Of all the wedding activities Sam and I have done thus far, I probably spent the most time
obsessing over preparing for the engagement photos. No joke, many months were dedicated to looking for the perfect outfits (complementary, but not too matchy-matchy) and browsing Pinterest for pose ideas (not too stiff or cheesy). Still, when the day arrived, I was incredibly nervous.
Taking advice from Real Bride Kara, I left all the primping to the pros, spending the evening before and morning of getting my hair, makeup, nails, and brows done. I’ll admit, it felt a little indulgent, but how often will we take photos like this? Sam and I plan to use these photos for our save-the-dates, programs, and guest book. So to me, that pampering was completely worth it. (Side note: If you choose to have your makeup done, don’t worry if it looks a little too over the top. I had that concern, but it came across beautifully in photos).
Our photographer, April Johnson of Asher Marie Photography, met us on a picture-perfect October day in Excelsior, a west metro town on Lake Minnetonka that holds a lot of meaning for Sam and me as a couple. It’s where we spent a lot of time in our teenage years—we had our first kiss on the beach, and Sam asked me to be his girlfriend at Bayview Event Center when we were seniors in high school. Plus, with its charming vibe and picturesque background, we knew it would be a perfect location for photos.
We started at our favorite Irish pub, Jake O’Connor’s. Sam and I are both a little camera shy, so allowing ourselves to have a drink at the beginning of our session really helped us relax in front of the lens. Not to mention, it gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase our “dressier” outfits—him in a blazer and khakis, and me in a green Monique Lhuillier dress I rented from Rent the Runway (another tip I picked up from Kara).
From there, we took some time to stroll the streets of downtown Excelsior before an outfit and location change. April had already scoped out a few spots with amazing fall colors, so we trusted her to lead the way and guide us into poses that looked natural and authentic. Luckily, she was also totally onboard when I pulled out some caramel apples and a blanket as props, because those images turned out to be some of my favorites.
To wrap our session, I wanted to snap a few photos where we first met. Minnetonka High School is such a big part of our love story, so to have those memories preserved in images is priceless. Plus, watching the sun set over the football field from the bleachers, just as we did at countless Friday night games when we were 17, was a perfect way to end the evening.
I’m so happy with how the photos turned out. Not only do we have some amazing options for our save-the-dates, we also got to know our photographer a little better before our wedding. I know April and her husband Blake will do an amazing job capturing our big day next October.