Thursday, April 29

Wedding Week Series: Our "Engagement" Photo Session

Joe and I never really had official “engagement photos” taken. We’d considered it right after becoming engaged in December 2008 but decided instead to allocate that money elsewhere within our wedding budget. Besides the cost, I found that having engagement pictures taken with our photographer while planning the wedding from out of state was extremely difficult. Considering we live in Florida, the wedding is in Missouri, and the photographer’s home base is Colorado, it really made it difficult for us to coordinate a time for a practice session. But unlike some brides, it actually never really bothered me that we didn’t have “official” photos taken. After all, we already have over a dozen pictures of Joe proposing to me since our family and friends were all there to witness the event with cameras in hand. To me, engagement pictures can’t get any more genuine than ones that show the groom down on one knee in the actual moment that started it all! We even used one of the photos from the night of the engagement on our homemade save-the-dates.

Fortunately, I grew up just a few houses down from our wedding photographer and have known her for over ten years. Because we already feel comfortable having her around, I know there won’t be any problems of feeling shy when she begins snapping photos of us on the big day. But if you’ve never met your photographer before, I definitely think it’s important to have an engagement photo session with that person before the actual wedding. This way, a bride and groom can become more comfortable with the photographer and everyone can know what to expect (and be as relaxed as possible) on the big day. The photographer likely wants to know your personality as a couple so they can know how to get the best shots at your wedding, so they will probably recommend a pre-wedding photo session. It's beneficial to get to know your vendors as much as possible before the wedding to avoid any surprises on a day when surprises are typically a bad thing. The photographer has the biggest and most important role as a vendor, so you should invest some time in befriending them... they will likely be spending more time with you than anyone else will on your wedding day, after all.

So… since we don’t have any official engagement photos as of now, Joe and I decided to take advantage of our reception “table name” idea and have some engagement-style photos taken while we were in St. Louis. (If you haven’t read my blog about our plans for the table themes, read it here.) Basically though, we’re placing an engraved picture frame on each table that will feature a photo of us at one of our favorite St. Louis landmarks. We had set an ultimate goal to take pictures at each one of these nine landmarks during our wedding-planning week. While we didn’t get through every single landmark that we intended since it was the opening day of baseball season in crazy downtown St. Louis the day we set out to take photos, we did get a chance to visit a few locations on our list. Now, I wouldn’t DARE show the actual photos that we’ll be using at the reception as those are a secret until October 2nd, but I will share a few of my favorite “just-because” shots. (Special thanks to my Mom who drove around with us from place to place and dutifully served as our amazing photographer with no complaints!) We plan to finish taking the photos when we return in September, just one week before the wedding. Wish us luck!!

Have you had engagement photos taken? If not, do you plan to?


  1. Your pictures look great! Our engagement session was very similar to yours. My sister took a series of fun shots at the botanical garden where we’ll be doing our “first look.”

  2. Your pics look great! We did our shoot in San Francisco on Valentines day 2009 and had a blast. It was a great weekend.
    So I had no idea you started your own blog and am so happy you did! I can now follow along more easily! :)