Way back in August I ran a competition ~ it was a chance for one lucky couple to win a fully styled dream engagement shoot with some of the UK wedding industries' finest.

And it was a chance for me to be a little nosey, to go ‘behind the scenes' and see just what goes into a styled engagement shoot! Jenna of Lucky Sixpence Events co-ordinated and styled the shoot, here she tells us a little about the creative process:

It was great fun working with Liz and Tom on the theme of their engagement photo shoot. From a creative Q&A session, to finding inspirational images on Pinterest, I worked closely with them to ensure that the photo shoot not only included props that they loved, but also that the day and the location truly reflected them as a couple.

We worked with fabulous suppliers from my little black book, including Revival Retro {for those beautiful vintage-inspired dresses} and The Britannia {ideal location for a 1940s style wedding celebration}. Teaming this with a few antique props from my grandparents, we found the perfect post-war thrifty theme.

Autumnal Walk In The Park / Post War Thrift Theme

Dust Jacket | Seasonal Love | We heart It | EtsyPiccsy | Bridal Musings | Twig Tree

Now let's hear from the talented duo behind the lenses ~ Funmi & Adrian of FO Photography:

We are always keen to ensure that we show the true essence of a couple. We just love taking photographs of couples in love whilst they show their wonderful true characters. That's why we encourage our couples to just focus on each other and make the sessions & wedding days about celebrating their love for each other. This doesn't mean that the families and friends are ignored, not at all; it means that we keep low profiles to photograph them at their most natural and beautiful.

Photo by Me

With all of above in mind, we worked with Jenna to come up with several ideas based on Liz & Tom's competition entry & their responses to a mini-questionnaire that Jenna had devised. Then Liz & Tom made their final choices before Jenna went ahead to organise the style & timing of the shoot. Photography-wise, we were inspired by images we'd seen on the Pinterest board that Jenna, Elizabeth and ourselves had set up for the session to use different lighting & composition to produce unusual yet romantic images.

Photos by Me

As we encouraged Liz & Tom to focus on each other during the session, they were automatically more comfortable about being photographed. The vintage dresses that Liz wore (made by Rowena of Revival Retro) seemed like they'd been sewn for her. They were just sensational! Tom's grey jacket was a testament to how suited he & Liz were to the chosen theme for the session. We showed them the images as the session went on so that helped Liz & Tom to relax even more as they could see that they were really rocking the session. We are truly indebted to the great talents of Jenna, Sarah, Rowena & Elizabeth for all their help with this engagement session.

Photos by FO Photography

Here's what I discovered from my day as behind the scenes investigator / leaf thrower / set designer / bag carrier:

The Key Ingredients For A  ‘Dream Engagement Shoot':

A loved up couple ~ Liz and Tom were so sweet and natural together!

A LOT of planning and preparation beforehand ~ there were many emails sent back and forth between us all. Jenna sourced the location, collected props and clothes for the day, then, after a long day of shooting, took them all back.

Passionate photographers ~ Funmi and Adrian have an eye for capturing those special moments ~ the shared laughter and subtle looks as well as gently directing Liz and Tom into flattering poses.

A talented make up artist ~ Sarah created two gorgeous make up looks. Enhancing Liz's natural beauty for the first look and creating an all out glamourous vintage siren look for the second.

Amazing locations ~ Victoria Park covered in a blanket of burnt orange leaves on a crisp Autumn day and the wonderfully patriotic, quirky Britannia pub were the perfect backdrop for Liz and Tom's shoot.

Plus…an early start, late finish, copious amounts of tea and coffee, beautiful vintage inspired dresses, Tom playing the piano in the pub, vintage photos of Liz and Tom's family members, a covetable red cape and the perfect dark teal wall to pose in front of!

Photos by Me

My intention for Bridal Musings has always been to only ever feature products and services that I LOVE (yes, the capitals are necessary for added emphasis) and those I would highly reccommend to my closest friends and family. And, having seen the aptly named ‘dream team' of FO Photography, Lucky Sixpence Events and CoCo Violet Make Up in action, I can honestly say that each and every one of them are experts at what they do, true professionals, super creative and really rather lovely.

I would highly reccommend them all in a heartbeat!

Many thanks to the ‘dream team' for letting me tag along. It really is mind blowing the amount of work that goes into such shoots before, during and afterwards. Funmi and Adrian took so many photos on the day, I can't imagine how many hours it took to select and edit them! But all their hard work paid off ~ take a little sneak peek…

Sneak Peeks From The Shoot:

I can't wait to share Liz and Tom's full engagement shoot and proposal story tomorrow.

I'll also be sharing Sarah's make up tutorials on how to achieve Liz's gorgeous make up looks and trust me, you are going to want a certain vintage esque shade of lipstick on your Christmas wish list pronto!

Elizabeth x