Monday, July 30, 2012

My Wedding Planning: Engagement Photo Shoot

Because I'm newly married and had SO much fun planning my wedding, and because brides can't get enough wedding inspiration (I know because I was constantly scouring the web for ideas!) I thought I'd start a series of posts on my wedding planning. Today is a great day to begin because today, July 30, my husband and I have been married for exactly 7 months! Our wedding was on December 30, 2011, and it could not have been more perfect.

First of all, being engaged is a really beautiful time in a woman's life, I think, so my personal advice to all brides-to-be is not to rush the engagement period. We had a year and a half between the proposal and the wedding and this time allowed us to fully soak up all of the love and excitement that surrounded us as we, and our friends and families, prepared for our special day.

One incredibly fun thing we did about 4 months after my husband proposed was an engagement photo shoot. At first I didn't think that engagement photos were really in the cards for us--my husband and I were still long-distance at that point and figuring out when and where and how to take them was tricky. I was also a little bit skeptical about engagement photos, to be honest, because a lot of the ones I'd seen seemed very trendy and had the tendency to look a bit too orchestrated.

But we got lucky--one of my husband's classmates in flight school at the time mentioned casually one day that his wife was a photographer. So I looked her up online and saw that she was very talented, and had just the style I liked. Over the phone, I explained that I wanted our photos to look as natural as possible--that I wasn't in love with photos staged in front of trees or lakes or fields, and I was hoping instead for photos that were sort of vintage, quirky but timeless, and rustic.

I suggested we start at the Army Aviation Museum on post to take some photos in front of the helicopter my husband flies (as I said, quirky!) because I thought it would just be so fun. Don't be afraid to do something different with your engagement photos!

After being told by the museum security guard to please leave (he didn't like that we'd adjusted the rope around the helicopter...oops), our photographer, Jennifer, took us to a few spots she'd found for us. The first place was a large parking lot with two huge storage crates sitting off to one side. I think she saw that we looked wary, and said, "Just trust me." So we did, and these photos are exactly what I was hoping for. I just adore them. They look vintage and urban (quite a feat to pull off in Southern Alabama), and I love the rusty, earthy look of the crates on either side of us. She completely understood the vision I had in my mind.

Our last spot was another brilliant pick by Jennifer. She brought us into the tiny town of Enterprise, Alabama, and walked us over to a beautiful wall she'd found. It was painted a pale blue, had a fun stucco sort of texture to it, and there were two darker blue windows perched up on the second story. I love these photos. For some of these, Jennifer told us just to "play," and I really like that she captured the relaxed playfulness in our faces.

As you can see, we decided not to do any outfit changes during the day. Changing outfits along with the scenery is something a lot of couples do in their engagement shoots, but it didn't feel like us. I'm not even sure I could have gotten my husband to change if I tried! But more importantly, it just felt more natural this way, less fussy.

We're so glad we have these photos documenting this special, special period in our lives. We used these photos as part of our "save-the-dates," for a Christmas card/engagement announcement, and on our wedding website. It was a fun chance to celebrate our engagement, laugh and have fun in front of the camera, and practice for that oh-so-important photo shoot that is the wedding day!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Annie :)

      I've been enjoying your blog! Thanks for stopping by mine!

  2. The engagement photo shoot is nice and thanks to sharing your wedding planning. The pictures are so cute and i love your planning.

  3. Awww! You guys look so adorable! I like your choice of location. It’s very rare and at the same time very fitting for you guys. I agree with you about keeping things natural and simple. I like how your pictures turned out. The photographer really captured real snapshots of love from the two of you! =)

    1. Thanks, Jessie, and thank you for stopping by! We love the photos, too :)

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