Engagement Paparazzi

I gotta say, one of the real perks of having a wedding photographer duo as your brother and sister-in-law is a lightning quick turnaround time on your engagement photos, hehe.


That’s riiiiight, our engagement photos from Taylor & Ben are back, and I’m in lovelovelove! So many great shots of Sean and me together!

See, whereas I basically put my entire life on the interwebs for all to watch, observer, and comment on, Sean, um, doesn’t. He changes his Facebook profile photo like once every other year, the only thing even close to social media that he participates in is Reddit (and even then, he mainly lurks, never comments). What this all equates to is a high level of resistance to the number of selfies I try to take of us. In fact, trying to get him to pose for a photo with me often results in, well:

Heh. So, imagine how wonderful it was for me to have a built-in excuse to take a plethora of pictures together with him! He was a very good sport about the entire thing, putting up with an outfit change (we literally changed in the street, hahaha) and multiple locations. Although, to be fair, he certainly got his jollies out of the whole experience too — telling me I had an imaginary bug in my hair, or bear-hugging the crap outta me, for example.

Of course, that being said, I was not without a few bloopers of my own, hehe:

Is it weird that these are some of my favorite ones? 😛

We shot our photos outside the US Botanical Gardens, as well as at Blind Whino, this really cool old church-turned-art gallery/event space in SE DC.

Now, it’s admittedly very difficult for me not to be super critical of myself in every photo, zeroing in on flaws that I imagine nobody else really cares about. Even with all of my preaching about loving thyself no matter your pant size, body love, and whatnot (all of which I really do believe!), I am still my own worst critic.

But I think having these photos taken is genuinely helping me live those things. I love these pictures — I love what they represent, what they portray, and I even love the way I look in them. I feel like they really showcase how truly happy I feel (cheesy, I know, but true!). Do I still wish that I didn’t have a back roll in one picture, or that my chin was jutted a little further out in another? Sure, but not enough to make me stop loving each photo nonetheless.

These pictures are a true, perfectly imperfect account of who I am now. The me that is getting to marry the man that I love. And I would much rather show the photos off than hide them away just because I don’t like the way a certain specific part of my body might be looking.

Anyway, enough with the heavy. Back to how much I freaking love the photos we took at Blind Whino! So colorful, despite the chain-link fence surrounding the building that I definitely did not realize would be there, hahaha.


As an extra bonus, the building is located in this really quiet neighborhood in DC, so we were able to get a few street/crosswalk shots as well! I loved the way the trees arched over this street. Made for a pretty perfect picture, I tell ya.

Also, a fun thing about shooting photos in the middle of the street is that you will get people shouting “Congratulations!” from their cars as they drive by, hahaha!

Engagement Shoot solo pictures together

I was superextraspecial excited (hard to imagine something beyond my normal level of excitement, I know, but it’s true!) to get these photos back because I have been chomping at the bit to send out our Save the Dates!

I know that January is still relatively far off, but since we have a lot of friends and family from out of town, plus with the proximity to the holidays, I want to give people as much notice as possible. Plus, I think I’m just looking to how official it’ll feel to have something printed with our wedding date on it, y’know?

Not without difficulty, we have narrowed down the Save the Date photo to these three, and I’d love your input! I definitely want to use a photo with the ampersand in it, so what do you think of the following? 1, 2, or 3?

I love all color going on in #1, but the overall image of #2 seems more striking. And while part of me thinks that #3 might be a little silly, well, so I am. So it’s definitely the most personality-ish one. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m like 99% positive we’ll be doing a magnet Save the Date if that makes any difference.

I also can’t wait to get some of these photos uploaded to the wedding website that I’ve been working on! And to replace basically every profile photo I’ve ever had on any website ever. And to make it my phone wallpaper. And computer screensaver. And basically just pore over them obsessively forever and ever and ever and… okay, I should really go.

‘Til next time!


  1. Jenny O.says:

    2! But man, they are all lovely. Really, you both look terrific. I enjoyed seeing them all!

  2. Those pictures are great! Your brother and sis-in-law are so talented! I dont’ know which picture you should choose for Save the Dates. Can you do a mix? lol

  3. The 3rd photo is so fun and sweet, but I think for the save the date, my vote would be #2 🙂

  4. You’re engagement photos are gorgeous! Some of my favorite pics from my own engagement shoot are the ones our photographer caught of us just goofing around!

    I really leaned toward a lot of personality in my own wedding so my vote is #3!

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely photos! And I love the three you’ve narrowed it down to as well. Particularly #1+#2.
    We took our engagement photos ourselves on a self timer and had a lot of fun doing so. Bonus being that we had them instantly afterwards to play with and tweak!
    How lovely that random people shouted out their congratulations in the street!
    My husband and I travelled from the church to our reception by horse and carriage down a bunch of windy country lanes and a couple of dog walkers that we passed looked into our carriage and wished us a happy marriage which I thought was lovely. 🙂

  6. My sister-in-law and her photography business partner were our photogs, too. The benefits of that are beyond amazing! Quick turnaround is just one!

  7. Barbarasays:

    I love these! They show your personality and you both look gorgeous! I would definitely go with #3 for the save the date – you want to keep it fun and light! Otherwise, #1 is my second fav, but I don’t think you can go wrong! 🙂

  8. Definitely 2 or 3 for the Save the Date! And your photos turned out great! It’s hard not to be critical, but you loook gorgeous 🙂

  9. I would go for #2 – #3 is adorable, but you don’t get the full view of your amazing dress. Love all of them though – you look amazing!

  10. If you want to do a photo that everyone signs as the guest book do that for photo #1, and do photo #2 for your save the date.

    What I love about #1 is that its so colorful and fun, just like you are.
    What I love about #2 is that your personality shines, but it still feels wedding day fancy.

    And I would use #3 for anything with close friends, because it is good and cute, but I’m obsessed with the first two.

  11. Definitely #2 for the save the date. If you are going to add text to the image (perhaps the date itself?), there is plenty of room to do so up in the trees, and the background color there is consistent enough that there would be enough contrast with the text color (so long as you chose a light color like white or gold).

    There’s my design $0.02. 🙂

  12. Love these photos! I think #2 for save the dates. 🙂

  13. Carolynsays:

    I love love the close-up and personality of #3 the most, but I’m sadly just not in love with the background (gray sky, parking lot, parked cars), womp womp! I do like #2, I just wish it were a little more of a close-up (and wondering if the car and orange road sign can be photoshopped out?).

  14. #1 because I’m loving the colors and it just reflects your personality so well!

  15. Tippysays:

    TWOOOOOOOOO!!! I love all of these. You look stunning! He looks happy 🙂 You guys are so lovey!!!! WOOOOHOOOO!!! YOU’RE GETTING MAWWWIIIIEEEEDDD!!!!

  16. Love love LOVE your engagement pics- I have mine in two weeks so this is getting me so pumped :D. Also the save the date question is a hardddd one. I thiiiink I’d go with #2, but all 3 are freaking adorable. #2 seems like something straight out of a movie though. Adorbbbbs.

  17. I love ALL of these!! How fun. I think #2 would be my favorite, but they all would be wonderful. 🙂

  18. 2! You both look your happiest in that photo. 3 is cute too, but I don’t think Sean’s expression looks as happy.

  19. I’m partial to #1!

  20. Amy Bsays:

    Oh my gosh. Such awesome photos!!!

    My vote is for #2 for save the date…..but I agree they are all good options.

  21. #2 for sure. I love all the photos! But that photo is stunning.

  22. I love them all, but definitely #2 for the Save the Date. I agree with someone else about text going up in the trees.

  23. BarbNHsays:

    Personally I LOVE the bear hug photo you posted, but of the photos you narrowed it down to, #2.

  24. Alysonsays:

    How cute are you two?! You look gorgeoussssss and I say go with #2 for the save the date 🙂

  25. LeesaBsays:

    I vote #2 for the exact reason Kristen stated above.

    That photo would look beautiful with white font!

  26. Gwensays:

    1 will definitely pop more on the ol’ fridge, but I love how you’re holding hands and the & in 2!! <3

  27. Looooove. Every one of them. Love!

    My vote is for #2, is it very striking!

  28. 2 is my fave, followed by 3 and then 1. All the shots are gorgeous!!

  29. Katesays:

    #1! I don’t love the car in the background of #2…feel like I need to warn you to move!

  30. Brittneysays:

    I’ve never commented before but have your blog for awhile now ! The pictures came out great – my choice is #2! But really neither is a bad choice – you’re a photogenic couple . Congratulations on your engagement !

  31. #2 for SURE! Like somebody else said, there is plenty of room for text for the Save the Dates, but also because you look amazingly, glowingly happy in it!

  32. Melissasays:

    I love them all Gretchen! But #2 would be my pick for your save the date.

  33. Leigh Annsays:

    Love them all but #2 is my fave!

  34. Kelseysays:


  35. aprilsays:

    They are all super cute but #2 is striking! That is one that should be on your wall, too. 🙂

  36. Courtney Csays:


  37. Bresays:

    I like #1… #2 is too far away… the normal save tje date size will make you itty bitty =)

  38. Alisonsays:

    #2 would be great with text on the photo and definitely says wedding, but #1 has more personality (fun and cheerful) and it would make me smile every time I looked at it for the next 7 months!

  39. I love # 3 cuz it seems so you! But ultimately I’d prob choose #2. the overarching green is so striking!

  40. What lovely, lovely engagement photos! I love #2!

  41. robinsays:

    #1 all the way

  42. Daniellesays:

    I would go with #2. Would make an awesome Save the Date photo magnet photo and you could do the photo on the whole magnet and theres space around the image itself to put the info that needs to be there. 🙂

  43. Marysays:

    The bear hug photo gives me life. I know it’s not one of your options but that would be my choice for a Save the Date – the joy and love in that picture is palpable! Of the official candidates, I love #3 the most.

    (I have read your blog for some time, but never commented before; the sheer awesomeness of these pictures forced me to do so now)

  44. All of the photos are beautiful and I love the personality in #3, but my absolute favorite (of the 3) is #2.

  45. Gabriellesays:

    2 is spectacular!

  46. The pictures are all fantastic, but 2 is my absolute favorite!

  47. Kate M.says:

    I love all of these but #3 is my favorite! I think for a Save the Date it showcases both of your silly sides and gives the lighthearted touch that is so endearing.

  48. Hi Gretchen,

    Love all your pictures and you look so amazing and your personality really shines through!

  49. Katiesays:

    Gretchen…let me just say I LOVE the dresses and you look fabulous in them! Question though…where did you get the black cocktail dress? You look amazing in it (so I guess I vote for #2) and didn’t find anyone yet ask the obvious question 🙂 Thanks!

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