Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Wednesdays: Engagement Session

It's the moment you've been waiting for, dear readers: the posting of our engagement photos!  But first you're going to have to read a bit of narrative - or you could scroll down, look at the pictures, and then come back up to the story.  It's up to you.  But I do want to talk about the amazing experience we had with Tarah a few weeks ago when we met up for our session, because it was even better than I had hoped it would be.

When Jon and I talked about our priorities for our wedding, a great photographer was in my top three.  Jon didn't really understand because he's not a pictures guy, but he respected how strongly I felt about having really fantastic photos that would last us for decades and agreed that it would be a good investment.  (This piece ended up being 5% of our total budget.)  He especially didn't understand the need for engagement photos. I could be wrong, but I think that this is possibly not yet mainstream for English couples; Jon's parents as well as most of our friends in London asked why we were doing the shoot and were confused when I tried to explain.  But Jon gamely agreed to participate in the session, and so, a few hours after I landed at Heathrow on that Friday in mid-September, we headed to More London to meet Tarah.  (For the record, my outfit was as advertised except that I stuck with the pearl studs. The bling Kate Spade earrings ended up being too much with the belt and shoes.)

She immediately put us at ease - Jon was actually much less tense than I thought he'd be and I turned out to be the anxious one, but Tarah made us feel like we were all friends just out for a stroll and so we quickly relaxed into our natural selves.  We started right on the river, on the south bank just west of Tower Bridge, and then made our way east to Butler's Wharf and back into the cobblestoned streets of Shad Thames.  (Selena recently posted a great series of photos from the area since she just moved nearby!)  We laughed and talked for an hour and a half and had simply the best time.  That's what London is to us, you know.  It's not props or set pieces or costumes.  It's just us, wandering around and loving the opportunity to be together in one of the best cities in the world.

I'll leave you to check out the pictures now, but I do just want to say one more thing in praise of Tarah: I wasn't self-conscious at all during the session.  It's doubtful that I've ever in my entire life gone for 90 minutes - even not in front of a camera - without once thinking "must suck my stomach in" or "this smile is definitely too squinty."  She put us so at ease that I was encouraged to just be myself, to enjoy the afternoon and London and my fianc√©.  And that was what made the shoot truly magical.





linking up with something charming today for Wedding Wednesdays!

35 comments:

  1. Wow beautiful photos!! A good photographer would be number 1 on my wedding priorities I think so I totally understand! Engagement shoots are definitely not mainstream in England I don't think yet but I love the idea.

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  2. Beautiful :) congratulations and all the very best to you both for the wedding planning and beyond! :) I completely appreciate what you mean about the photos - it must be an English boy thing as my other half isn't a fan of photos, but I am adamant that we take as many as we can - we're only in this moment once, after all!

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  3. These are FANTASTIC!! Love them! Even the kissing ones look far more natural than a lot of engagement photos I've seen- so way to go Tarah and y'all, since I know that's a two-way street of potentially awkward.
    Oh, and the whole (I'm paraphrasing here) "Jon thinks I'm crazy because I want _____, but he agreed to go along with it anyway" is accurate across the board in relationships/marriage- not just international ones. Although, I bet y'all have some interesting stories of thinking the other is crazy!

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  4. You guys could not be any cuter, I love these so much! They are perfect! And as a fellow picture person I regret we didn't do engagement photos, you will always treasure these!

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  5. GORGEOUS!!! Seriously betsy, y'all are so cute together and these pictures are great! I'm so glad y'all decided to do these!

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  6. Jessica {lovely jubbly london}October 3, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    These are amazing and you both look so cute! Definitely something you'll treasure.

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  7. Wow! These are amazing Betsy :) You like stunning + the love is totally shining through. You'll treasure these forever! Thomas and I did our pictures last year (even though it was only a month before the wedding, due to our short engagement!) and we already look back at those pictures and feel like it was forever and a half ago that they were taken. Thank you for sharing these with us!! xoxo

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  8. Gorgeous and so joyous!

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  9. OhEmGee! These are just fantastic!!!! I love them. You both look so happy and young and in love!!! Perfect!!

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  10. Ashley @ Hop Skip JumpOctober 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Engagement session have not caught at all here. Everyone in my office had a million questions about it after I mentioned we were doing them in August. They are missing out! Beautiful shots of you guys....and my neighborhood. =)

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  11. betseltons these are so adorable.

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  12. These are so sweet Betsy! You look just beautiful, and you two are so cute together :) I'm so happy that your photographer was able to make you feel at ease. That's definitely the sign of a good photographer!


    Thanks for linking up today my dear!

    xoxo,Joelle

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  13. I'm trying to think of a good enough adjective to describe these, but I'm at a loss of words!!!! SO ADORABLE!!!!

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  14. So great, Betsy!! You found a great photographer! :)

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  15. Aw you guys look great! We couldn't get engagement photos as we were both in Gabon until our wedding but I so wish we could have. Our wedding photos turned out great but the extra practise would have been nice!

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  16. That last photo is stunning. It looks like it could be the poster for an indie movie.

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  17. thank you! needing practice - and to get comfortable with Tarah - was how I sold Jon on the idea :)

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  18. thank you! it's such a gorgeous area - I'm jealous you get to live there :)

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  19. we were surprised at how no one seemed to notice the couple kissing in the street! so we actually stopped feeling awkward about it when we realized that no one else was awkward about it. that helped!

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  20. thank you thank you thank you all for the lovely words!

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  21. Sounds like your fiance warmed up to the idea of engagement shots and you got some great ones! I love that last one too. (:

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  22. love them!! funny that engage,ent pictures arent a universal things. us americans take them sooo seriously

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  23. Love these, Betsy! So darn cute! They turned out amaaaazing.

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  24. These photos are absolutely gorgeous! Especially the last one.

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  25. These photos are gorgeous and turned out so well! Definitely a great investment!


    www.mimosasnthemorning.com

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  26. I have to admit, I was surprised you were doing this session after arriving on a red-eye, but the photographer was able to capture just how excited you two were to be around each other - your happiness screams through the pics. :)

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  27. you and everyone else :) but my reasoning was that on the first day I'd be filled with adrenaline (you know, the OH MY GOD I'M HERE AND HE'S HERE AND LONDON'S HERE AND IT'S ALL AWESOME kind). also, Jon couldn't take more weekdays off work and we were in Suffolk for the weekend. I'm glad you agree it turned out well!

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  28. Love the photos! Congrats and happy planning

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  29. ah, these are so great! The one with you leaning in is so adorable, I can't even stand it. I'm surprised that engagement pictures aren't a big thing in London. congratulations, lady!

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  30. You two look blissfully happy together. The red dress was a great choice. Gorgeous photos! :)

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  31. GOD YOU GUYS. So cute. So beautiful!

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  32. You two look so happy and in love!! Congratulations :)

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  33. YOUR PICTURES ARE SO CUTE! I've said for years that I want to be engaged just so I can have cute engagement pictures.

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  34. haha well I will say there's more to engagement than the photos - but having them will be a wonderful way to remember this time! thank you :)

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