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Your friends got engaged: the Do’s and Don’ts

It’s holiday season, and engagement announcements are pouring in!

(This photo is from Amy and Frank’s proposal that I shot earlier this year)

Did you know there’s some etiquette when it comes to engagements and weddings? As a neutral bystander observing all the fun that happens during this time, here are some tips for making this season happy for both you and your friends and loved ones!

1. Don’t spoil the surprise! If you were at an engagement or proposal scene, hold off on posting the photos to Facebook, posting a new status update, or wishing your friends congrats on their wall when they have not made it public. Announcing an engagement is extremely personal (some of my engaged friends keep it private) – so don’t spoil the surprise!

2. If you have nothing nice to say… Don’t say it at all.

3. When’s the wedding? They probably have no idea. Wedding planning is stressful and difficult. Setting a wedding date will take time. Let the engaged couple enjoy their engagement!

4. If you’re a wedding vendor… hold the business part back. I’ve wavered on this, but the lesson is that personal and professional should not mix, it’s really easy to hurt a friendship in that way. If a friend asks me for advice I will give it, but I wait for them to approach first. If a friend asks me to be their photographer, I treat the wedding photography part like I do any other client – there are contracts, mail under my professional letterhead, it is strictly business – and everyone benefits that way.

5. Don’t assume you’re invited. Invite list – oh boy, major drama! Weddings are expensive and personal. Some couples may choose to elope, some will have a small celebration. It’s not an excuse to get drunk, it’s not a dance where you bring your latest and greatest date, and being a bridesmaid is not just about matching dresses and a bouquet. If you’re invited, you’ll know – typically, save-the-dates go out ~6 months before the wedding, with invites following at around ~2  months prior.

That being said though, engagement season is a super fun time! Did any of you get to participate in or witness a  proposal this year?

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Shang Chen Photography has rebranded to Saavedra Photography
she takes photographs of celebrations of love and life
Based in NYC | Open for select photography commissions on Sundays only

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