Engagement Photos and Engagement Pictures.

Engagement photos of the last century used to be slightly smiling images of the bride or couple, placed in hometown newspapers with an announcement, clipped and pasted in wedding albums, and mailed to out-of-towners for their first peek at the betrothed.

While still a rite of passage on the road to getting married, today's engagement photos are more relaxed and symbolic of two shared lives, such as fresh-faced pictures from vacation, at home with the pets or hamming it up together for a professional photographer in a studio or park.

The images also aren't relegated anymore to being shared in yellowing newspaper print. Rather, they're now used as art with engagement announcements and photo save the date cards, which also reflect engaged couples' shared style by their choice of graphics, colors and copy.

Engagement photos can do double duty as profile pictures on wedding websites, blogs and social media pages that keep guests apprised of what's being planned and spread excitement before and on the big day.

This one picture readily becomes the graphic for the wedding so take caution not to over use it or risk having friends and relatives roll their eyes each time there's a wedding-related announcement mailed or posted on the Internet.

One way to keep engagement pictures fresh until "I Dos" are exchanged is by using variations of the same photo taken during a photo shoot.

To show a silly side, a couple can have their picture taken in a museum next to favorite paintings or sculptures, using a different one with each card or communiqu'e. Or, have several caricatures drawn to use after the first official engagement photo is circulated.

Don't forget to print and frame copies for parents, grandparents and other close relatives. In someone else's home, pictures are sentimental tokens and conversation pieces, reaffirming the importance of real-time pictures in the digital age.

With all our different save the date card formats that showcase photos: photo save the dates, yearline save the dates, and minibook save the date cards, you are certain to find just the right card design to showcase all your beautiful engagment photos.