Hey guys! I’m back with another update on what’s been happening with all of the wedding planning that my fiancé, Mitch, and I have busied ourselves with over the past month (you can also check out my first, second, and third Bride Blogger posts).
Things have actually picked up considerably over the past four weeks as we came up on and passed June 14, the date which marked our official one-year countdown. It’s crazy to think that we still have to wait another whole year to tie the knot and party it up, but I know that the year is going to fly by. I don’t regret having a long(er) engagement for a second; we’ve been able to book almost every single vendor we’ve wanted and everything has just been so darn easy and fun. We’ve been quite laid back about our plans mostly because we’ve spread out the “workload” of planning over such an extended time period. There were some things, however, that needed to be taken care of as we approached the one-year mark, like make sure we booked the caterer and rehearsal dinner space we wanted before they were unavailable for next year. I’ll write more on an incredible tasting, which was completely tailored to our every wish, that Mitch and I went on with The Catering Outfit next month, but today I want to talk about pictures. Pretty, pretty pictures.
I’ve touched upon the topic of engagement pictures just briefly in a previous post, but today I’d love to go into more detail about my experience having not one but two engagement sessions. Mitch and I have been so lucky to have had pictures taken by good friend Jeffrey Gleason as well as by our chosen wedding photographer Jen Fariello, who I can now happily say has become another good friend. You might be asking, “why take so many pictures”, to which my response would be, why not???! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: being engaged is such a fun, crazy, loving time in your life (even if you’ve been with your significant other for over 5 years like us), why not document all the love and excitement as much as you possibly can? There are also a few other reasons to have an e-session. I thought I’d highlight some of those reasons today as well as reflect on some things I learned during our photo sessions. Oh and of course share the pictures
After working with two photographers I’ve come to learn that each photographer has his/her own working style. Some give you more direction, some less.
An engagement session gives you a chance to work with your chosen photographer before your wedding day so you get a sense of their style and how they work. I’m actually quite uncomfortable in front of the camera, so it was important for me to work with Jen ahead of time so I could get used to having my picture taken and loosen up a bit [and actually we shot first with Jeff so I should really credit him for putting me more at ease].
Having the session with Jen after we were able to shoot with Jeff really allowed me to feel more comfortable (with her and in front of the camera) and I think it shows!
Another thing I’ve learned from having two really different photo sessions, one at tons of sites all over the state as a ridiculously fun tribute to all things Virginia and another at Belle Haven where we will be getting married, is that it’s probably best if the location/styling/feel of the session best represents you, or rather, both you and your fiancé. I’ve seen tons of fun shoots that are overly styled with different props and I love how they look. That type of shoot just didn’t feel like it was our style though. When I first met with Jeff to talk about ideas for an engagement session, he actually touched on this. Having already known me, he pointed out that since both Mitch and I have this crazy sense of adventure and are always doing things on a whim, we should try to capture that in some way. We decided to do a day-long unplanned shoot, just drive all over Virginia and stop at places we thought were cool and pretty. We started at 6am on Skyline drive, drove on the backroads from Charlottesville to Virginia Beach and ended up in Richmond at night. It was such an adventure and the pictures are amazing
Another way to represent your life together is to include other family members or pets in the photo shoot. In our case we brought along our smushy french bulldog Sophie, who is the just the apple of our eye.
In addition to the importance of representing your own personal style and personality, I’ve also learned that it can be good to be open to recommendations from your photographer. They are experts at what they do and, as such, have an expert eye for what would look beautiful. Case in point, working with Jen at Belle Haven. We were climbing in hedges, lying underneath flowering bushes, and smooching all over the place. While it felt just a bit strange at the time, Jen obviously knew what she was doing 😉
I really don’t have a favorite. I absolutely love them all. What I’ve ultimately learned is that taking pictures with the one you love is super FUN. I know without a doubt that we will treasure these amazing images for the rest of our lives.