MY ENGAGEMENT PHOTOSHOOT ~ tips from a curvy bride

Tips for plus size engagement photoshoot Tips for plus size engagement photoshoot

My fiance and I finally had our engagement photoshoot! I only took us a whole year since he proposed to figure out but better late than never right?

My fiance and I are hardly the type of couple you see in the “top posts” in Instagram’s #EngagementPhotoshoot explore page. We are not tatted, bearded, long legged, anglo saxons with the perfect wind swept tousled waves. Which honestly, made it hard to envision an engagement shoot for us.

San Diego engagement photoshoot

As pretty as the those shoots on the beach, in a pumpkin patch, or field are…they just didn’t speak to us. This made it hard for us to commit to 1) a photographer, 2) a theme, 3) a location. But we did it!

Finding a photographer for our engagement photoshoot

Maybe it’s a man thing, but my fiance HATES taking photos, being in photos, or looking at photos of people. So obviously he was not too excited when I told him we needed photos taken for our save the date cards.

I came up with a brilliant idea to get him excited and comfortable with an engagement photoshoot.

  • Find a photographer he knows so he can relax in front of the camera.
  • Incorporate something he loves (cars, food, and butts).

With these tips in mind, we contacted a friend of his who usually shoots cars but had done a few wedding shoots in the past. He admitted he wasn’t a fan of shooting people but would give it a shot since Jay is his friend. PERFECT!

Engagement Shoot with car Engagement Shoot with car Engagement Shoot with car

Our photographer left a lot of the posing and positioning up to me. Jay didn’t feel embarrassed and was much more playful considering he knew our photographer. This allowed us to get more personal and less cliche shots. We used his Honda S2000 and our Toyota Tacoma props since a lot of our relationship involved cars. As teenagers we spent a lot of time at the Kent Street Races in Washington.

Plus size representation in the wedding industry

Representation is so important. While plus size and curvy women are starting to gain traction in the fashion industry thanks to the trendiness of body positivity, bridal is light years behind. The number of bridal boutiques that carry plus size wedding dress options are few and far. Plus size representation in the wedding industry is just nonexistent. You rarely see photographers showcasing any plus size couples on their page. If you thought finding a dress to a wear to a wedding is hard, imagine what it’s like trying to find a wedding gown.

In-n-out engagement photoshoot In-n-out engagement photoshoot

I’m tired of the lonely fat girl trope. Fat women date, we have sex, we get married and life goes on. Why doesn’t the media or society reflect that. Dating a fattie is still considered the worst possible thing a man or woman could do. Yet, the average American woman is a size 16. Why is there little to no representation for us on wedding venue sites, Instagram profiles, or bridal boutique ads?

My experience finding a wedding dress

A local boutique in San Diego was advertising a sale to get rid of their 2017 gowns and make room for their 2018 collections. I made an appointment after calling the boutique and finding out they carry up to a size 22W *yay.*

plus size engagement photoshoot plus size engagement photoshoot

When I got there, I spent lots of time telling my sales woman what I like, didn’t like, and sifting through every gown on the sales floor so that she knew what I was looking for. Home girl either did not listen, or has no idea how to work with a plus size bride that doesn’t want to hide her body.

I told her three things:

  1. No strapless dresses
  2. No ballgowns
  3. No ivory

I wanted a dress that was a little different. I wanted to try on grey gowns, champagne gowns, satin, and leaf pattern gowns. The first dress she pulled for me was a strapless gown… When you have a DD chest strapless isn’t always your best friend. I didn’t find my dress at that boutique but it did make me realize how clueless the society can be, even if their intentions are good.

curvy bride engagement photoshoot curvy bride engagement photoshoot curvy bride engagement photoshoot

I was not alone in my plus size wedding dress shopping experience. In the end, a last minute trip to David’s Bridal landed me with my dream dress. Don’t be discouraged when they sell you a size that is much larger than your usual. I’m a size 14/16 and got a size 20 dress so we would have lots of fabric to take in.

Tips for a plus size engagement photoshoot

This won’t be a list of tips for how to look flattering or skinny in your pictures, but how to get authentic photos to announce your engagement.

  1. Wear something you are comfortable in.
  2. Don’t try something new with your hair or makeup.
  3. Consider bringing props so you have something to do with your hands.
  4. Avoid wearing clothing that is too trendy.
  5. Avoid wearing clothes with logos.
  6. Talk through each of the poses if you or your significant other is feeling uncomfortable or unsure
  7. Come with sample photos you would like to attempt to recreate.
  8. Consider your location when picking an outfit, a pencil skirt in a forest probably wouldn’t fit.
  9. When in doubt, smile.

I hope these tips can help you feel a bit more relaxed and comfortable with your engagement photoshoot!



    1. That is great advice Neti! We hope our friends and family will understand that when we don’t listen to their whines and complaints. Which, has already started to happen. But we are ver focussed on making our wedding reflect us and who we are.

  1. Awww…these are beautiful and so are you!!! These photos are such treasured memories you will have for years to come. And congratulations! This day is about the both of you and your future together. Wishing you all the best!

    1. I try 😊 body confidence is something I have been working on for years. It’s all about retraining yourself to think a different way.

  2. Congratulations. Better late than never right πŸ™‚ absolutely agree that a known photographer helps make the shoot easier and better.

  3. These are beautiful photos! Congratulations on getting engaged, I hope your wedding will be beautiful and you both have many more years together. You both look so happy and in love.

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