We had introduced the Cali girls to the wonderfulness that is Harpers' chicken fingers. We had picked up all the rented stuff, which involved taking two cars, because my fried bridal brain thought I could get 75 glass irish coffee mugs, 2 silver coffee urns, and about a gagillion meters of table clothes in the back of my honda civic along with 5, yes count them FIVE, girls! Thankfully, Jess was thinking straight and suggested we take her car too.
Around this time we were finishing up our pedicures and getting ready to head to introduce the girls to another staple of the south... Cracker Barrell.
I've realized lately that I failed to finish my wedding weekend recap blogs, and have decided that the first anniversary is a great time to finish those up. That way, I can enjoy the events again along with those who were involved and those who were not able to make it. Plus, I want this stuff documented for my children and grandchildren, and for myself.
But before I get into hardcore wedding re-caps, I want to revisit the true beginning of our wonderful wedding celebration and that was our amazing engagement shot session with the utterly fantastic Jessica Brogden Showalter! We had a truly wonderful time exploring all the nooks and cranies of the city, as well as revisiting the place where our love affair first began. I figured I'd post my favorites here, and offer a few tips that we found to be helpful.
Tip Number One: Wear something comfortable! Don't look at all the things other people are wearing in their engagement photos and feel like you have to wear something in particular. Along with running around from one location to the next, you don't want to also be fighting with a strap that won't stay put, or a posessed button doesn't want to stay closed. You don't have to wear the nicest thing you own or the newest thing you own. You just have to wear something that is going to make you feel good about how you look! For some people that's a dress and heals, for others it's jeans and flip flops. On the flip side though, do feel free to look around the internet at other people's engagements shots. You might realize that what you thought you were going to wear doesn't actually turn out that nicely. For instance, matchy-matchy doesn't usually look as good as you might think. Coordinating is good, but two sets of jeans and black turtle necks makes you look more like twins than beloveds.
Then we moved around the corner to this beautiful church.
Tip Number Two: If you are working with a photographer who is not familiar with your area, make sure you scout sites before hand. You'd be surprised how many awesome nooks and crannies are right around your house or work if you start looking at them that way. Have a good idea of where you want to go, how long it is between each location, and where the sun is going to be at what part of the day. We decided to go downtown around noon. That wouldn't have been an ideal time to take pictures out in an open area because the sun would have been too harsh. But with the tall buildings blocking a lot of sun, we knew we needed to take advantage of the high sun in order to get lots of light. Otherwise we'd be in shadows almost everywhere we went. On the flip side though, don't be so focused on the sites you've already picked out that you miss a great new one that pops up on the day of your shoot. Not to mention your photographer may be seeing things you missed before. Be flexible and ready to try anything. Now that most photographers and even your friends, are shooting with digital cameras there is an unlimited amount of pictures that can be taken, so be ready to experiment.
Then we moved across the street from my office and worked with these awesome stairs that lead up to another church. (Yes. Charlotte is absolutely in the Bible belt. We have churches EVERYWHERE!), and the street.
Once we were full to bursting, and before hopping the light rail back to our car, we stopped to take advantage of these awesome bricks on the side of Dixie's Bar and Tavern.
Then we jumped the new light rail back to our car to head to the next site.
Then we headed to Calvary Church where our whole love affair started 12 years earlier!
We had a wonderful day! I highly recommend an engagement session. First of all it gives you awesome pictures to show off at the wedding, on save the dates, and on your wedding website, but it also helps you get use to being in front of the camera which you're going to be a lot of the day on your wedding. It helps you learn how to work with each other in front of the camera and how to work with your photographer as well.
If you would like to contact Jess about a session, you can reach her on her blog, Wife of the Party.