Our Engagement Story & Photoshoot

After discovering we were pregnant, we thought about having a sweet and simple wedding. 

The thought of planning a wedding while pregnant, having it without my family in Scotland, and not being able to drink champagne at my wedding was all too much for me to bear! We were more than happy to wait, save a little, and have the wedding we really wanted in a few years.

That being said, Ben asked for my ring size, and an idea of ring styles I liked when Willow was a baby. So that when the time came, he didn’t have to snoop about to find out my size or fish for hints; he wanted to take me by surprise. 

It may sound silly, since we lived together with Willow, and had already well and truly started our life together, but I was still surprised, and thrilled, when Ben asked me to marry him. 

The Engagement

Ben’s parents have a beautiful home in Palm Springs, California, where they escape the harsh Canadian winters, and last November we spent ten days visiting them. Since Willow was a bit older, we took a short trip and left her with her grandparents. 

We snuck off to LA to spend a baby-free weekend together; going out for dinner, walking about Santa Monica and Venice Beach, and it turns out, getting engaged! 

Ben popped the question early in the morning, on the beach, as we walked holding hands, watching the waves crash against the sand. He told me how much he loved me, and even got down on his knees! It was lovely. I was so surprised, totally cried, and was completely beside myself with happiness!

I couldn’t stop smiling all day. Eight months on, and I still get giddy every time I look at my beautiful engagement ring. 

Our impromptu, low key engagement obviously didn’t include a photoshoot in LA! (Thank GOD, if Ben had surprised me with a photoshoot I might have been less thrilled). We thought about having an engagement shoot in the summer, but weren’t sure when or if we could manage it.

However, we didn’t have to worry as the Universe sorted it out for us! 

The Photoshoot

By day, I’m a store manager in a bridal boutique in downtown Calgary. The store has a relationship with an incredible local photographer, Tara Whittaker, and we were generously offered an engagement shoot! 

We were so excited to meet with Tara, and had the most fun posing dramatically around the still frozen Lake Minnewanka in Banff, a mere two hour drive from Calgary. 

Since it was going to be a winter shoot with such a dramatic backdrop, we wanted to get our fancy on. Ben wore a lovely blue suit and I wanted to wear a burgundy, or similar dark red, to compliment Ben’s colours and contrast the wintery landscape.

After a stressful search, I found the perfect deep raspberry coloured dress in Le Chateau, with a gorgeous flowing skirt, and little off shoulder sleeves. Worried I would be too cold in that alone (it was March in the Rocky Mountains after all!), I realised the perfect raspberry and navy tartan wrap was already sitting in my wardrobe. Gifted by my Mum about five years ago, it was honestly a perfect match between my dress and Ben’s suit, and I couldn’t have found anything better if I had tried! 

Despite the bitter cold, and brutal windchill, we spent the whole shoot laughing, chatting, and having a wonderful time. The dramatic billowing of my dress & wrap was so fitting amongst the mountains, and our photos absolutely blew us away.

We’ve yet to have these framed, but we’re planning to pick a few of our favourites (although I have no idea how I’ll narrow it down!) and hang them at home. We are so happy with how they turned out, and so grateful we have these beautiful photographs to remember this time in our lives. 

If you’re looking for a wedding or engagement photographer, I can’t recommend Tara enough. She is skilled in every sense of the word. An impeccable eye for getting the perfect shot, she managed to catch such intimate and natural moments between us. She was great at giving us directions, too. It was our first time having our photos taken professionally and we were a little nervous, but Tara was so warm and friendly we were immediately put at ease.


Tara Whittaker Photography
Instagram: @tarawhittaker