In today’s post, I’m happy to be sharing the rest of our engagement photos and going over some of the things I did to prepare for them (including some things I wish I had done better!) Part one featured our formal looks and covered selecting a location, choosing a photographer and deciding what to wear. If you missed it, you can head over to read that here. Back to today’s post, let’s get into everything else that went into our engagement photos. ūüôā


After we decided to take our photos on our college campus, ¬†I knew I wanted to have a custom UCLA jersey made with my future last name and our wedding year on it. I ordered through this seller on Etsy, and was so pleased with everything from communication and delivery times to the final product. They had tons of selections, so I was able to have it made in UCLA blue and gold, but opted not to print a logo on the front. I ordered a small and since it’s a men’s shirt, the fit is looser than I would have liked, but I was afraid to wash it before we could photograph it! We didn’t want to be too matchy, so we just got a simple UCLA t-shirt from a local shop in Westwood for Jordan to wear.


I just have to say, as someone who’s no stranger to having her photo taken, I was shocked by how awkward it was to pose with someone else! Especially since I’m quite cozy with this particular someone in literally every other situation. ūüėČ Thankfully I knew I liked a more candid, playful feel for engagement photos, which bodes well with giggling and constantly leaning in for kisses when we didn’t know what else to do. After the initial nerves wore off, I had the Pinterest photos I’d pinned in the back of my head for some go-to poses.

Overall, I would say get cozy, switch it up slightly in between takes, and when in doubt ask your photographer for an idea! Nine times out of ten, the photos where we were smushed super close together came out better. I always appreciate having slightly different versions of the same photo, that way I can choose the best of the set. Our photographer, Rachel offered some cute ideas as well such as him spinning me and whispering something in my ear.


I stumbled on this Pinterest photo of a couple with giant metallic balloons spelling out their wedding date and thought it was the cutest thing ever. Little did I know, this idea might make or break our¬†relationship photoshoot. I ordered these 34″ gold mylar balloons off Amazon for crazy cheap. Make sure to order them from the same seller though, because I didn’t and there were discrepancies in color which totally showed up in the photos!

Our family balloon expert (yup, we actually have one of those) suggested we purchase a portable helium tank, so¬†we got this one from Target for $20!¬†and brought it to the location. Which was solid advice…Can you imagine us driving down Sunset Blvd with a flurry of giant metallic balloons sticking out of the sunroof? Ha! However, we didn’t realize we were going to need two tanks in order to blow up all six balloons. Sooo we couldn’t spell out the entire date, but we made it work with what we had. I still love the idea, and would recommend another couple try their hand at it, just bring two tanks and¬†arrive early to allow 20 extra balloon-prep minutes!

We also brought along a football to throw around while wearing our jerseys. It was pretty cheesy, but that series of photos is so silly and fun, I’m glad we did! We knew we were going to squeeze in a third outfit change as an alternative to the jerseys, so I brought a white Anthropologie pom pom throw for us to sit on. We packed up flutes and a bottle of champagne for some festive pictures, and it was a great way to wrap the shoot.¬†Pro tip: When your photographer warns you that the cork might spontaneously pop the second you take the wrapper off, listen to her instead of acting like know-it-alls and nearly shattering your fianc√©’s orbital bone. :))) It made for a pretty cute photo though so…priorities.

my pre-engagement shoot reminders list:

Apart from spending a ton of time on Pinterest (I made an entire engagement photo board if you want to check it out) I had a running list of everything I wanted to remember before taking our engagement photos. I didn’t want to leave things to the last minute like I so often do, and be disappointed in the end. Here’s a basic rundown:

  • Remember to pack¬†additional lipstick shades to switch out between looks + concealer for touch ups
  • Clean my ring (I use this stick and it really makes a difference!)
  • Get a manicure. Duh. I wore an Orly gel color which was very appropriately called, “Kiss the Bride” and loved it, I’ll probably wear it on my wedding day!
  • I listed¬†each of our three outfits broken down by item (and I mean every item, from bras to earrings). We were able to quickly run down it before running out the door on the day-of
  • Whiten teeth. I picked up two of these kits from Target for us to do together at home. They make a pretty big difference considering they’re less than $20 a piece!
  • A haircut for Jordan (aka buzz his head) and clean up his neckline
  • Tan.¬†I wanted to have a little color, but nothing ruins a photo faster than an orange spray tan. I had credits at a local tanning salon, so I did the VersaSpa level 1, but when I tan at home I usually use¬†this St. Tropez mousse.

That’s pretty much it! Next up is deciding which photo to use for our save the dates. It’s so tough to narrow them down! I hope this helped any other soon-to-be brides getting ready to take their engagement pictures. No matter how much or how little planning you put into it, engagement photos are such a fun way to mark this short but exciting time in a couple’s lives!