engagement 101 | the one where i talk about puke.

You guys. The hills are alive with the sound of 20-something women saying YES to a big fat diamond ring. It's music to my ears. It reminds me of my own engagement that was filled with the sounds of me barfing on the beach. Oh, you haven't heard that story? Let me give you the short of it.

Justin proposed. I threw up. The end.

Is that not enough? You need to laugh at me a little more? Okay then.

Justin has been dropping hints for weeks that a proposal was coming. I got myself all worked up into a tizzy, as I tend to do, thinking that every new place we went, anything he said that sounded "off" meant it must be coming. This has to be it. I finally thought he wasn't going to ask at all when I drove us 100 miles in the wrong direction on the way to Myrtle Beach at 2 a.m. and didn't wake him up until we were in the middle of a corn field.

Anywho, we were in Myrtle Beach for a family reunion and I told him I didn't care how he proposed, but not in public. Not in front of a bunch of people. I get nervous. My stomach gets queasy. I don't like it. So what does he do? Pops the question on the beach at 8 p.m. when everyone and their mother is out for an evening stroll. I saw his lips moving and a ring in a box but all I could think was that someone might have a camera somewhere and they were all watching and omigodhowamisupposedtoreact!? My stomach was twisting. That barbecue was coming up. I must've said yes because the next thing I knew I was wearing a ring and the horizon seemed to be moving and now I know dinner is coming up. We sat on the beach for a while and I pondered giving the ring back to make the heaving stop.

I made him propose again later. It's just...not how I imagined it would go.

But I'm sure your engagement story involves puppies and rainbows and glittering diamonds and nothing but happiness! Which leads me to this super-organized list that we'll call Engagement 101.

When to Book Your Wedding

On average, my brides book me for their wedding 6-9 months in advance. I operate on a first-come, first-served basis so a couple usually locks me down within a few weeks of their engagement (usually right after their venue/date is secured, I'm the first vendor booked).

When to Book Your Engagement Session

This has varied a lot for me this past year - some brides with shorter engagements book an e-session right away, others are engaged a year or more and take their time. I usually try to shoot the session about 4-6 months in advance of the wedding. Which brings me to...

What to Do With Your Engagement Photos

Endless possibilities! Save the Date cards. Your guestbook. Thank-you notes. Table numbers. Wedding decoration. For your new home. On your desk at work. Wedding website. I try to get engagement photos back to you in just a few days so you can get crackin'.

Coming soon...Engaged 102 + 103! 

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