A Guide to… Engagement Shoots

Written by Emma Hla
Engagement shoots…

Thoughts…? Concerns…? Love the idea…? Hate the idea…?

None of the above…?

Well I for one had no opinions on the subject matter as a newly-engaged bride-to-be. Why…? Well quite simply because I had no idea that Engagement Shoots even existed until I entered the world of wedding photography.

So when our lovely photographer sat us down and explained that an Engagement Shoot was part of the package I listened with interest… and something else I can’t quite put my finger on.

Whilst I had my own reservations about said e-shoot (what will I wear / will I look fat / insert more ridiculous girly notions here) I also knew it would have some benefits…

The boy had other ideas.

Yep, it was quite the task to get the fiancé excited about the prospect of skipping around a busy Brighton town with our own photographer in tow!

However, we booked it, did it, loved it and now have some fabulous images from Jo of Horseshoe Photography fame, that I will absolutely treasure forever. You can see some of these shots here, oh and here on Rock My Wedding!

So I for one am super sold on the E-Shoot, however to explain this new trend from a photographers perspective, I asked the talented Dale Weeks to put his spin on the pros of having a bit of pre-wedding practice.

Dale’s images are a mixture of being beautiful and, well… just darn right cool. We were fortunate enough to have Dale second-shoot our wedding alongside Horseshoe Photography. Being Sussex based Dale also has a relationship with some of our gorgeous Coco venues, including The Bell in Ticehurst where he photographed a beautiful styled shoot by Curious Fair.

So folks you’re in good hands… Over to Dale.

Notes from Dale

When I first saw an engagement shoot on a wedding blog a few years ago I thought it looked cheesy – an ‘american thing’, but then I realised that it could be an awesome way to bring out a couples true personalities in a fun, imaginative and creative way!

If you’re not sure about the whole engagement shoot thing then this guide is for you!

Coco Wedding Venues - A Guide to Engagament Shoots - Images by Dale Weeks.

Images by Dale Weeks.

You will get some awesome shots!

The shots from your engagement shoot will be different to your wedding day. The shoot is completely focused on you.

When you have 2 hours, an afternoon, or even a whole day with your photographer, you have the time to breathe and plan the shoot.

You may not want to spend too much time away from guests on your wedding day, especially if you’re with friends and family you haven’t seen for years!

Oh, and the clothes you choose to wear for your engagement shoot will be much more comfortable than a suit and dress, and much more YOU!

Coco Wedding Venues - A Guide to Engagament Shoots - Images by Dale Weeks.

Images by Dale Weeks.

Get creative!

Pick a location that means something to you both, or a location that looks awesome.

The place you had your first date, the spot you got engaged or even in your own home – it’s your choice. It will make you feel more comfortable in the photos too.

I love it when couples have creative ideas, the relationship between you and your photographer should be a collaboration of creativity!

Make use of having awesome photographs

The photos from your engagement shoot can be used as save the date cards, invitations or to make your wedding blog look super cool.

Coco Wedding Venues - A Guide to Engagament Shoots - Images by Dale Weeks.

Images by Dale Weeks.

Get to know the camera

If you’ve never been photographed before, it can be pretty daunting. Within minutes of an engagement shoot you’ll forget the camera and hopefully be focused on each other.

By the time your wedding day arrives, you will be a pro in front of the camera.

Get to know the photographer

They will also get to know you… to see how you both interact with each other, how the light falls on your face and to see your best angles. You can see how the photographer works and see how they’ll fit in on the day.

Coco Wedding Venues - A Guide to Engagament Shoots - Images by Dale Weeks.

Images by Dale Weeks.

Some photographers offer the engagement shoot separate to the wedding package, so you could use this opportunity as a trial run before booking the full package…

Chat to your photographer about your wedding plans and pick up tips on how to schedule photos on the wedding day.

If your photographer is going to be following you both around all day then it’s important that you get on… The engagement shoot will turn the stranger that is your photographer into a friend.

Coco Wedding Venues - A Guide to Engagament Shoots - Images by Dale Weeks.

Images by Dale Weeks.

So what are your thoughts on the Engagement Shoot…?

Hopefully this little guide will have given you some insight into what happens on the day and why it’s now turned into an important element of the photographer’s wedding package.

Oh and a big thanks to Dale for sharing his thoughts on this topic as well as these delicious images…

I told you his images were beautiful.

You should definitely be chatting him up to shoot your wedding folks…

Lots of love…


More from the blog

Discover our Venues

Refine your wedding venue search by location, capacity, type, and style.

Visit Venue Finder

Be Inspired

Planning advice, real wedding edits, and venue showcases to inspire you.

View Blog

Suppliers We Love

From photographers to bridal fashion and styling, find the best wedding suppliers right here.

View Suppliers