I hope you guys settled in nicely for this segment of "My Wedding Planning Journey" because it's going to be a doozy. This one is all about our amazing wedding photographer and our experience with her during our engagement session! Y'all, I really just wanted an excuse to share our engagement pictures, shhhhh.

I'm sure you all know that our wedding photographer was the second most important part of the day (obviously, marrying the love of my life is the best part and nothing could top that!) and when I tell you that it was no easy feat to choose the right photographer, I mean it! 

Josh left me in charge of choosing our photographer, even though I still asked for his input along the way. I searched high and low for weeks. I browsed portfolios. I scrolled through countless Instagram feeds. I inquired with every local photographer that I followed on social media and even a few from Nashville that I worked with in the past and loved. I knew for sure that I wanted to work with someone who's style was similar to mine, with lots of candid portraits, genuine emotion, and vibrant colors and a more documentary approach to shooting. 

Renee Rodgers with Renee Nicole Photography was actually a photographer that I started following back when I was still living in Nashville and preparing for my move to Florida. I had originally reached out to her to get together for coffee just to network and meet some other photographers in my new city. She was SO sweet, and we started following each other on social media. I loved her work!

Fast forward to the beginning of our wedding planning journey. I reached out to Renee before we even had a date set and sent her our novel of a love story. Literally, y'all. It was a novel. I didn't even think she would make it through my inquiry. 14 years of life summed up in one email is a lot! I showed Josh her portfolio and he told me he thought he was looking at one of my wedding galleries. I was sold. 

After meeting her for coffee, I realized we're basically the same person and I'm so excited to have her spend the day with us and document our day! We recently met up with her for our engagement session and the whole experience was just so much fun!

Originally, we had planned on doing our engagement photos in Anclote Key, on the North Key Sandbar, which holds a special place in both our hearts. We've been taking our boat out there since we were 14 years old, so it was super sentimental to us. Since our wedding photos are going to be at The Orange Blossom Barn with lots of greenery and a more rustic feel, we definitely wanted our engagement session on the beach. See, we're total country folks at heart, but we're also beach bums, so it was important for us to be able to showcase that in our photos. 

Renee was totally down for a boat ride, but she also recommended a few other places that were a little easier to get to in terms of travel, and we fell in love as soon as she showed us Fort De Soto Park. I was just swooning over that palm tree-lined pathway! 

After we decided on a date and a location, it was time to work on our outfits. Josh has the prettiest blue eyes in the world, and he always looks so good in blue tones, so we planned our outfits based on the colors he would be wearing! I searched high and low for flowy dresses that would work well with our color scheme, and Lulu's did not disappoint! Ladies, both of these dresses were from their online store, and they fit perfectly! 

The session itself was amazing! Renee had us laughing and joking the whole time, and even though I take photos of couples all the time, it was definitely a much different experience being on the other side of the camera! Renee made it so easy and carefree, and for the most part, I kind of forgot we were even taking pictures! I love having all these amazing photos to choose from to hang in our home and commemorate such a fun and exciting time in our lives! 

I'm sharing with permission from Renee, some of my favorites from our session! Be sure to go check out her website and give her some love! 

All photos by Renee Nicole Photography