The Engagement Photo


My love hate relationship with engagement photos

One of the requisite tasks of planning a wedding is taking engagement photos. Sometimes they are perfectly Pinterest-y, and other times they are so posed and cheesy that you just want to put the groom out of his misery. And then there are the ones that make you want to cry because they so warmly capture the love between a couple. Those are the kind every newly engaged duo strives for.

Until I started planning a wedding, I thought that engagement pics were a couple’s way of showing off to the world that they had crossed the threshold of wedded bliss, like a big peace-out to the single life. So I hesitated pretty greatly when it came time to have some taken of my own. Turns out, they are more valuable than you think.

The first benefit of snapping  engagement pics is they are a great way to vet the wedding photographer if you haven’t worked together before. Most of the time the same photog will shoot the engagement photos and the wedding, so it’s a simple way for everyone to get to know each other. And it helps figure out of the style of the photos you want to get for your wedding. It’s a pretty big win win.

Beyond the experience itself, engagement photos are also a fantastic accessory to accompany all of the other wedding-related events. They work wonders for shower and rehearsal dinner decor, not to mention all of the slideshows. And if you’re desperate for a gift, they are perfect framed up for family distribution.

Anyway, when it was my turn to cross into this new universe, I asked my photographer to do a teeny tiny engagement shoot for me and my fiancé. What is more fitting than outdoor engagement pictures in the fall? The trouble was convincing my love that this was a good idea—and dropping the little bomb that my dog was going to be joining us. It was one of the first moments where I truly realized this guy would do anything for me—even if it meant cuddling with a white fluffy dog, on camera, in the middle of Lincoln Park.

During the shoot, I remember our photographer, the darling Maggie Rife Ponce, asking us to walk toward her down the promenade and Dan’s eyes telling me that he wanted to kill me while sweet Barclay trotted beside us. We were holding back laughter and razzing each other back and forth, and the humor of it all was very eloquently captured in the pictures. It’s a memory that we share and it’s a morning I will never forget.

I’m now a reformed lover of the engagement photo. So, even though I was sworn to secrecy, I will share just a few of my favorites from our engagement shoot, and how I titled each photo. All photos credit to Rife Ponce Photography.


“The Longing Gaze of Love.”


“Make one more stupid joke and I am going to squeeze you to death.”

 “If anyone sees us, you die. But I am kind of having fun and you’re pretty.”


This adorable photo is affectionately titled, “REVENGE” for how long he waited to propose. Muah ha ha!


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