in the environment. When you look back at these images, you'll remember how you felt on this special day.


7. LET GO OF PERFECTION

It won't be perfect. And that's actually... perfect.

People are not without flaws; relationships are not without flaws; and that's what makes them interesting and beautiful. It might rain, your dress might get dirty, you might even be late to your session and end up taking all your photos after dark. Whatever the day brings, we will find beauty in the imperfections. Do your due diligence and plan as much as you can, but then just let it go!

A little bit of snowfall made for GORGEOUS photos in this session.

A little bit of snowfall made for GORGEOUS photos in this session.

 

Engagement Session Questionnaire

please fill out this form and submit at least 14 days before your engagement session

Name *
Name
Fiance's Name *
Fiance's Name
Yes/No. If Yes, what themes interest you?
We promise to: *

The Greatest Valentine's Date Imagineable

Dancing with your loved one releases oxytocin and builds trust

There are so many possibilities for buying a Valentines Day gift that it can be hard to choose! Jewelry? Massage? Something for the house? Flowers? Chocolate? Some cute Etsy tchotchke? The list goes on and on. But have no fear, we're here to seriously narrow it down for you... to just one option; the best option to really woo your valentine this year: Dance Lessons.

But what is so special about learning to dance with the one you love, you might ask?

 

 

Here are 5 reasons that gifting your special someone dance lessons this year is the greatest idea you could imagine:

 

1) It shows your dedication to spending quality time with your partner.

Nothing says "I want to spend time with you" better than a gift that actually plans a future date! Whether your relationship is brand new or you've been married for 30 years, giving your partner a gift that promises another fun activity together in the future builds excitement in your relationship and helps your partner see how much you truly care about connecting. "Date night is an investment in the well-being of your relationship." - Winifred Reilly, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Click on the quote to learn more about why you should schedule more one-on-one time with your loved one.

2) Physical touch is healthy for your relationship.

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Physical touch is one of the most important pieces of being a happy, healthy human. In early development, we actually need physical touch to survive and thrive in our environment. Whether or not physical touch is your #1 Love Language, positive physical touch builds trust, reduces stress, releases oxytocin, and leads to healthier relationships. Check out this article from PsychologyToday for more information.

3) Learning a new skill together helps you learn more about your partner.

Learning to dance has a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively: connecting physically with your partner, moving your own body, listening to music, learning new steps and patterns, and of course just relaxing and enjoying the moment. As you go through this process of learning a new skill together, you'll also learn all kinds of things you never knew about your partner before! Maybe they have an affinity for 40's swing music you never knew about, maybe they love to dance but were always too scared to get on the dance floor until taking some lessons, maybe they feel truly fulfilled when they get to look you in the eyes and hold you close. The possibilities are endless.

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4) Learning to dance teaches you real life skills to take into your relationship On and off the dance floor.

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When you learn to dance with a partner, your success depends directly on the success of your partner, which is also true in a lot of "real life" scenarios. Learning to dance together is a low-stress environment in which to practice skills of open communication, supporting one another with positive affirmations, and being there for one another during moments of struggle. Being able to work together through a tough moment and come out on top during a dance lesson sets up a positive habit for future, more difficult, hurdles in life.

5) The skills you will learn literally last forever. 

When you learn to dance with your partner, you can continue dancing with your partner forever. As long as you consistently revisit your dancing skills (i.e. go to a bar and whip out your sweet moves, get on the dance floor at weddings, etc.), the connection and moves you learn even in just one dance lesson will stick with you forever. A gift for one dance lesson is actually a gift for a lifetime of having fun dancing together at events or maybe just in the living room! 

 

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If you think dance lessons might be a good gift for your significant other this Valentine's Day, click here to find out more about our offerings at Love Springs Studios!

Who Doesn't Love A Baby Shower?

I had the pleasure of shooting a baby shower this past weekend, and what a precious event it was! There were countless supportive women in attendance, beautiful heartfelt words of wisdom and encouragement spoken, and many happy-tears shed. Baby Gilbert will undoubtedly be welcomed into the world with immense love! Here are a few photos we captured of a beautiful day in Old Colorado City at The Loft Collective.

Susan's welcome sign into The Loft Collective, Old Colorado City
Is it a boy or girl? Voting board.
The baby shower gift table
Kids table, adorned with onesies
Susan and her baby bump
A toast to baby Gilbert
Susan opening her many, many gifts!
Susan opening one of her gifts
Welcoming baby Gilbert!

J&R Adventure: Hiking at Garden of the Gods!

One of my favorite places to go in Colorado Springs since I was a little kid is Garden of the Gods! Back story: I grew up in Chicago but would come here to the Springs with my family to visit my Great Aunt Sally every few years. Colorado Springs holds so many happy childhood memories: feeding giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the North Pole, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs, and even brunch at the Broadmoor. I'm so blessed to be living here now! So, John and I took advantage of the beauty of our new home town and visited Garden of the Gods. Of course, Arroyo, our best and most favorite subject, came along for the ride. Enjoy the photos! (Click on any photo to enlarge)


We will be creating a nature & travel photography section of our website soon, but until then, check out our wedding & engagement photo gallery or our family photo gallery for more inspiration!

A Pinterest-Perfect Engagement Session

As photographers, we are always on an epic quest for learning and growth as artists, because we want to offer our clients our very best. So what does that look like for us? Well, lots of practice (our dog, Arroyo, is always a willing subject thankfully); lots of nerdy late-night conversations about aperture, lenses, and adobe lightroom; and for me, as a newer photographer, lots of YouTube watching. One of my favorite things to do is just go down the rabbit hole of YouTube tutorials and demos and learn about what's going on with all the other photographers in the world. They share insights about how they've improved, tips to make the editing process more streamlined, and lots of super cute ideas for posing and locations.

What I didn't expect to stumble upon in my usual YouTube-ing yesterday, was Pinterest! Now, trust me, I'm just as guilty as you are (brides) for surfing Pinterest for hours on end, looking at all the cute couples and dreaming about my own future engagement session one day! As a photographer, my biggest recommendation to you is to start pinning the one's that speak to you and your relationship. I've talked to a lot of couples who are shy about adding props to their engagement session because it seems cheesy. But in all honesty, props make for great pictures and can really help show your personality. Think about it this way, why do you hang art on your walls at home?: To add aesthetic and reflect something about who you are! That's exactly what a prop does in your engagement shoot, too. It's not cheesy, it just adds personality.

So, here are 5 props that we've used in our engagement sessions, and a parallel Pinterest version to demonstrate different ways to work with a prop theme. Remember, Pinterest is a great place to get ideas to start a brainstorm, but add some originality to that idea and make it your own. Chances are, once you share your idea with your photographer, they will have 100 different ways to incorporate it into a great shot. 

1) Balloons & Chalkboards

JC & Gaby holding both balloons & a chalkboard in their complementing colors! - Love Springs Studios

JC & Gaby holding both balloons & a chalkboard in their complementing colors! - Love Springs Studios

Another way to use your chalkboard to announce the date - Pinterest

Another way to use your chalkboard to announce the date - Pinterest

On the left, you see Gaby holding a bunch of balloons in the colors they've chosen to wear for their engagement session. But, these aren't just any plain old balloons, they also added the silver hearts at the top and lots of curly cute ribbons to add sweetness. Balloons add an element of youth, so Gaby & JC made sure to dress them up to say "engagement session" rather than "5 year old's birthday party." You also see JC holding a chalkboard with their wedding date written on it. This is a nice touch to add for "Save the Dates" or for the cover of an engagement photo album. Click the image to see the rest of their engagement highlights.

On the right, you see a couple found on Pinterest via Style Me Pretty, holding a chalkboard with their wedding date. The photo shoot was inspired by the Pixar movie, Up, so balloons played a huge roll in their session. Both balloons and chalkboards add an element of playfulness, youth, and fun. Click the image to see the rest of the photo shoot.

2) Pets

We LOVE the idea of incorporating your pets into your engagement shoot. After all, they are part of the family! Your pet may not always be with you, so this is a great way to hold onto the memories you had with your pet in the earlier stages of your relationship together. For John & I, our pets are a huge part of our lives and have defined much of our experiences together as a couple. On the left, you see Isaac & Glory, a Love Springs couple, with an understated dog shot. On the right, you'll see the Pinterest version, with adorable signs that you can actually buy on Etsy (click through the picture to go to Etsy) & Click on Isaac and Glory to see the rest of their engagement highlights.

Glory & Isaac included their puppy-dog in their engagement shoot! - Love Springs Studios

Glory & Isaac included their puppy-dog in their engagement shoot! - Love Springs Studios

Found on Pinterest, another super cute way to incorporate your dog into your photo shoot.

Found on Pinterest, another super cute way to incorporate your dog into your photo shoot.

3) Frames

Different frames can create very different looks. In this particular engagement photo, Kristy and Jeremy were going for a rustic look. So, they chose a frame crafted from reclaimed wood. This worked particularly well with their fall photo shoot, and showed their personalities as a laid-back couple. Using rustic elements is a great idea if your wedding will also be rustic, or if you're taking your engagement photos in a natural setting. The same idea could be applied with a more modern or vintage frame for a photo shoot in an urban setting, pictured on the right via Pinterest.

Kristy & Jeremy frame this engagement photo with a rustic look. - Love Springs Studios

Kristy & Jeremy frame this engagement photo with a rustic look. - Love Springs Studios

This couple chose a vintage looking frame to highlight their vintage attire and urban setting - Pinterest

This couple chose a vintage looking frame to highlight their vintage attire and urban setting - Pinterest

4)  Blankets

Michael and Jessica wanted to incorporate a romantic picnic into their engagement session. It turned out that the blanket itself was a great prop, too! We had them lay down on the blanket, and John stood overhead to capture this shot. A blanket is a great way to add a sense of comfort, relaxation, and warmth to your engagement photos, especially if it's a chilly day. On the right, you see a Pinterest couple getting snuggly under the blanket in a snowy scene. We love blankets for Fall and Winter shoots! 

Michael & Jessica laying on a plaid picnic blanket. - Love Springs Studios

Michael & Jessica laying on a plaid picnic blanket. - Love Springs Studios

You can also pick the blanket up and get snuggly! - Pinterest

You can also pick the blanket up and get snuggly! - Pinterest

5) Planes, Trains and...Buses...

So it might be difficult to acquire a school bus for your engagement session, but if you have one in right in your path, you might as well get on it! It's always a great idea to incorporate surprise props and elements along the way during your engagement session. Sometimes the unplanned props are the best props! Another thing to consider: do you have an awesome car that you love? A private jet? Have you always wanted to take a helicopter ride? Well, now is an excellent opportunity to incorporate a vehicle you love or an adventure you've always wanted to have and capture those moments!

Sean & Andrea got on this sweet School bus for some of their engagement photos and had a blast! - Love Springs Studios

Sean & Andrea got on this sweet School bus for some of their engagement photos and had a blast! - Love Springs Studios

These guys probably love taking the motorcycle out on warm days. Bring in anything that speaks to your relationship and what you love to do together! - Pinterest

These guys probably love taking the motorcycle out on warm days. Bring in anything that speaks to your relationship and what you love to do together! - Pinterest


Please share your awesome engagement shoot prop ideas below, and feel free to click through our Gallery for more inspiration!

Top 5 Greatest Frank Sinatra First Dance Songs

Feeling something classy for your first dance? Then Frank Sinatra is a great option! Here are five of his greatest songs that also work fabulously for a first dance. 


5) You Make Me Feel So Young

"You make me feel so young, You make me feel like spring has sprung, Every time I see you grin, I'm such a happy individual"

Excellent lyrics that speak to a loving, happy and fun relationship.

Tempo is laid-back, but the horns and energetic vocals keep this song lively and entertaining.

Dance style options: Swing, Foxtrot, Freestyle

If you want a first dance that is understated, but memorable, this is a great choice. 


4) The Best is Yet to Come

"Out of the tree of life, i just picked me a plum, You came along and everything started to hum, Still it's a real good bet, the best is yet to come"

A more jazzy feeling to this song gives off a sultry vibe, rather than an upbeat or fun sentiment.

Tempo is quite slow, but once agains, the horns add moments of pizzaz for exciting choreographed moments

Dance style options: Swing, Foxtrot, Freestyle

If you want a first dance that says "we're sexy, but we're classy" then this is the first dance song for you.


3) Fly Me to the Moon

"Fly me to the moon, Let me play among the stars, Let me see what spring is like, On a-Jupiter and Mars, In other words, hold my hand, In other words, baby, kiss me"

The lyrics are sentimental and sweet, and so is the melody. 

There are plenty of big moments and builds for choreographic elements, but it's easier to dance to this song than "The Best is Yet to Come." The tempo is moderate.

Dance style options: Swing, Foxtrot, Freestyle

If you want your first dance to have fun moments of flair, but not go over the top, this is a great song choice.


2) Nice N' Easy

"Let's take it nice and easy, It's gonna be so easy, For us to fall in love"

Romance and relaxation is what this song is all about! If you want to take your first dance nice n' easy, this really is the best song to keep it chill.

The composition is tasteful and sweet. Nothing over the top, nothing complex, just sweet, romantic, and classy.

Dance style options: Swing, Foxtrot, Freestyle

This is the best classy song to choose if you really want to keep it simple and slow, but not boring.


1) The Way You Look Tonight

"Some day, when I'm awfully low, When the world is cold, I will feel a glow just thinking of you, And the way you look tonight"

The quickest of the 5 Frankie songs, choose this one if you want to keep it light and fun!

This song doesn't have the same kind of "big moments" throughout like the others, making it easier to dance to, but less exciting for choreography.

Dance style options: Swing, Foxtrot, Freestyle

If you want your first dance song to be instantly recognizable and get your guests swaying, snapping, and singing along, then this is a great option for you.

 


Do you have any other favorite Frank Sinatra songs that would work for a first dance? If so, share in the comments below! Remember, it's best to choose a song that has the right lyrics (make sure it's not about stalkers or breakups), a moderate tempo (not too fast, not too slow), and a somewhat lively feeling+ so that you and your guests can get the party started immediately following!

Nervous About Your First Dance? Then, Aim High & Shoot For the Moon

a blog about aiming high in life, being kind to yourself, and open honesty with basic strangers.

Most couples who are planning a wedding have danced together at least once. Have you? If it was 100% awesome, you can stop reading here. 

But for a lot of couples, that experience left something to be desired...Maybe it was fun, but you felt kind of silly; maybe it was awkward, so you vowed to one another you'd never dance again; or maybe one of you would refuse to get on the dance floor, even if your life depended on it.

It seems unfair that we live in a culture that expects dancing greatness come your wedding night, but we're never actually taught how to dance, or even encouraged to dance. What's more, our culture often shames dancing, particularly for men (because it's a "girl thing"), and if you're not a great dancer by nature, then you're a wallflower by default. So, if the thought of taking dance lessons scares you, makes you uncomfortable, or doesn't sound appealing, just know that you are not alone. It's not you, it's the United States in the 21st century.

So, how do we get around such barriers? Your wedding is coming up, and unfair or not, you and your guests are expecting a first dance that's passable at minimum. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of couples default, and also where a lot of couples go wrong. "Passable" will not describe any other aspect of your wedding. And though I've seen a good number of passable first dances, I've never heard a bride and groom say that her dress will be "somewhat unflattering," that the food will be "mediocre at best," or that the venue they chose is "kinda ugly." Your wedding day is a day of absolute excellence and self expression. It's about being the best version of yourself for yourself and for the love of your life. It's about joining two families together, celebration, joy, and shared moments. Every moment of your wedding day should be special, beautiful, and totally "you." This is why, I #1), ask you to aim high, to not settle for "passable", and to expect more from yourselves when it comes to your first dance together as husband and wife. Life is all about opportunities, and here is a great opportunity to practice aiming high in life, and more specifically, aiming high in your relationship. Now, I don't mean to say that if you don't have a stellar first dance that you don't care about your relationship, because that's of course not the case. But what I am saying, is that this is just one more opportunity for you to shine together, so join hands, walk through this open door, and enjoy the journey!

It's important that once you've decided to aim high for your first dance, that you #2), are very kind to yourself through the learning process. If you've never danced before, or especially if you've had a negative experience with dance in the past, remember to be patient with yourself. Everyone can learn how to dance (trust me, I have seen it all!), it just takes everyone different amounts of time, focus, and practice. When I want to imagine how my couples feel, I often think about what it would feel like if I tried to learn how to play baseball. A) I'm afraid of balls coming towards me at high speeds, B) With my lack of depth perception, trying to swing a bat to hit a ball flying towards my face sounds like a couple of black eyes, and C) I've never been good at sports to begin with. So if I were to go out today and try to learn baseball, it would take A LOT and I mean A LOT of patience and self-love. My best advice to you is that while you're learning to dance with your sweetheart, just remember to laugh off the tough stuff, enjoy his or her company, and just take your time. 

And #3), I invite you to be open and honest with me as your dance instructor. When we first meet, I'll be a basic stranger to you, and you to me, but together we really can achieve your goals. It's my mission with every person I teach to make sure they're comfortable each step of the way. As your teacher, I'm here for you and with you, and there's nothing I want more than for you to succeed. If you're scared, tell me. If you're excited, tell me. If you hate my choreography, tell me. This process is about you and your journey as a couple, and if we keep that at the forefront of our learning process, it will shine through on your wedding day as well. The first dance is a symbol of your connection with the person you've chosen to spend your life with. Let it be shown as a beautiful connection, as a result of a concerted effort, founded in a loving practice. 

Take a moment to imagine yourself and the love of your life dancing together for the first time on your wedding night. What does it feel like? What does it look like? What is the story you want to tell and remember?