How cheesy is too cheesy when it comes to engagement pictures? That was what I pondered all week while leading up to our engagement session on Saturday (while also praying for warm, sunny weather). I also struggled with how to make our pictures original (translation: someplace other than the Stone Arch Bridge), yet still cute. Here’s what I came up with.
Our day started at about 11 a.m. on Saturday, and thankfully, my wishes for warm weather were answered (although it got a little chilly when I stripped down to a strapless dress for a few more formal shots). Nonetheless, The Fiance and I picked up our photographer from his hotel and we were on our way. (Side note: We chose my brother’s wedding photographer from California to shoot my wedding as well. It was a tough decision, but because we became so close to this photographer through the process of my brother’s wedding earlier this year, it was the logical choice. He’s phenomenal. Check out Mulberry Photography if you get a minute.)
I wanted to find a location to start with that spoke to The Fiance and I as a couple—but also was a cool spot to shoot. I’ll be honest . . . we’re not the “hippest” people in the world, so I didn’t want to go too edgy, but I also wanted to be different. We decided to start at the library since we both can be bookworms. I brought some shots from my brother’s engagement session that I liked and didn’t like. (One tip I picked up from wedding planner interviewing is to bring pictures of things you DON’T like just as much as things you like—this can be said for flowers, dress shopping, anything really!)
Nonetheless, we started out at the library, which loosened us up a bit—we hit the Romance section hoping to be philosophical (think Shakespeare) but we were directed to the Harlequin section with plenty of bodice ripping covers—we laughed our way through the stacks picking out headlines we found amusing.
From there we hit the Gutherie, which was definitely our photographer’s favorite location. He spent at least an hour both outside and inside, positioning us in some pretty unique spots (check out the 9th floor). I’m not sure how they’ll turn out, but I’m excited to see them! Then, we popped over to Northeast, and we wandered the streets around Red Stag to position ourselves in front of some cool alleyways and wall art.
We stopped off in front of the Basilica quickly—I didn’t want too much emphasis on that church specifically since we’re getting married at the Cathedral in Green Bay—but since we are having a Catholic wedding, and that’s our home parish here, it made since for a more formal option (hence the coldness in the strapless dress).
Then we went back to our house, which we just closed on last week—we actually spent all day Friday moving, so I had to be extremely careful not to get too bruised amongst the boxes—and we shot some pictures with our pup and in our front yard. He also took a few of us in the house, lost amongst the boxes, which I think will be a fun way for us to remember how exciting (and crazy) this time is in our lives—all you brides-to-be know what I’m talking about!
At about 6 p.m. we cracked open a beer and relaxed . . and hopefully our locations were perfectly us and not cheesy. Now I’m anxiously awaiting our proofs to decide. I’ll keep you posted!
Here are my tips:
Plan your outfits strategically a head of time and keep options with you. We planned it out, but once I had on a sweater dress and tights and The Fiance had on just a button down, we looked like we were from different seasons I was bundled up for fall and he was ready for spring.
Make a list of locations you want to hit that are specific to you, but be open to their suggestions and finding places along the way. Since our photographer wasn’t from here, we had to rely on my knowledge of locations (the day job helps) and his eye for things from the car. I’m really happy with the variety that we have, but it definitely took some thought.
Have fun with each other. Every told me I’d be PDA’d out and tired of smiling, but honestly, we had a really fun time together, and I’m hopefully that will show through the pictures. Our photographer was great about letting us be us, so there wasn’t a ton of big smooches, but a lot of forehead kisses and shared looks. We’ll see how it turns out!
If you have any questions about your engagement picture planning session, post your question on our Facebook wall! I’m happy to help!