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The Ultimate Guide To Spring Engagement Photos

Published date: 22nd April 2022 | Author: Hollie Bond

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Everything you need to know about making the most of your engagement shoot during this romantic season.

Spring engagement photos can be some of the most magical professional couple photos you’ll ever see, thanks to the backdrop of cherry blossoms, fresh flowers and vibrant green everywhere. Plus, the light at this time of year is often bright and clear and, with the warmer weather you’ll be able to wear a chic dress or suit without having to wrap up.

Spring engagement shoots are also really popular because of the timing. The majority of engaged couples still choose to get married over the summer months, so it makes a lot of sense to have the engagement photos in the spring so that there’s plenty of time to receive them before the big day.

If you’re inspired by nature and love everything about the season of new beginnings, then you’ll want to speak to your wedding photographer to secure a date for your spring engagement session as soon as possible. Many photographers include engagement photos in the overall wedding photography package, so you might discuss this shoot as soon as you book them for your wedding day.

We spoke to leading International Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer Anneli Marinovich (annelimarinovich.com) about making the most of your spring engagement session, including how to choose your location, what to wear and what to do with the gorgeous images afterwards.

Why should you book an engagement photoshoot?

If you haven’t heard about engagement shoots before you might wonder whether they’re necessary or just another expense to add to your ever growing wedding budget spreadsheet. While they’re not for everyone, engagement shoots are really useful for a lot of couples and can be one of the most enjoyable parts of wedding planning.

“Engagement (pre-wedding) shoots are a great way to make the most of the build-up to your wedding day,” says Anneli Marinovich. “You should be celebrating EVERY little part of your wedding planning journey and an engagement photo session celebrates you as a couple – what’s not to love?”

There’s also a very practical reason to consider having a pre-wedding shoot though. “Your wedding day is a brand-new experience (in most cases) and even though you might have had a rehearsal dinner and planned your socks off to make the day perfect, feeling nervous is 100% normal,” says Anneli.

“By having a professional engagement shoot before the big day, you’ll know what to expect from a photography perspective and you’ll feel confident that you’re in good hands. When you know your photographer already, it’ll feel like having another friend with you on the day and you’ll (almost) forget you’re being photographed and just focus on having the best time!”

How to choose a location for your spring engagement photoshoot?

Image credit: - Anneli Marinovich

If you’ve decided to go ahead with a spring engagement shoot, it’s really important to get the location and timing right to ensure you’re getting the best out of the season. Have a look at other couples’ spring engagement photos and see which backdrops appeal to you most. Perhaps it’s a flower field, or a street lined with stunning cherry blossoms? Perhaps for you the beauty of spring is a collection of city skyscrapers bathed in warm sunshine or you’d like to capture early spring in your engagement session with a walk through woodland with carpets of snowdrops or bluebells.

And don’t forget the wonders of spring nature can be found in unlikely places: “You’ll find an abundance of blossom trees all around London,” says Anneli. ” Such as Battersea Park, Greenwich Park, St James Park and, for cute streets lined with blossom trees, Chelsea is a safe bet in springtime.”

Whatever location you choose spring is a wonderful time to embrace the fresh air and to make the most of golden hour before sunset, which is truly magical at this time of year. “Personally, I love beautiful outdoor locations where I have an abundance of natural light and I’m surrounded by nature and some architecture,” says Anneli.

“My couples value the light and natural feel of my photos the most, so we make sure we choose locations that tick these boxes. I like choosing areas that have multiple locations within walking distance or a short taxi ride away. Whether you prefer having your shoot locally, or you want to tell a story with your session, the world is your oyster!”

Image credit: – Anneli Marinovich

What to wear for spring engagement photos

It’s really important to spend time and effort getting your outfits right, as a well-chosen outfit can make the difference between a nice photo and an incredible one. Don’t be too literal when it comes to spring though. If you’re planning on having your photos against a really flower-heavy backdrop, it doesn’t make sense to wear a floral dress yourself as you’ll just blend in. A plain outfit in a complementary colour would work much better. And, don’t just think about one set of clothes, as you may want a different look for different stages of the shoot.

“I encourage my couples to have at least two outfits for the session. One ‘smart’ outfit (think gorgeous dress and heels) and then a second more casual outfit (think skinny jeans, cute top and wedges / a little sundress),” says Anneli. “Heels are key. Most women carry themselves differently in a pair of heels. To combat sore feet, I suggest my brides-to-be wear a pair of flats while we travel to different locations. Embrace the season you’ve chosen for your engagement shoot as inspiration – i.e. a cute strappy sundress for your flowery spring shoot.”

It’s not just about choosing outfits individually though, it’s key to ensure they work together. “To help ensure that my couple’s chosen outfits don’t clash, I invite them to send me photos of them in their outfits beforehand,” says Anneli. So be sure to ask your photographer for their expert advice on your chosen looks if you have any concerns.

How to use your engagement photos in your wedding

Engagement photos can be used in all sorts of ways for your wedding and beyond. “Some of my couples have commissioned artists to create a gorgeous illustration / watercolour painting of one of the photos for their Save The Dates,” says Anneli. “Others have used the photos in their guestbook for guests to sign on the wedding day.” You will also want to have your favourite pictures from the engagement shoot framed and displayed in your home alongside your wedding pictures once you receive them.

What do engagement shoots involve and cost? 

“My engagement shoots usually last for 2-3 hours, giving my couples the opportunity for at least one outfit change,” says Anneli. “This adds variety to your final collection of photos and means you can choose one ‘smart’ and then one more casual outfit. We usually incorporate at least two different locations too. During the session we walk, shoot and chat…a lot!”

In terms of cost, it very much depends on the experience of your photographer and what sort of photography package you choose. However, keep in mind there might be some added expenses depending on your choice of location and how professional you want to make it all look. “Additional costs would include hair and make up and I always recommend investing in this to help you look and feel fabulous throughout the shoot,” says Anneli. “If I’m doing a destination engagement shoot, I would add on travel costs. Additionally, make sure you invest in a gorgeous manicure for that all important close-up ring shot.”

Top tips for incredible spring engagement photos

1) Bring the outdoors in

If it’s pouring with rain on the day of your shoot, don’t panic. You could bring the outdoors in with some stunning seasonal blooms inside your own house or an inside venue. Plus, a pretty umbrella with you both underneath can look incredible and seriously romantic in a rainy shot.

2) Keep an eye on seasonal blooms

Image credit: - Anneli Marinovich

Don’t just presume that nature will do what’s expected of it. Every year cherry blossoms and spring flowers come out at different times depending on how warm or cold winter has been. Fortunately, you can track nature digitally these days! The National Trust has a Cherry Blossom tracker here.

Image credit: – Anneli Marinovich

3) Think about your outfits

Plan ahead with co-ordinating your outfits, and make sure the colours compliment each other and are along the same lines – it could look a bit odd if one of you is in a ballgown while the other is in jeans and trainers. “Embrace the gorgeous spring weather and choose fun, floaty dresses and light colours (grooms-to-be: you can’t go wrong with a crisp white shirt and jeans or a dark navy shirt with beige trousers),” says Anneli.

4) Pack stylish layers

Spring in the UK can be boiling or freezing (or hopefully somewhere nice and warm in between). You’ll need to think ahead with layers whatever the weather forecast predicts though. Make sure your outfit works with various layers – cardigans, jumpers, a pashmina or jacket so that you’re not shivering during your shoot.

5) Invite someone special along

Image credit: - Anneli Marinovich

An engagement shoot is mostly just for couples of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t include other members of your family in some of the pictures. If you have a very special pet, you might want them in the pictures. Or perhaps you’d like your children included in some of the photos. Just speak to your photographer to see what they are happy with and can make work.

Image credit: – Anneli Marinovich

6) Beat the crowds

If you’re heading to a popular spring tourist spot and want to ensure you won’t have loads of people milling around in your photos or hate the idea of people watching you as you’re photographed, then you’ll need to get up early or stay out later to try to beat the crowds.

7) Make sure you're both on board

This might sound like a no brainer, but be sure to discuss your engagement shoot with your fiancé before you book it. You both need to be on board with having the shoot and also both need to choose the style and location together so that you’re both relaxed and happy on the day.

8) Head to the city

Spring might make you instantly think of green grass, pinks blooms and daffodils in the country, but there’s a lot of stunning spring backdrops to be found in cities and towns too, so don’t discount them as potential locations.

9) Scout out your local park

Local parks can be a wonderful middle ground too, where you can make the most of glorious spring plants, as well as more urban backdrops in the streets around the park.

10) Think about the sun

Image credit: - Anneli Marinovich

You might think that the brighter the sun the better, but actually the best light for amazing spring photos is the golden hour just before sunset, when the light is soft and romantic. If you can, try and plan your shoot for this time of day.

Image credit: – Anneli Marinovich

11) Choose somewhere you can walk

If you hate the idea of posing or have no idea what to do with your hands or posture when the camera is in front of you then choose a location with plenty of space to walk. Walking and chatting to your bride- or groom-to-be will help you be relaxed and look the most natural in your photos.

12) Consider your venue

Some couples like to head to their wedding venue for their engagement photoshoot so they can scout out the best locations and backdrops for their wedding photos. Not all venues can do this of course, but it’s a great idea if you’ve chosen a large venue that your photographer hasn’t been to before.

13) Ask your wedding photographer for advice

Struggling to decide what to wear, where to hold your shoot, or what time of day to have it? Don’t be shy to ask your photographer for advice. They’ll have taken hundreds of spring engagement photos before and will know exactly what works best and crucially what doesn’t!

14) Book a hair and makeup trial for the same day

It’s a great idea to have your hair and make up trial on the morning of your spring engagement shoot as it’ll allow you to see exactly how your make up looks in the photos and will also give you a real burst of confidence to feel your best on the day.

15) Bring some props

Image credit: - Anneli Marinovich

“If one of your favourite pastimes as a couple is to relax in the park with a picnic, why not bring a nice picnic basket & blanket (don’t forget the bubbles!) as props to help you relax,” says Anneli.

Image credit: – Anneli Marinovich

HB

Written by

Hollie Bond

Hollie is a lifestyle journalist with over ten years’ experience working in the wedding industry as Lifestyle Editor for You & Your Wedding magazine Also a Regional Editor for Muddy Stilettos, Hollie has written for Square Meal magazine, Family History Monthly, BBC History magazine and Homes & Antiques. In her spare time you can find Hollie in a dance studio practising ballet…

Learn more about Hollie Bond

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