Cute Valentine's Day ideas that won't break the bank

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Cue the stores being filled with chocolate in heart shape boxes, teddy bears with red bows and buckets and buckets of red roses. You know what I see with all of those things? Dollar signs. It seems like anytime there is a holiday associated with gifts, the prices just are right up there with the luxury items of life.

I am hoping to help you out this year. I have a few Valentine’s Day ideas that won’t break the bank or your budget.

Get a little creative

Make something. Draw it, write it, sing it, dance it. Use your creative talents to make a gift for your loved one. I honestly like these a lot more, plus you can add your personal twist to it. Some examples I have done include a picture frame with the matte border saying all the reasons why I love him and our picture in the middle, a box of letters to tell him when to open it, a coupon book filled with date ideas and nice things for each other (i.e. back rubs, doing laundry for them, bringing home dinner, etc.).

Dine in

Dinner really doesn’t have to be that fancy. I honestly just love when my boyfriend makes me food and it’s typically more top notch than some restaurants. You don’t need to be a chef to do this. You can even order one of those home delivery cooking boxes and do it together. Some other ideas is each of you make two things you absolutely love and share it with one another. You can even try to do what I do and just make something based off of what is on sale at the store that week.

Netflix and chill

This may sound crazy, but sometimes couples don’t really have time for each other everyday. We all have side projects we are working on, actual work that keeps us busy, chores around the house, friends to hang out with, children to take care of and the list goes on and on. Sometimes just something as simple as watching a movie or a tv show together can be a nice change. Just grab a popcorn and relax.

Play a game together

Whether it’s a deck of cards, a board game, or an interactive game, doing something together can be so much fun and can bring a lot of laughter. If you want to get more intimate, play 20 questions. When was the last time you did that? Whether you’re a new couple or have been together for as long as you can remember, you can ALWAYS continue to learn about someone. It can be fun and silly questions like “Do you believe that pineapples belong on pizza?” to the more serious and thought provoking questions like “When was the first moment you knew that you loved me?”

Share things you love with your love

I love taking photographs, trying and making new food, dancing, and traveling. I could take my boyfriend to a photography, cooking or dancing class, plan a trip with him, or even try a new place in town together. If I didn’t want to pay the money to take these classes I could watch some tutorials on YouTube. Maybe I could even teach him how to take photographs. This can be for both parties. Find something you love to do and share it with your significant other.

Write letters

This one is probably my favorite. Have you ever had some perfect speech written out in your head and as soon as you need to say it all of that content goes away and your mind is blank? Writing your thoughts down is the perfect way to say everything you want to say. So try it in a letter format and share it with them. Tell them how much you love them, what you love about them, compliment them, and share yourself with them. Even though it’s simple, it’s thoughtful.

Be present

Today’s world has been overtaken with technology and addiction to it is on the rise. I can’t tell you how many times I go somewhere and see a couple together not talking to each other but just scrolling on their phones. It’s really sad to me. So this one is to just put your phone away and BE PRESENT. Talk to the human being you are with. They are in person and not behind a screen. Have a conversation. I have actually started to make that more of a rule when my boyfriend and I are out. The only time we will bring our phones even out is to show each other something that we saw or to look something up if we need to find an answer to something real fast. Try this. You will be surprised what you can talk about.

Sure, maybe I didn’t exactly do all cute ones, but they are ideas that are unique. They aren’t the typical date ideas and they sure aren’t expensive. If you even take away one of these ideas I would be thrilled. Tell me below in the comments which one is your favorite and if you plan on trying any? Which ones? Feel free to even tell me ones that you have thought of. I am always looking for ideas for myself.

Johnna & Dave's Fall Session

These two have a love story like none other. From high school sweethearts, to the Greek power couple, to now engaged couple. I went to Ball State University with both Dave & Johnna and roomed with Johnna my senior year. I cannot tell you how much love these two have for each other. These photos can show you even more.

When I met Dave & Johnna, they were leaders in the Ball State community. They were loved by SO many and everyone referred to them as a “power couple.” They both were president’s of their greek affiliates - Johnna the president of Kappa Delta and Dave the president of Phi Sigma Kappa. They were involved in so many other activities and still had a way to make time for each other. When you are with them, you can easily tell by the way they look at each other and laugh together how much they love each other.

Now I hope you can see it too when you look through these photos.

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Jenise & Scott Roane's Fall Session

Can I just say that when I was editing these photos I got a lot of strange looks at the coffee shop because I was smiling ear to ear! This was such a fun session and I am so glad I was able to do this for Jenise & Scott. Some of my favorite sessions are when fur children are incorporated. This one was no different.

Jenise is my boss at a local orthopedic office and I was ecstatic when she asked me to do her photos. I immediately started coming up with ideas for couples and dogs because I know how much she is obsessed with hers. Kevin and Frank are her bundles of joy and you can totally tell why. They have the most infectious smiles and I am pretty sure if we weren’t taking a bunch of photos, I would be cuddling them. Kevin is Jenise and Scott’s Golden Retriever and Frank is their Pit Bull.

I hope you smile through these as much as I did. Enjoy!

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Cory & Trent's Engagement Session

Let me just start out by saying that these two were so awesome at their session. There posing and emotion was just so natural I almost didn’t have to direct them to do anything. When I asked if they practiced, Cory responded with “We watch a lot of America’s Next Top Model.” It definitely showed.

A little backstory - I knew Cory in high school. As a matter a fact, he was physics lab partner and my junior year prom date (about 8 years ago). I will spare you the photos for now because even though we were an awesome prom date group, we may look a little different (Cory had a lot more hair and I had a lot less - I had to wear extensions that night and it did NOT look good). So, I was pretty honored when he reached out to me for his engagement photos.

During this session, you could totally see how much they loved each other. I hope you can see it too the way they look at each other. There is nothing that makes me happier during a session than knowing I can capture that love and have it transcend through the photos. I wish you both the best! Enjoy this little collage of my favorite photos from their session.

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Tips on what to wear: Couples Edition

With this blog post, I do have a guest blogger, Trendy in Indy, as well as myself to give you some of the best tips on what to wear to your couples photo session. Up first, some great words of advice from Trendy in Indy, an Indianapolis blogger who has all the latest fashion advice and has a knack for shopping local. 

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Engagement photos or just couple photos in general are so much fun. My husband and I do them every year when our anniversary rolls around. Knowing what to wear for these can be a challenge, but here are a few helpful tips:

One, color coordinate

As silly as this may seem, color coordination is critical for photos. Also think about how various colors compliment both of you. Don't pick a color that one of you looks great in and the other, not so much. 

Two, pick a theme

It's always fun to pick some type of theme for photos. This past year, Collin and I did a unique spin on a forest theme. You don't normally wear a button up shirt or heels in the woods, but we had a blast with it. 

Three, think about location

Speaking of theme, location goes along with this. Think about where you want your shoot to take place and considering dressing to compliment the background.

Four, don't overdo the patterns

If one of you wants to wear plaid, the other should probably wear a solid. 

Five, check the weather

If it's going to be hot, think about that when selecting your wardrobe. You don't want sweaty photos after all.

No matter what you choose to wear, these photos will always be a memory for you. Here's to your next couples session!





All Photos are provided by:
DeKam Studios

Thank you so much for your insight, Trendy in Indy! 

I do have some tips for you and your significant other as well. 


One, communicate with your partner. 

Make sure you are both on the same page. Topics that should be discussed is style, coordination, and practicality to name a few. 

Two, coordinate but don't match.

There is a difference. Matching means you are both wearing the same thing. Coordinating means you have a similar style and may have a similar color scheme. 

If one of you is dressed up, the other should not be wearing their chill on the weekend outfit. You both need to look like you are attending the same session. If you both want to be informal, that is fine. If you both want to be dressed up, that is fine. Just do it together. 

When it comes to color - If someone has mainly one color on, the other can have that color (or in the same color family) in a smaller part. Examples: Mainly red patterned dress and a similar red colored tie. Blue outwear vest and blue sweater. 

Three, consider your location. 

If you plan on going to the beach, I don't consider wearing your nicest outfit or those really nice heels. Think about where you are going for the photos. Are you going for a soft natural/rustic feel? Then sticking to soft neutral colors may be a great option. Are you going to be shooting in a city or urban area? Then brighter colors or a more “dressed up” approach may work with the setting better. It doesn’t hurt to look at sessions from similar locations and see what other people wore. It’s a great way to see what you like.

Four, be comfortable & practical.

The last thing you want is not to be enjoying your time because something doesn't fit right. Wear this outfit a couple time before a session to see how it feels. If it's not comfortable, do not wear it. 

Also, if you plan on being picked up a lot in this session, or walking around a lot, wear something that is practical for those activities. You can wear a dress if you want to have a lift, just don't wear something short enough that it may reveal a little something you won't want in your photos.