He popped the question! And you said yes! Let the celebration of a lifetime begin!
Wedding preparations are definitely exciting, but they’re also a lot of work. Between picking the date and the venue, figuring out the seating charts and the colour schemes, wedding planning does get exhausting. Luckily, there are incredible planners out there (and we work with many of them) who will take this burden off your plate.
Still, there are a few things you’ll need to do yourself, and an engagement photoshoot is one of them. It could seem daunting too — picking a spot, the time & date, the outfits and, of course, the photographer is still a laundry list. There is a trick though — if you find a good photographer, they’ll help you with all that and more!
Hint: that’s exactly what we do — help our couples plan not only their engagement shoot, but also any aspect of their wedding.
So, where do you even begin? Let’s dive in.
Yes, we do recommend starting with a photographer. Chances are, they can recommend a great location they’re very familiar with, walk you through the associated costs, suggest the best time of day for that particular spot, outfits that will complement the surroundings and more. At least that’s what we do.
How do you find the right photographer for you? This topic deserves a separate blog post, but in short: search online (Instagram, Google and wedding-related Facebook groups are your best bet) and talk to them. See how quickly they respond, how friendly they seem, how accommodating they can be and how many insights they have about engagement locations and the wedding industry overall.
When you find the right photographer, you’ll know. Beyond their portfolio, you’ll find them easy to talk to, you’ll be confident that they’ll capture your love exactly how you want them to, you’ll see the value they bring and it will all make sense. Just like it did with your significant other 😉
Here’s a great thing about finding your photographer: you can hire them for the wedding too! No need to start the search all over again. You’ll already have the person who gets you and will capture your day perfectly.
Before you select a date for your engagement shoot, start broadly. What does your perfect fairytale look like? Is it in a snowy forest? In blooming trees? Maybe there are bright fall colours all around you? Or just lots of sunshine & greenery?
Pick a season first. Often times it’s easier to choose the season based on what you like wearing. If cozy sweaters are your go-to, pick colder months. Pick warmer months if a strappy dress and high heels are your ideal outfits.
After you’ve envisioned the season, you can work with your photographer to find the perfect date.
We’ve published a few articles about romantic photoshoot locations in Toronto. They all work for an engagement photoshoot too!
To find your perfect location, start broadly — just like you did with the date. Do you gravitate towards nature or the city vibes? Are there any special places that mean a lot to you as a couple? Which places make you want to come back again and again?
Here’s the thing: you don’t need to pick a location that’s “beautiful” in a conventional sense. Just because a place looks good in pictures doesn’t mean you should choose it. If your regular-looking neighbourhood is far more special to you than a flashy downtown street, go with what speaks to you! A great photographer will make any location look good.
Another important thing is selecting a location that will match your outfit. Or vice versa. So let’s say you want an engagement photoshoot in a wheat field outside the city. But you also want to wear a designer gown and stilettos. Do you see the disconnect here? Have you already imagined trying to walk in that field in that outfit? Probably not the best idea. And enjoying yourself during the photoshoot is oh so important! So please don’t make yourself miserable just for the sake of nice pictures. The photos when you’re happy and relaxed will turn out much better anyway!
Finally, consider a studio. Toronto & the GTA has many beautiful and versatile studios with great lighting, stylish interiors and different price points. Once again, we can guide you through this and find the perfect studio for you!
The benefits of the studio are:
As always, talk to your photographer to figure out which location will work best for you.
If a certain location requires payment, book your day in advance and pay for it. We always help our clients with this, but not everyone does. So don’t assume that your photographer is taking care of it — find out who needs to pay for it, what the terms are, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Once you know when & where the photoshoot will take place, it’s time to decide what you both are going to wear. Start with the location in mind and Google photos of it. See what other people wear in those pictures and ask yourself — do I like it, or would I do it differently?
Go shopping (online and in-person), try on different clothes and see what looks and feels best. Don’t be afraid to change your mind (as long as you give yourself enough time to decide of course!).
Think of how your & your fiance’s outfits will look together. A bright red dress with a purple shirt might not be the best combo. Flip flops for him and pumps for you also don’t really work. So try to decide together and coordinate your looks.
What always looks best is coordinated outfits (as opposed to matching ones). We’ve all seen those photos of couples or families in matching pyjamas. If you love it, go for it! But for many, that looks like another Gap commercial, not a photoshoot that showcases your uniqueness.
So what’s “coordinating”? Let’s say you wear a white shirt and navy jeans. Then your S.O. can wear white pants and a dark blue t-shirt. See what we mean? This way, your outfits will look natural and not forced. But they’ll still complement each other, just like you do.
Finally, please-please-please, make sure that you’re comfortable. The blisters aren’t worth the trouble in end, we promise! So pick clothes and shoes that don’t poke and hurt you. The best way to find out? Wear your selected outfit at home or even out. That way it will feel more “you” — after you’ve worn it at least once before.
If you really want to wear a specific pair of shoes that aren’t the most comfortable, bring something with you to change. We don’t need to tell you about the relief of changing into flats after a long day of wearing heels!
If you’re still in doubt, talk to your photographer (I know we’ve said it a million times already, but we can’t emphasize it enough!). We always text back and forth with our clients and discuss the outfits. We have more fitting room selfies in our messages than we’d like to admit! 😀
Things don’t always go according to plan. So think of a plan B in case of:
Think and talk through different contingencies. We can’t control everything, but, if we’re ready for anything, we won’t be as disappointed should anything happen.
We cannot tell you how important it is for the couple to enjoy the process. It’s truly the most important thing!
A couple can arrive at the photoshoot wearing exclusive and stunning outfits, we can select the most amazing location, have perfect weather and lighting, but…if a couple is exhausted, frustrated and just want to get it over with…Well, the photos will reflect that mood.
In contrast, if two happy people in love arrive to the shoot with a great attitude and eyes full of love for each other, nothing else really matters. We’ve shot in all weather conditions, dealt with last-minute outfit changes, moved locations and adjusted to anything on the fly. And here’s what we know for sure — it’s your emotions that make the perfect pictures, not the outfits, locations or the weather.
So plan and prepare together with your photographer, but, most importantly, focus on having a great time. We’ll take care of the rest 😉