On Easter Sunday (end of April) Euan & I were lucky enough to have the most amazing engagement shoot with our photographer, Emma (Freckle Photography). We lucked out with the weather (heatwave weekend!) and had soo much fun laughing, smiling, and chatting.
I’m going to share a few of our preview images soon, but I wanted to first talk a bit about engagement shoots and why they are important.
Also know as pre-wedding shoots, depending on how close to your wedding you have it! Firstly, what are engagement shoots? Well, they’re basically a photoshoot with your wedding photographer which takes place during your engagement period. Not much to it really!
Some photographers will offer engagement/pre-wedding shoots as part of their photography package, and others will offer them for an additional price. Either way, I highly recommend.
Why are they important?
I’ve always thought engagement shoots were incredibly important. Seeing the difference between couples on their wedding day who have previously had a photoshoot with their photographer and those who haven’t solidified it in my mind a long time ago. But, having never had one myself I didn’t want to be too vocal about how important they are until I had experienced it for myself.
But, now I have! So why are they important? Time for some bullet points I think…
- You get to meet your photographer properly. You’re going to be getting quite up close and personal in front of your photographer, so you want to feel comfortable around them. And the best way for you all to get to know each other is to go out and have some pics taken!
- It’s good practice. When do you ever stand in front of a camera for 30 minutes solidly, kissing & cuddling your other half? It’s an alien concept, and is surprisingly difficult. Even the most confident of people will feel a tad shy when there’s someone telling them to have a smooch with a camera pointed in their face.
- Your photographer gets a chance to photograph you. Obvious, right? What I mean is during engagement shoots, photographers can figure out your most flattering sides & angles, work out where best to stand you both in relation to each other, and all the other clever photography tricks. I have zero photography experience (can you tell?) but in any walk of life, things are almost always easier second time around. And if you have an engagement shoot, your wedding day won’t be the first time your photographer has photographed you.
- Photos will probably take up less time on your wedding day. This is tied pretty closely to you both being more comfortable in front of a camera paired with your photographer knowing you through their lens. Since you’ve ‘been there done that’ you won’t need to spend quite as long faffing around trying to get the perfect pic.
There are many other benefits to having engagement shoots, the photos for example! Your engagement period is one of the most special times in your life, so why not have some killer pics to remember it by? And also, why not?! Go for it! We had the most amazing evening having our engagement shoot, and that in itself was pretty special. Let alone the amazing pics Emma took!
Keep your eyes peeled for some preview images on the blog over the next few days… And in the meantime, why don’t you catch up with my planning update blog post series?
To mark a year of engagement (how has that happened?!), I thought it was time for a ‘Wedding Planning Update’ blog post series. In this series I’ll be talking you through all the decisions that have been made, suppliers booked, the ups & downs of planning a wedding, and all the bits in between!
But, let’s start with what I’ve learnt about engagements from other people, and from my own experiences.
I think people often fantasise about being engaged. It’s glamourised in the media, and from a young age girls are brought up looking forward to that ‘will you marry me’ moment. And, to be honest, I think it’s incredibly unhealthy.
Being engaged isn’t about the shiny ring, the glamorous trips to wedding dress shops, or the excuse to drink champagne all the time. It’s about a commitment you’re making to another person, a commitment that’s going to last for the rest of your life. I think people lose sight of that amongst the excitement of ‘wanting’ to be engaged, and they forget that an engagement also means a marriage. Don’t get me wrong, being engaged is a wonderful period of time – possibly the best ever! But only if it’s for the right reasons, and with the right person.
My mum once said to me ‘marry the man for the man, not for the wedding’, and it’s so true. If you weren’t getting a beautiful engagement ring, you weren’t getting the dress shopping, you weren’t getting the wedding, the bridesmaids, the gifts, the photos… Would you still want to get married? It seems like the simplest of things, but in actual fact it’s astonishing how many people I’ve met who are one hundred percent getting married for the wedding, and not the person or the marriage.
“Fall in love with the person, not the life they can give you”
Engaged for a whole year!
I actually can’t believe it has been a whole year! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. So, what has it been like? Amazing, exciting, but by no means perfect.
The things I’ve loved most is being surrounded by friends & family who adore me & Euan and cannot wait for our wedding. The support and love we’ve felt in this past year has been incredible, and we are so grateful for our amazing friends. There’s something indescribably magical about people genuinely loving the two of you as a couple and is absolutely essential for a lasting relationship.
I’ve also loved the amazing memories I’ve made with my closest gals going wedding dress shopping (in many different places!), the last-minute (ish) engagement party we had last year, and the memories we’re yet to make in the next 17 months!
And of course the wedding planning itself. Which is also the part that has brought the imperfections… But more on that later!
Take a look at my previous blog post series on what I’m up to!
Okay, so as a bride-to-be how many times has ‘all this, just for one day’ been said to you? Have you even thought it yourself? I have already had so many people accost me with questions about it ‘just being for one day’. Well, people, I’m about to take you on a journey of discovery.
Newsflash! It’s not just about one day.
Just for one day? Part 1…
Firstly, it’s not ‘just a day’. It’s the foundation for your marriage. The day it all started. A celebration of your love. A chance for you to show the people around you how much they mean to you, how much you mean to them, and how much you (as a couple) mean to each other. It’s pretty symbolic.
Not to mention the family & friends reunion side of it. Tell me another instance where you get to sit in a room with all the most important people in your life. In one place. Altogether. For a happy occasion. You can’t? That’s because there isn’t one.
Just for one day? Part 2…
Secondly, why wouldn’t you want an excuse to dress up in the best and most expensive clothing you can afford, drink amazing wine, eat wonderful food, and dance the night away? And whilst smiling the entire time! That sounds like the perfect day. What’s not to love?!
Just for one day? Part 3…
Seriously though, it really isn’t just about that one day. Thirdly, and most importantly, it’s about the journey.
It’s about that indescribable feeling of being proposed to, and the tears of excitement and happiness as you share the news with family & friends.
It’s about deciding who you want to stand beside you on the day, and watching their expression as you tell them.
It’s about working with your partner and making decisions about your day which reflect you as a couple, and learning more about each other as you do so.
It’s about listening to and respecting your partner’s thoughts & visions for your day and coming to conclusions that you are both happy with.
It’s about wedding dress shopping with your mum and girl-friends, drinking bubbles and squealing for no particular reason, just because.
It’s about the days out with you girls/boys and giving them a chance to show you how much you mean to them.
It’s about sharing your excitement with your parents, and watching how happy it makes them to see you so elevated.
It’s about all of those little things in the build up. All of the decisions you make because of the wedding. All the conversations you have and all the memories you make along the way.
So, no, it’s not all for just one day.
Engagement pressures… A few weeks ago I did a little youtube video about engagements. I thought I’d do a little post to carry on the conversation, or for anyone who missed the video. No matter where you are in your relationship, or not in one at all, I bet you’ve got an opinion on engagements. I certainly do! And it’s amazing how much my opinion has changed too.
I never used to think the length of time before getting engaged mattered, and I still don’t. But, I do think the amount a couple has experienced together does matter. Like, a lot. That’s just my opinion though, and (harking back to my last post) based on my own personal experience.
What Are Engagement Pressures?
Okay, so engagement pressures can be a whole number of things. Pressure from family or friends to ‘hurry up’. Which, by the way, can be felt by both the proposer and the proposee. Pressure from influences (such as social media) for the proposal to be a certain way. Or announced in a certain way. Pressure to get engaged when you might not want to… The list goes on. To be honest, everyone will have their own version or understanding of engagement pressures. And that can’t be avoided (unless you’re insanely lucky). You can find a way of dealing with them though, or even ignoring them altogether.
Why Do We Feel Them?
Simply? To satisfy others. Humans have this weird need to be liked, admired, accepted, whatever. And when we feel these pressures from other people, we’re feeling them because we want to be accepted (or whatever) by those people. Or to make those people happy. Whatever the exact reason is, the point is the same. We aren’t feeling them to gain anything for ourselves. So over a topic which really is about you, your significant other, and your feelings, why do we let ourselves succumb to pressures to satisfy the needs of others? Who knows! But we shouldn’t. You shouldn’t. Life will be easier if you don’t.
The same rule applies for your wedding, too. It’s your day, and the only thing that really matters is that you’re committing to spending the rest of your life with the person you love. I mean, that’s pretty bloomin’ special, right?! It doesn’t need to be about anything (or anyone) else. Quite often a wedding turns into a couple trying to prove something, or trying to create this ‘image’ which is more often than not completely untrue. Relax, enjoy it, and who cares what other people think?! Let. It. Go.