Sharing Our Engagement Photos

I’ve been keeping this kind of quiet, but a few weeks ago Chris and I had some engagement photos taken. And now I am SO excited to share a few with you. Just a heads up, we had a lot of outfit/scene changes. But I assure you these were all taken on the same day. And in the same year. I really hope you like them!  
The photographer really wanted to capture the essence of “us.” So she gave us a little champagne before to help us relax a bit. (I tend to get a little awkward in front of the camera.) But after a few drinks I loosen right up. We both do.

I know this might not seem like the most “conventional engagement” photo. But I think it’s cute and candid. It says, “hey we’re a couple who likes to party, but we also like to get dressed up.”

This is supposed to be one of those artsy photos where the photographer told me to look away. So I did. And I also happened to grab some binoculars just to add a little something extra.

Give me the smile you’re going to have when you walk down the aisle,” the photographer said to me right before she snapped this gem. This might be the one we put in the newspaper alongside our engagement announcement. I just think I look really good.
Now I tend to hate the cheesy affectionate photos. But our photographer insisted we have at least one. It’s not my favorite, but it’s okay. What do you think?
In all honesty if I had to choose one touching photo it would be this one. I think it looks really natural. And the angles are pretty good.
And that’s a peak inside our engagement shoot… 

At this point I’d like to open the floor for discussion. What are your thoughts on engagement photos? Does anyone else question why we’re supposed to get 100 photos taken as a couple when we’re just going to get 500 more at our upcoming wedding? Or am I just being cheap? I’ve heard engagement photos are typically a part of a photographer’s wedding package, but I wouldn’t know since I haven’t looked into any of this.

Don’t get me wrong, I love looking at everyone else’s engagement photos. I just don’t really want my own (besides the ones you see above.)

For starters I would probably walk out if a photographer told Chris and I to “gaze into each others eyes” or have me hold up a sign that said “he stole my heart, so I stole his last name.” All the lols. Good for you, not for me.

And I’m not going to sit between his legs as he leans against a random tree, he’s not going to stare at my back as I stand in a lonely cornfield thinking about love, and we’re certainly not going to kiss romantically while I hold up my hand toward the camera and “I SAID YES!” is written on my palm. People get it, we’re getting married. No need to literally smack them in the face with this news.

As I said before, good for some couples, just not for us. That’s just not how we do.

That being said, we may still get “real” engagement photos taken. It’s up in the air at this point and not a huge concern for me. My only concern is getting one photo taken. And it’s replicating this one, duh.

You can judge my dog pics and I’ll judge your tree pics. To each their own. It all works.



  1. June 25, 2015 / 9:45 am

    Our engagement photo session was a part of the package with our photographer, so that's basically the only reason we took them. My husband is in the Navy too, so we actually couldn't take pictures until 3 days before the wedding because he was stationed 5,000 miles away. They were good because it taught our photographer how to work with us and how awkward my husband can be on camera, but I don't think I would have paid any additional money to make them happen.

  2. June 25, 2015 / 9:48 am

    The cheesy affectionate photo is just perfect with your LV zipped open and a jacket draped so nicely on the ledge.

  3. June 25, 2015 / 9:49 am

    I think ours were included, too. But I got married 12 years ago before having super artsy photos in amazing locations was a thing you did. Ours were taken in a studio with a backdrop that made it look like we were a couple of kids getting our picture taken at Sears. Although, to be honest, that's not that far from the truth.

  4. June 25, 2015 / 9:59 am

    We had our dogs in ours. We did our save the date with them, nothing crazy. I can never get my husband to take pics, so it was nice to get some professional pics of us, but stayed far away from the corny ones. We also went to rival schools, so we did some pics wearing our college shirts, things that were fun and personal.
    No gazing, no fake kissing awkwardly, just something casual.

  5. June 25, 2015 / 10:08 am

    i really think the first one should be the one people should see when they walk in for the reception. these are awesome.

  6. June 25, 2015 / 10:08 am

    but will you guys adopt me?

  7. June 25, 2015 / 10:18 am

    Haha! We had to, it was part of our package and I loved the photographers work and she kinda insisted she meet us before the wedding to get to know us. The pictures were so cheesy and the gazing was SO not us, but some of them came out pretty good. Obviously I'm obsessed. The one bad thing is I've been married almost three months and I'm still waiting for my damn wedding pictures! Ugh!

  8. June 25, 2015 / 10:26 am

    We took ours on an usually hot day in October, we were miserable, sweaty, and annoyed. We have one of them hanging in our house. If its part of your package do it just to get a few pictures with your furbaby, we like our wedding photos so much more!

  9. June 25, 2015 / 10:37 am

    My husband and I were married last year. Our photographer's package included engagement shots, but we declined and that saved us $300 on our total package. He told us that photographer usually like doing engagement shoots because he/she can get to know the two of you and it's not SUPER. AWK. when they show up on the day of your wedding and take pictures of you getting ready, etc etc. Valid point, but weddings are already expensive and it was one item that didn't have to go on a to-do list. And in case you're wondering, I didn't find it awkward and it all worked out peachy. 🙂

  10. June 25, 2015 / 10:51 am

    Engagement photos were not for me. We could've added them to our package but that was a big old nope. We took pictures to use as our save the date but the photographer was my mom and they were taken in my parents' backyard for the whopping cost of nothing.

  11. June 25, 2015 / 10:51 am

    I never understood the point of engagement photos. Like weddings needed ANOTHER expense. I probably won't get special photoshoots of pregnancy or my children either. Like, sure, it seems nice and all, but I can enjoy the memories just as well with my grainy, poorly lit photos as I can with the more expensive version.

  12. June 25, 2015 / 10:51 am

    I think it was a great opportunity to get to know the photographer and let him/her get to know you, too. We took ours on campus where we went to college, so it's cool to have them in a setting we both love so much (even though there was a little miscommunication on WHERE on campus we wanted them…). Most of our pictures felt a little awkward but there were about a dozen that I absolutely loved and we have a couple 16×20's hanging up in our house. It was also nice to know that we could have some pictures other than just our wedding pictures to hang in our house…since it's been just over a year after our wedding and we haven't taken any other nice pictures to hang up so without our engagement pictures, all we'd have are wedding pictures staring at us everywhere.

  13. June 25, 2015 / 11:42 am

    I consider myself a very very cheesy photo person and even I can't stand a lot of the engagement photos out there. The "he stole my heart so I stole his last name" is just too much for me, I mean to the first person whoever shot that it was creative but now it sorta just makes me gag. I love your real relationship photos and I am sure if you do get engagement photos taken they will be lovely and not over the top cheesy! (:

  14. June 25, 2015 / 11:45 am

    I know, it seems silly to take a million photos of yourselves before the day where you literally take photos for an entire day…but here are two reasons why it's always a good idea to take engagement photos:

    1. This gives your photographer a chance to learn your style and for you and your fiance to figure out being in front of a camera. You are obviously concerned that you will be awkward in photos and at your wedding by how much you mention that…haha – just pointing that out! Totally normal, we all are/were! But that's why engagement sessions are super great. They're also really fun if you pick a fun photographer since it's just you three. It's a real opportunity to learn her photography style, how to pose and to just feel more natural (like yourself) the day of. I noticed people who don't take engagement photos tend to have more stiff wedding photos…

    2. Yes, you'll have a million photos from your wedding to display, but let's be honest, no one wants to go into a home where EVERY single photo is in your wedding gown and suit. Sounds obvious, but after you get your wedding photos, I'm sure you will actually love so many of them you will be tempted to display more than you would have thought you would. Having other photos with different outfits and doing different things that is still professional quality is really fun to have for variety and to use for other things where you don't want it to always be a wedding photo. Does that make sense? Or is that just me…?

    And when picking a photographer…make sure you talk to people who have used that photographer before…there are some super awesome ones, and there are some reeeeeally lame ones. And you two seem way too fun to have a lame one, so make sure you pick one that will embrace your style, your ideas, opinions and make the day super fun for you!

  15. June 25, 2015 / 11:48 am

    I think it's totally a personal preference. It wasn't a part of our package, and we did not have them taken. I have no regrets on that at all. My mom just snapped a picture of us on our deck to send to the newspapers. Then again, even though I love my wedding pictures, after 6 years I still haven't framed one! Whoops. I should get on that. My sister and her husband had them done, and I loved hers. It was part of their package, and they had them taken at the "famous" bar on our college campus (Purdue/Harry's). They aren't cheesy at all. They are just in their casual Purdue clothes doing things like cheersing (word?) each other, sitting on the bar, behind the bar together, etc. Totally them. Plus Harry's can look really nice when not crowded with drunk college students. 😉 So I think it's in no way a necessity, but if you like having pictures taken, it's a good life event excuse to do so. Just make them reflect you and definitely include Harlow in some. 🙂

  16. June 25, 2015 / 11:53 am

    Those engagement pictures are better than any that a professional photographer could have taken. You guys are naturals.

  17. June 25, 2015 / 12:02 pm

    I found that since our engagement pics were part of our wedding package, it gave us an opportunity to get to know our photographer a little, see what we did and didn't like from his style and it made us more comfortable on our wedding day. If it's not part of the package, I don't know that I would pay more for it, because how many pictures of the two of you do you really need, and you're more likely to enlarge wedding pictures than engagement pictures.

  18. June 25, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    In a wedding- and "perfect day'-obsessed world, I LOVE your attitude about all this. You are the coolest bride-to-be ever! And with photos as great as the ones you shared with us, who needs more?

  19. June 25, 2015 / 12:37 pm

    I felt SO awkward when the hubby & I got our engagement pictures taken but they turned out great & we had the same girl that did them, do our wedding. For a young girl just starting out, I thought she she did pretty well. Plus, she was cheap! Ha, ha!

    Mandie ~

  20. June 25, 2015 / 12:44 pm

    lol! Love this! Engagement photos were fun and we used them for a Christmas card and other shit. I mean, it's not necessary, but it's fun to dress up and take professional photos with the Chicago skyline in the background. However, what you posted may be hard to beat! 🙂

  21. June 25, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Judy was absent from our lives and our engagement photos, which is totally fine considering I've hired professional photographers to take photos of us 3 times in the past year. Not narcissistic at all, right? Judy also had formal portraits done.

  22. June 25, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    I didn't do engagement photos, and I don't regret it. Then again, it's been a year and I still haven't ordered actual prints of my wedding photos. Oops.

  23. June 25, 2015 / 4:04 pm

    We skipped it. He didn't want to and I said, might as well save the money. Our pre wedding photos in the park + wedding pics made them totally unnecessary. No regrets on that one.

  24. June 25, 2015 / 4:21 pm

    yea we didn't get engagement photos either, for this exact reason…that and my now hubby does not take a photo well, seriously, we went to Italy and took over 1500 photos (I know I take too many photos) and I got exactly 1, yep you read that right 1 picture of him smiling…and it was because he was having the best latte of his life…not to self feed husband really good coffee to get him to smile big.

  25. June 25, 2015 / 7:35 pm

    I was not for the engagement pics either… but yet here we are scheduled to take them on Sunday. I figure we will get comfortable with our photographer (plus it came with the package, like you said). I will say- instead of a picture of us kissing on a log being plastered on fridges up and down the east coast we decided to get a caricature done of us AND the dogs. It turned out fantastic…. we found a guy on etsy with a shop called Illustrate the Date. Highly recommend him. This solves the -our parents want a save the date and we would rather die dilemma.

  26. June 25, 2015 / 9:56 pm

    I am indifferent to the idea of engagement pics. I know a lot of people do them and they look so cute, but it seems like an unnecessary expense and I'd rather spend that extra money on the honeymoon.

  27. June 25, 2015 / 11:20 pm

    Grr, I just left a long comment and it disappeared. Dang it. Anyways.. I don't get 'engagement specific' photos because they're not something you're going to want to look at forever. Sure it's good to have like one, to put in an album, but I would much rather see more real life photos. Make them family photos with the two of you & Harlow. Have the photographer follow you guys around at the dog beach or just doing the stuff you guys like to do together. Sure, maybe put on a few more coats of mascara that day, but mostly, I would say just make it 'you' & normal life. Those are the photos you're going to want to look at & remember in the future. 🙂 There's my two cents. 🙂

  28. June 26, 2015 / 3:35 am

    I've been married three times. Go ahead and judge. I sorta kinda deserve it. The first one happened when I was 19; the third when I was 41 (yes, I'm the ancient age of 42); the second was such a flash it doesn't really deserve a mention. ANYWAYS In all 3 of my marriages, I never had engagement pictures. You could say I'm not the traditional sort. I never had a white poofy dress either. Or a veil. My point being – do what works for you & your guy. Not what others expect of you. From the pictures you posted here, it looks like the two of you absolutely know how to have fun together. And, I love that. That says so much more to me about you as a couple than a perfectly posed and coiffed professional photo.

  29. June 26, 2015 / 12:57 pm

    These are awesome. We didn't get engagement pictures. My husband thanks me for that.

  30. June 26, 2015 / 1:09 pm

    We opted not to do engagement photos and I have zero regrets about that. Our photographer was a friend of ours and understood we're not the staged photo type of couple. The bulk of our wedding photos were candid/photojournalism style with only a few posed, which is exactly what we wanted.

    • June 28, 2015 / 11:00 pm

      Amen! Although I am not engaged (let alone in a relationship), I do not like staged photos (unless there is a neat feature to them.) I recently vetoed the professional photos from my PhD hooding ceremony, because they look so forced. (Plus, they can be quite expensive!)

  31. June 26, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    I'm getting married in six weeks and our photographer charges $250 I think for engagement photos. I couldn't justify that price just to put some pictures on Facebook. We also didn't do save the dates though, so I didn't need photos for that. I'm a no frill kind of girl. It's all too much!!

  32. June 29, 2015 / 12:29 pm

    Our engagement pictures were included in the wedding package, as a way to get used to getting our picture taken and working with our photographer. I would suggest them if they're included, because it gives the photographer a chance to see what works best with you two as a couple – my husband was super awkward in front of the camera at the engagement pictures, and getting the kinks out helped for the big day! 🙂

  33. June 30, 2015 / 3:43 pm

    LOL this is the best. I don't want to offend anyone, but I almost like lose a small amount of respect for people who get engagement photos done. I totally understand staged "wedding day" photos, but getting dressed up in color coordinated outfits and pretending to share an ice cream cone or something…makes absolutely no sense. BUT, that's just my opinion 😉 I just can't fake happiness like that. We have 6 professional photos from our wedding, and they kind of suck, and I wish I was photoshopped a bit, but it's all awkward and real and we the look in our eyes screams being terrified, but I love them.

    x. Morgan /

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