Oh So Pretty Savannah

Oh, you Low Country, you.  Every time I visit the historic southern coastal cities I fall a little more in love.  

A dash of Paris in Savannah.  A table and two chairs outside Cafe M in Historic Savannah, Georgia.

Thanks to a sweet elopement, work brought me back to Savannah.  This time, I brought Ben along with me - which always adds more romance.  I don't know about you, but my fave kind of date includes strolling downtown with a well crafted coffee in hand.  Savannah offers plenty of eye candy with local shops and cafe's lined with moss laden oaks.  

Apparently, we were feeling a little Parisian inspired because the two big stops for the day were The Paris Market and Café M.  

The Paris Market

Even the outside of this Parisian shop has me ohhing and ahhing.  Cafe tables with marble tops, gilded edging around the windows, it's right out of a European dream.  Inside, you find a delicious coffeeshop along with two stories of artisan books, furniture, APOTHECARY, candles, and even a children's corner (where I literally wanted to buy it out and redecorate our playroom).  

They even have citrus flavored ice water to appease that the scorching southern heat.  It's more than a shop, it''s about entering a different world, one where you never want to leave.  

Café M

Ben and I love a good local cafe that offers hand crafted cuisine.  Café M did not disappoint!  Parisian mouth-watering CROISSANTS ordered with a server boasting a French accent, all of the restaurant details were oh so white and pretty.  Even a fireplace!  We opted to sit outside to take in the bustling city.  

The Elopement was in the Victorian District, which was a new part of the city for me to explore.  The architecture and charm were the perfect backdrop to intimate nuptials.  After the ceremony, we simply walked the southern streets, down by Forsyth Park, for all of our portraits.   More on that Later!

xoxo and "au revoir" Lovelies

Engagement Portraits 101

You know that moment, when your closet stares back at you?  It feels like there isn't a thing to wear.  You text your BFF asking what she's planning to wear.  You don't want to be the one overdressed or - even worse - under-dressed for the occasion.  For the next 10 minutes you go over options together until you reach the final verdict.  Evening saved.

Picture of ruffles and lace textiles in beautiful blush, purple, and rose hues. | Debra Eby Photography Co.

Most of our significant other's are not quite as sympathetic to our plight.  This is just the beginning.  Living with our love means no roommate or sister bailing us out with the perfect borrowed necklace.  When I married and moved away, my shoe fashion suffered greatly.  

As a wedding photographer, one of my most frequently asked questions is, "What should we wear for the engagement session?".  The tricky part of answering this question is that it depends on your couple style.  You should maintain your look, yet in a best-hair-day-ever way.  Both of you should look the glowing versions of yourself.  

Engagement Style Prep


Beauty Department

Picture of a man shaving his beard for his engagement portrait.  | Debra Eby Photography Co.

For hair, I recommend getting a blowout.  This gives you that salon-finished look that we all absolutely love (um, why can I never re-create this on my own?).  I do recommend wearing your hair down, unless you want to do an up-do halfway through as part of your wardrobe change.  

Since guys tend to get haircuts more often, I recommend scheduling the haircut with enough time for it to grow to the favorite length.  For my Ben, that's a few weeks after a fresh cut.  Also, make sure any facial hair is properly groomed.  I even had one groom shave in the middle of the sesh for two different looks.  It was amazing!

For make-up, this is a great time for a make-up trial for your wedding.  You achieve a professional look while having honest convos with your MUA.  If you opt to do your own, just go a little heavier on the concealer/foundation, especially under your eyes.  Speaking of eyes, play those up, girlie.  Work those brows and wear falsies.  That makes a dramatic difference in pictures.  



Image of a stylish couple having an engagement shoot in St. Augustine, Florida | Debra Eby Photography Co.

Think back to that time when an outfit made you feel smokin' hot.  What did that look like?  Those colors and that cut are likely going to unlock your personal style.  

Consider what colors and cuts look best on your body type - for both of you.  There are oodles of resources out there on Pinterest, just run a quick search, "your body type, fashion" and you'll see so many helpful charts.  Like this one for her and this one for him.  There are resources for skin tone and colors as well, like this one for her and this one for him.

Once you each have an idea of what looks best on you, then find the common ground.  Choose colors that flatter both of you.  

Choose wardrobe with your location in mind as well.  You want your fashion to be cohesive with the overall feeling of the shoot.  


The Engagement Style Guide

This brings me to the exciting part.  We can get super practical by using The Engagement Style Guide.  This is a look-book offering visual concepts and tips as you get your style on.  Take time to see what looks may be right for you, then customize according to your couple identity.  

In this book we break down four different looks:

  • Casual Sophisticate - Uptown modern with down-to-earth fun.
  • Cozy Romance - Fashion meant for cuddling.
  • Dressy Chic - Fashion for an upscale night on the town.
  • Coastal Style - Style for seaside escapes.

Each section offers tips for her and tips for him to achieve a similar look.  Then, you can see how that translates to a real life location background.  Plus, looks from other real engagement shoots.



Engagement Style Guide

click here

This quiz is another tool I use to customize advice for my couples, towards their personal style.

All right, Gorgeous, it's time.  Get back to that closet, or maaaaaybe that Nordstrom sale?  It's photo shoot time.


xoxo Lovelies

Cocktail Hour Wedding Photography Tips

When Ben and I started dating, we had a very different approach to the relationship.  I felt like we needed to read every relationship book, talk about expectations, and set boundaries.  Ben would just laugh it off.  It’s not that he didn’t care about the relationship, he just didn’t care about following a rule book. 

Picture of a nightstand with books and a mug, propped up against a lamp.  The mug has hand lettering on it that says, "Hot Stuff". | Debra Eby Photography Co.

While Ben is a man of tremendous integrity, he’s not one for following the rules for rules sake.  I, on the other hand, am a "people pleaser" and avoid trouble, even if it means following silly rules. 

This is why Ben is so good for me.  He lightens me up, and I make him read books and follow silly rules every once in awhile.  This is one of the many ways that our opposites attract. 

Just like Ben, modern weddings are breaking silly rules like crazy.  Personally, I love it. 

If you don’t care for a stuffy reception of caviar and champagne, then break out the giant Jenga or pastel darts.  Fill the day with custom fun. 

This new style of entertaining guests helps with mingling.  It also avoids the awkward conversations with strangers around the bar. 

How to plan your Cocktail Hour Wedding Photography.  How to break rules to create fun for your guests.  | Debra Eby Photography Co.

Immediately following the ceremony, your guests transition to cocktail hour.  This is a time of mingling, refreshments, and sometimes even entertainment. 

During the first 20 minutes, family will be taking a few portraits.  As long as everyone is present and ready, this shouldn’t take up too much valuable time. 

If you had a “first look”, you are free to go enjoy time with your guests, or sneak away for a private time of refreshment.  If you opt out of a “first look”, then your bridal party and you will continue on with portraits for the duration of cocktail hour. 

Something to be aware of, if there is no second shooter and there is no “first look”, there will not be any cocktail hour coverage. 



Image of cocktail hour wedding hors d'oeuvre platter at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida | Debra Eby Photography Co.



Cocktail hours, as with most parts of a wedding, have evolved greatly.  Lounge areas are now popular, with cozy seating areas.  Pinterest is brimming with ideas from other weddings. 

I love capturing a wide angle look of your cocktail hour set-up, then I go in for close ups of each detail you carefully put into your day.  I capture any signature cocktails, even trays of food circulating. 



Candid Images


Once I have the overall look of your cocktail hour, I find natural groupings of guests and request to take a picture.  I find this works much better than rapid-fire candids where guests have awkward posture and chewing shrimp.  Everyone feels better when given a chance to pose a little. 

If you are mingling, feel free to grab a few friends and family for spontaneous portraits. 

Guest portraits on a wedding day with a bride at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida. | Debra Eby Photography Co.





If there is live music, guests playing games (like cornhole), or any other form of activity going on, I will be sure to capture this as well. 

  • Research interactive wedding games on Pinterest and then customize the playing pieces for your wedding brand.  
  • Live music is another way to create a beautiful guest experience.  
  • Create guestbook fun with polaroids or other creative custom signing options.
  • Bring in an artist to paint the setting or a caricature artist for a more interactive experience.
  • Make food fun with a popcorn or donut bar.

All of these pieces of your day tell the story of your couple brand. 

Wedding Day Cornhole Game, customized couple logo.  TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Florida. | Debra Eby Photography Co.

Be a wedding rule breaker.  Find ways to customize your wedding day, filling it with all you love best.  

Now, onward to the reception celebration.


xoxo Lovelies