Engagement Shoot: Future Mr + Mrs Jordan

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Caroline and Stephen

19th July 2020 | London

Instagram: @ theweddingprepdiaries @caz_offergelt | Photos: Mindy Coe

Caroline and Stephen were due to marry at All Saints church, Warlingham last September, however sadly made the decision to postpone until September 2021. They had their romantic engagement shoot on the cobbled streets of London, and even had photos taken in the spot where they met! Caroline talks to us about how their engagement shoot helped with behind the camera nerves, and a little detail of their big day plans.

Why did you decide to have a pre-wedding shoot?  

I really wanted a pre-wedding shoot and was ecstatic that Mindy offered this as part of her package. I think it is a great way to get used to be photographed – we don’t really get followed around by paparazzi all day, every day!  Although I am a professionally trained dancer and quite comfortable in front of a camera, Steve does not share this feeling.  We hoped this would help to get him used to being constantly photographed on the wedding day and hopefully stop him from feeling so self-conscious.  Additionally, it took us both time to get used to showing quite public displays of affection and being photographed whilst doing this and I am glad both of us will now be less concerned about feeling silly on our wedding day.  Finally, it was a great way to truly see how incredible Mindy is – I adore the photos and she has managed to capture so many natural and beautiful emotions. We feel much more relaxed that nothing will be forced on the day and that we will have the most stunning pictures to treasure.  

How did you meet and how long have you been together?  

We met five years ago in the gym and this is definitely our shared passion (alongside wine, food and sunshine!).  Steve was working 2 days a week in my local gym (he is an accountant by trade but was about to open a personal training studio with his brother so did this alongside his day job to prepare for the new business venture) and I was a member.  I’ve previously been a PT so apparently Steve had been impressed by my gym tekkers 😉 Although we had caught eachothers eye in the gym, we barely spoke but we also matched on the dating app Happn which is how we knew we were both single.  Apparently, when Steve matched with me, one of the other trainers said I was unapproachable as his client had asked me out and I’d said no.... Steve said he was up for the challenge and was confident I could be convinced.  His confidence proved to be correct – he asked me out the day he left that gym and opened the doors to his own gym and used that to lure me in!!  It worked though by the end of that week, we were on our first date in The Wheatshead in Borough Market. 

Tell us your proposal story...

I'd always thought I would meet my future husband at a young age, get married and be settled with two kids by the time I was 30.  Central London living taught me early on that this was unlikely – I had my fair share of frogs!  Like most women, I had slight apprehensions about turning 30 and Steve therefore ensured I had a long weekend to do something nice. The day before my 30th, we got in the car and I was whisked away to an unknown location (Bournemouth) and we pulled into the drive of a stunning manor house.  We were shown to a fantastic suite and only looking back do I spot some of the tell-tale signs.... Steve was quick to check that we had the room with the roof terrace (had all been part of his plans) and when I’d put the not-so-nice champagne in the fridge to chill, he kept suggesting we swap it for the better bottle (which I wanted to save for the next day, being my birthday).  It was a Spa Hotel and after sitting in the sunshine on the terrace for a while, I suggested we went and explored to find the Spa.  Steve suggested we continued to enjoy the moment (again, I should have spotted the sign).  We drank some bubbles and were playing a game of Bananagrams (if you know, you know and if you don’t, you need to find this game) and ironically one of the words I spelled was Bride, but I didn’t want to make him think I was hinting, so I discarded this word.... little did I know!  After this game, we were just chatting and he asked if I was happy turning 30 and what was on my bucket list.  I said things like, I’ve met you, we own a flat in Zone 1, I’m the top performer at work... you know, I’m content.... I didn’t really want to say that I'd expected to be married and with two kids by this age!  About an hour later, Steve asked me if I wanted an early birthday present (I should point out he was pacing around the terrace which I have only realised looking back!) and I said I kind of wanted to wait, as I knew I didn’t have many presents to open (ie his gift to me being this lovely trip and I knew I only had one pressie from my mum and dad).  He said I might like to start the weekend with it and I therefore agreed.  he told me to close my eyes and I held my hands out for what I thought was going to be a mulberry handbag (we made a bet playing crazy golf our first christmas and he lost, but had never bought said bag!) and he said “I know this was not on your bucket list, but I hope it’s something you wanted before you turned 30”.  I heard a thud and my eyes flashed open and he was on one knee in front of me.... this ring was sparkling in the sun and I asked “are you sure?!” and then I was on my knees hugging him and crying.  I had not expected it!! 

Why did you choose the shoot location?

London is so important to us.  It is where we met and where we live.  We chose three places for our photos – St Katharine’s Dock /Wapping (where we first met), Tower Bridge (this Bridge divided us as I lived in Wapping and he lived in Borough so we always had to cross it to go and meet each other... plus it’s iconic London!) and the South Side of London in Se1 which is where we now both live.  We wanted iconic London landmarks mixed with cobbled streets and what we feel are traditional London streets. We have an urban lifestyle and wanted to reflect this. Our wedding venue is in Surrey and very different.... lots of landscaped gardens and lakes so we will have a contrasting backdrop for our wedding pics.  

Did you find the shoot helpful for helping you feel more prepared for the wedding day? 

Absolutely – we now know what we can expect.  We know we can be ourselves and forget about the camera but that Mindy will still get beautiful moments.  It has shown we don’t need to pose which is great as we want natural photographs.  It also helped us to understand how we never really need to stand still... there was a lot of movement to the shot so we never felt awkward.  It was also nice to have an opportunity to work with Mindy before the wedding.... we had previously only met her for a coffee and she made us feel so comfortable.  we now have an idea of what cues and things she might give on the day.  

Did you feel nervous behind the camera? 

I didn’t (I love being photographed) but Steve did!  At the start we did feel a little silly – we don’t really walk around embracing eachother and being overly public and in London, there are a LOT of people watching you.  Some people did take pictures of us on Tower Bridge, which was odd!  We quickly forgot about the random passers-by and it honestly then felt like we were the only two people there.  Mindy was incredible at relaxing us and making things very natural and effortless.  we quickly relaxed and nothing was ever forced or posed 

Would you recommend that other couples have an engagement shoot?

100% would recommend.  Also, it is a great way of confirming you like your photographer’s style and that you get on!  Unless you are currently followed around all day being photographed, I think it’s a great way to just get used to being yourself and having a camera pointing at you the entire time.  It can be easy to pose when you know you are being photographed and this proved you need to forget about the camera and the photographer will capture all those hidden moments.... there are so many pictures Mindy took catching us being silly or just talking and they are natural and organic.... I love them! 

Did your photographer give you any tips before the shoot? 

Just to relax and forget she was there. She told us to be normal... to chat to eachother, just walk around casually etc.  As we are not naturally lovey-dovey in public (for example we don’t walk around holding hands all the time) she did have to make us do things to be a little more connected eg hold hands, rub noses and kiss but otherwise it was all spontaneous, such as being picked up etc 

What advice would you give to other couples who do plan to have a pre-wedding shoot? 

Wear clothes you feel comfortable – it’s probably not the time to wear something which isn’t really “you” (eg don’t wear a bodycon dress if you feel better in jeans and a jumper... you’ll be so self conscious and this will show in pictures).  Just relax and be yourselves.... enjoy the moment with your partner. Be silly together and forget about the photographer.  oh, and clean your ring before! 

What is your favourite photo from the shoot? 

I have so many... can I have five?!   

Were there any stand out moments in the shoot? 

Being photographed by passers by on Tower Bridge – I think they thought we were celebs or something stupid!  Steve nearly pushing me off the wall into The Thames.... I just remember the whole thing being so much fun. 

Tell us about your wedding plans...

Elegant sophistication.  We aren’t really being themed... it’s quite a traditional affair.  Church wedding near my family home and where my sister got married so very personal to me.  Venue is a modern barn at an old Mill, so we have beautiful grounds with big lawns, several lakes and lots of flowers.  There will be so many photo opportunities there.  Bridesmaids are wearing a deep emerald green with gold accessories and we will have ivory flowers with green foliage and a traditional iced cake.  I love fairy lights, so these are going to be making an appearance for sure!  The intention is for a wedding of about 100 but COVID may have other ideas.  We postponed our 2020 with a month to go because we knew we were not going to have a big affair, but in 2021 we will go ahead whether it is two witnesses or the full guest list.  We want our friends and family to witness and celebrate this huge moment in our lives and the start of our marriage.  We are both older so our siblings are married and have kids and most of our friends are married too hence it’s quite big.  It is one of the struggles with marrying in your thirties!

Do you plan to incorporate any of the photos into your wedding? 

We want to have a few photos in the bar area of our venue to decorate it.  Just little polaroid size pictures dotted around maybe with fairy lights.  These might be with some older photos, a bit like our relationship over the years in photos. 

What are you most looking forward to about the wedding date? 

Being married.  Covid has been unexpected for sure and a real headache for many couples.  There are things we want to do once we are married and we don’t want to delay them for another year.  we are ready to be married and cannot wait to start a new chapter of our lives as husband and wife.   Of course, I cannot wait to wear my dress although I am having to rethink about a first dance.... it’s going to limit me a little!  I also cannot wait to be in the wedding car with my dad on the way to Church.... my mum has shared by dress experience with me and that has been so special but I think that tender moment with my dad before getting married will make me so emotional!  

What has been your favourite part of wedding planning so far? 

Dress shopping without a doubt. I LOVED it.  I could try on wedding dresses every day for the rest of my life and  be super content.  It was magical.   

Photography by Mindy Coe  www.mindycoe.com Instagram: @mindycoephotography

Post a Comment