Engagement Shoot Prep

We got to play dress up and take pretty pictures!

We booked our engagement shoot in May to take advantage of hopefully beautiful spring weather and Mother Nature didn’t disappoint. We booked Stephanie Mason as our wedding photographer and as a part of our package we got an engagement shoot. We were fortunate enough to have our proposal captured so I wanted to take this opportunity to get dressed up and capture some fun shots and also snag some family shots with the pups!

I always try to make these posts super useful so I figured I’d make a checklist of things to consider if you are an engaged couple looking for tips on how to get ready for a photoshoot!

1. Figure out where you want to take your shots

Stephanie and I have been chatting over Instagram DM so when we booked the date I asked her where her dream location would be to shoot an engagement shoot. I wasn’t married to any location so why not help her build her portfolio. She suggested Morisson’s Quarry and I said: “Let’s Do It!”

2. Ensure that you or the photographer confirm approval to shoot at the venue if on private land. Because we picked Morrison’s Quarry, Steph emailed them ahead of time to get approval to shoot on location. Unfortunately, the person that approved our shoot did not let the on-site staff know so we were kicked out fairly quickly. But not before we motored around and got as many gems as possible!

3. Pick out your outfits

Try to stick to 1 or 2 outfits especially if you’re trying to fit the shoot into one hour. Also be ready to change in public! I picked out a floor length dress from Lulus.com and ordered the Ashley Bliss Tulle skirt. I paired the skirt with a black bodysuit from J Crew.

4. Communicate start and length of shoot time with your photographer. Ensure your photog also communicates expectations on when you’ll see teaser or get your engagement album. That way you aren’t bugging them for shots the days after the shoot.

Due to getting kicked out of Morrison’s Quarry, Steph said we should come to the Arboretum before another shoot she had scheduled on the Monday of the long weekend. So we got my second outfit in and I got to do a different makeup and hair look! And just look at those cherry blossoms!!!

5. Clean and polish your ring for close up shots!

6. Get silly. Personally, I love the laughing shots we got. It shows so much how much fun you have together as a couple.

7. Bring a friend or family member to take care of your pups if you’re including them in the day. We were going to hire our dog trainer to come with us but left it to the last minute and didn’t arrange it on time. While our pups were fine in the car they were a bit frantic by the time it was their close up and were a little hard to calm down.

8. Get a list of shots you like so you can share with your photog prior to the shoot. I pinned a whole bunch to a Pinterest board and emailed it to Steph prior to the day. If you’re using these shots for a Save the Date or for your Wedding Invitations make sure they get a good assortment of portrait and landscape shots so you have choice to pick from.

9. Plan on having your hair and makeup trial before the shoot. I used the opportunity to book a vendor that I thought might be ok for the big day. Unfortunately, it was so horrible I was terrified the shots on the first day wouldn’t turn out. Thankfully we didn’t have any close-ups and the natural light warmed me up. So be warned that if you haven’t had any good referrals and are booking cold it could be a disaster especially if you’re going from a hair & makeup trial straight to the shoot.

10. Use downtime to ask questions about the day of, especially if you’re unclear about any timeline questions or logistics for the big day.


We were also very fortunate to have our videographer capture an engagement shoot video! If you get a chance to incorporate this into your day I highly suggest it!

The most unplanned part of ours was the re-shoot at the Arboretum and getting a chance to shoot on a bridge. One of my favorite quotes is about a bridge (you’ll hear me read it out on the video) and it meant so much that we got shots on a bridge.

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