Engagement Shoot: Future Mr + Mrs Holmes

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Jenny + Dominic
15.03.2020 │ Skegness Pier & Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve
Your Instagram: @mrsholmestobe_  Damien & Ashley Photography
Jenny and Dominic are getting married at Scrivelsby Walled Garden, Lincolnshire, and sadly had to postpone their wedding from 11th July 2020 until 17th July 2021. You might recognise them from Lockdown Love: Part 3. This post shows off their beautiful sunset engagement shoot photos with us at the same spot where they got engaged. Jenny also shares lots of advice for other couples considering a pre-wedding shoot and tells us all about how her and Dominic met on MSN over 10 years ago. 
Why did you decide to have a pre-wedding shoot?
We decided to have a pre-wedding shoot as it was included in our wedding photography package and we thought it would be a good practice run for the big day. Neither of us are big fans of posing in front of the camera, so we wanted to make sure we felt comfortable in front of Damien’s camera and having a pre-wedding shoot felt like a good place to start! It was also a good opportunity to get to know Damien from a professional perspective, and for him to get to know us too; Damien is a good friend of ours, so we know him well on a personal level, but it was great to see how he worked in his professional role as a photographer. 
Why did you choose the shoot location?
The main reason that we chose the shoot location that we did was because this was where Dominic proposed. When we found out we could have a pre-wedding photo shoot as part of our wedding photography package, we both straight away really wanted a sunrise or sunset shoot. They are just so dreamy! Damien worked his magic and that’s what we got, a sunset photo shoot at the beach where Dominic proposed. It couldn’t have been more perfect! We also had some photos at Skegness pier as this was Damien’s suggestion as he thought rainy photos on the pier would look amazing. There was a chance of rain that day; we were prepared with our coats, wellies and an umbrella, but we were fortunate enough not to get any rain. We got pier photos in the sunshine instead, but they looked just as good!
What advice would you give to other couples who do plan to have a pre-wedding shoot?
My advice to anyone who plans to have a pre-wedding shoot is definitely do it! Don’t let the nerves talk you out of having one. Your photographer will make sure you’re comfortable and just be honest if there is something you feel insecure about and would rather they didn’t capture this in the photos. Also, think carefully about your shoot location; choose somewhere that has some meaning to you, your favourite place to visit together as a couple or the place you got engaged, or a contrasting location to where your wedding photos will take place. Don’t worry too much about the weather either, embrace it! It’d be great if you got some sunshine, but we cannot predict the British weather so be prepared. Finally, and most importantly, trust your photographer; they do this for a living and know exactly what they are doing. You may have your own ideas about what you want from your shoot, but I was so glad I trusted Damien and let him have some free rein with regards to some of the photos. Initially, I was hesitant about going to the pier as we just wanted sunset photos at the beach where we got engaged, but the pier photos were just as amazing as the sunset ones!
Were there any stand out moments in the shoot?
I can’t pinpoint any specific standout moments because the whole experience was a standout moment for us in my opinion. I never thought I’d see the day where Dominic and I didn’t mind having our photos taken. Before we went, I felt nervous and wasn’t sure what to expect and then after 10 minutes or so of being with Damien, it just all came together naturally. I quite enjoyed the whole thing in the end and didn’t mind the attention being on us. I also said to Dominic part way through the shoot that I don’t think I’ve ever stared at his face for so long before, which was a bit of a standout moment as this made us laugh!

What is your favourite photo from the shoot?
My favourite photo from the shoot is the photo of us in the photo frames stood in the distance with the sunset behind us. Damien said he had never tried this before and thought this was the perfect time to try it. I was really confused when he took the frames out of his bag and pushed them into the sand… But like I said before, trust your photographer! I just think its so clever how he captured the image with the beautiful sunset, and Dominic and I stood in photo frame. True commitment as well, as he was covered in wet sand after this photograph from having to lay on his front to take the picture. Well worth it though! 
Do you plan to incorporate any of the photos into your wedding?
As part of our wedding photography package, we get a signing board from Damien with our favourite pre-wedding shoot photo in the middle. All our guests can then sign this board at our wedding. I’m also thinking about using some of the photos either as part of our table numbers or making a memories board with pictures of us from over the years – they’re DIY project ideas in progress!
Did your photographer give you any tips before the shoot?
Just to bring our best smile with us. Damien also kept us updated with when best light would be to get the photos we wanted, which was helpful so then we could figure out a day, time and place to meet. Another tip was to “embrace the British weather” as there was a chance of rain that afternoon, so we went prepared with our coats, wellies and umbrella. He had some rainy photo ideas in mind and said it would be a lovely contrast with our (hopefully) summery July wedding photos. We didn’t get the rain that was forecast, but at least we were prepared just in case! He gave us loads of tips throughout the wedding photoshoot too, and we feel much more confident now.
Did you feel nervous behind the camera?
At times, yes. All afternoon whilst waiting for the time to come that we would meet up with Damien at the pier, I was feeling quite nervous. Like a lot of people, I get nervous when I don’t know what to expect. I don’t think Dominic was nervous as such, he just isn’t a huge fan of having his photo taken in general. Both of us felt so much better once we got there and had the first few pictures done. Damien was very reassuring and encouraging, and it really helped that we are good friends with him also. Whenever we felt nervous or unsure about anything, we just had a bit of a laugh about it!
How did you meet and how long have you been together?
Dominic and I met online when were 14/15 years old, so just over 10 years ago. We met through a group chat on MSN messenger; nobody in the chat knew each other so we were complete strangers. He lived approximately 2 hours away from me, but that didn’t stop us forming an amazing friendship. We used to spend most nights on webcam to one another chatting away, and we would ring each other on the house phone after 6pm (when it was free!). After about a year of us chatting online and via the phone, my Mum took me on holiday to Skegness specially to meet Dominic. We had the most wonderful day together and shared our first kiss. But like all days, they come to an end, and saying goodbye was the hardest thing. However, considering the distance and our age at the time, I don’t know if a relationship would have worked. We remained long distance online friends for around 6 years. We both had other relationships during this time. Usually, one of us was in a relationship and the other was single; we were always missing each other in that sense, but nonetheless, we were always there for one another and if I was having boy troubles or just needed someone to talk to, Dominic was the one person I would go to. 

Fast track to November 2015 and we were both single. I had separated from a previous partner and as always, Dominic was the person I went to when things like this happened. We had been chatting regularly for a couple of weeks. He was able to drive and offered to come and visit me in my hometown of Chesterfield. He made the journey on the 14th November and the rest is history! I remember running and jumping into his arms when he got out the car outside of my Mum’s house. We kissed and it felt as if we had never been apart. We went out for a meal at a local pub that evening, and Dominic stayed the night. We decided to make it official! So, in the following weeks and months, we were in a long-distance relationship. We travelled to visit one another as often as we could and met each other’s family and friends. We just fitted together perfectly. This year we will have been together 5 years and it honestly feels like we’ve been together so much longer. I can’t remember a time that he hasn’t been a part of my life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Still to this day I say that when we first met, it was just bad timing. We both just needed time to grow up and develop as people before the right time would come along and we could be together again.
Tell us about the proposal...
Dominic asked me to marry him on Friday 5th April 2019. We had just been to Wetherspoons for tea and we decided to go for a walk on the beach. It was absolutely freezing, and I remember moaning about how cold it was during the walk down to the beach. He told me afterwards that he very nearly turned around and took me back home I moaned that much about the cold! Good job he didn’t… When we got to the seafront, he said he needed a wee. He asked me to turn around and look out for anyone coming whilst he did a wee in a nearby bush. I grumbled and asked why he hadn't gone to the toilet whilst we were in Wetherspoons. Seconds later he called my name, so I turned around and he was on one knee! I burst into tears. We still say now as a bit of a joke that he hasn’t asked me to marry him yet because I screamed “yes!” before he had the chance to finish the question. I couldn’t believe it.
The ring was more beautiful than I could ever imagine. He told me all about how he’d designed it with a local jeweller and that he had used diamonds from my Mum’s engagement ring, which she had given him months before, to create mine. My Mum and Dad separated when I was young, so the ring no longer meant anything to my Mum. Sadly, my Dad passed away nearly 2 years ago and I think my Mum thought it would be more sentimental for the diamonds in her ring to be used in a piece of jewellery for me, so that’s exactly what Dominic did.

Turns out all our family and friends were in on the engagement plans and knew all about it, as I found out when I rang everybody to tell them the amazing news afterwards. I love that it was just us around when he asked; I never wanted an attention-drawn proposal in front of loads of people. He had flowers waiting for me in the car too and the following day, he’d arranged a surprise engagement meal with our closest family and friends. Boy did good!
Did you find the shoot helpful for helping you feel more prepared for the wedding day?
The pre-wedding photo shoot was a BIG help. After spending that time with Damien, we felt much more comfortable in front of the camera. As at any wedding, we are expecting to have quite a lot of photos, so it was important to us that we felt comfortable having our photo taken. It was also great to chat to Damien about how he’ll do things at the wedding, explain to him things that made us feel nervous and get some reassurance with those. After the shoot, we had a bit of an idea where to place our hands, different standing positions and how to do kissing photos without looking like we are eating each other’s faces off - these will be really good tips for having photos on our wedding day!
Would you recommend that other couples have an engagement shoot?
Definitely. If you get the opportunity or offer to have an engagement or pre-wedding photoshoot, I’d say go for it! I wouldn’t say it’s essential, but it’s a great opportunity for you to meet with your photographer, get to know them as well as them get to know you as a couple, chat about the wedding day and how photographing the day will work and also get some tips. I’d also recommend you take your photographer to see your venue, if they haven’t been there before, as this gives them the chance to find spots for photos and to figure out things like lighting.

From Brides, With Love xo

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