Long time, no blog. I never said I was good at this whole blogging thing.
Since it has been some time since I last brought you a little snippet of life, I’d thought I’d share something fun and exciting that my fiance and I did two weekends ago: our engagement photo shoot.
If you’re just stumbling across this blog post and my blog for the first time: Hi, I’m Megan! My fiance, Nick, and I got engaged in May 2016 in Cancun. We have been together for almost eight years and are currently planning our wedding back in the Chicago suburbs even though we live in Texas. Yup, we are having a “destination wedding” if you want to call it that. Really it’s only a “destination wedding” for us two as most of our family and friends still live in Illinois while we decided to say our goodbye to the Land of Lincoln and place our roots elsewhere.
Planning a wedding out of state has been quite the adventure, but I may save all the details about that for another blog another time…back to the purpose of this blog.
When it came to deciding on a location of where we would have our photos taken, I immediately knew where I wanted to go. While living in West Texas, there are plenty of picturesque places to go to like the mountains or small little towns with historical charm to even the pecan farms, there was one place in particular that I knew would be perfect and different.
White Sands National Monument was the setting for our intimate photo shoot. If you’ve never been, you need to go. It is settled essentially in the middle of nowhere (Alamogordo, New Mexico) and has what seems like endless rolling hills of white sand with mountains as the backdrop. It is one of the coolest and most beautiful places I have had the pleasure of visiting. It looks like mounds of snow, honestly, but minus the cold and slush. You can even go sledding, yes sledding down the hills, too. Also, fun fact that Brad Pitt actually did a photo shoot out there not too long ago for GQ. Check it out here: Inside Brad Pitt’s GQ Style Cover Shoot.
As for our photographer, instead of going with someone local, we actually flew in my fiance’s step-sister who has a keen eye for photography. I’m so happy that she agreed to fly thousands of miles to help us out with this. Sure, we could have interviewed and hired someone who knew the area and had done photo shoots at this location before but having my soon to be sister-in-law was ideal. Having her taking our photos was fun and relaxing. We didn’t have to get to know the person behind the lens. We didn’t have to feel awkward even if I was awkward at times because let’s be honest, having your photo taken sometimes can be.
We arrived out to White Sands in the late afternoon on a Friday. What could have been a not so weather friendly day actually turned out better than expected. The forecast all week showed rain and it did rain a lot, but thankfully it held up and we got a partly cloudy day which was perfect. What wasn’t perfect was the wind. If you know anything about living in the desert is that sometimes the wind can be brutal. It did make it tricky at times trying to make sure my hair wasn’t flying in my face or becoming a total mess, but we made it work.
Finding the location and choosing our photographer were the easy parts. The attire was honestly the hardest thing for me to figure out. Of course, you want to look perfect and sometimes finding the right outfit can be easier said than done. After much debate, I ended up going with an inexpensive shift dress from Kohls. I essentially wanted a long maxi dress for a more flowy vibe, but shopping for that style of dress in September was difficult. My fault for waiting until the last minute, literally the day before. I was actually very pleased with my choice. The color popped wonderfully against the sand and I kept it pretty simple for my fiance in a white long sleeve shirt and dark jeans. As for hair and makeup, I just did that all on my own. I thought about going to a salon, but at the end of the day I didn’t want to spend the money and just wanted to look like me and not a dolled up version of me. I’m simplistic when it comes to my appearance. Sometimes, especially if you don’t know the hairdresser or makeup artist, it can be tricky achieving the look you want. To play it safe, since I didn’t do a trial or anything, I just DIYed it.
I believe we stayed out at White Sands for almost two hours at the max. The sun was setting so sometimes it made it tricky to get photos that didn’t have us squinty too much or too much sun glare. And there sometimes the sun worked perfectly in our favor and captured some really beautiful shoots.
I’m honestly so happy with the way these photos turned out. The best part of all of it was just how much fun I had while taking these photos with my fiance. He knows that I don’t like posing for photos and I know he isn’t super keen on it either, but we made the most of that day.
I particularly loved these shots of my engagement ring. When we got engaged in Mexico, we didn’t have any photos taken. No one captured the moment and honestly, I’m fine with that. I loved how intimate it was when it happened. We aren’t a couple who normally displays everything, except in these rare occasions. But I love that I do have a photo now that shows off how gorgeous my one-karat Blue Nile diamond ring is.
Now that our engagement photos are complete, it’s time to start thinking about the save the date cards, etc. The wedding planning never ends! I do hope that in some way this blog might help give a little insight into this particular step in the whole wedding planning craze for newly engaged couples. If not, oh well! I had fun sharing this piece of my life with you all.
If you want me to share more about my wedding planning, maybe I’ll work up the courage to write another blog. Let me know in the comments!