When Cathie of BeauMonde Originals submitted a few photos from Rachel and Zainab's carousel engagement shoot for our engagement idea round-up, we knew we had to see more! And just when we thought it couldn't get more fun than a carousel shoot, we were graced with a playful mini-golf session and an appearance from their precious pup, Minerva. Rachel even shared their adorable proposal story, plus tips for busting the self-conscious scaries at your engagement shoot.

Let's see pics from their super fun day!

Our proposal at a glance:

I proposed to Zainab on November 25, 2020, the day before we had our first holiday without other family and friends due to Covid-19. Since it was just us, we had been talking a lot about starting our own family traditions, which we decided would include putting our Christmas tree up the day before Thanksgiving.

In the weeks leading up to the proposal, I had planted the idea of adopting the German tradition involving hiding a pickle ornament on the tree and then whoever found it would get a prize. That day I had hidden the ornament on our freshly decorated tree while Zainab was in the other room and asked her to find it when she came back. In my nerves, I had hidden the ornament a little too well… but with some clues (and anxious glances by me back at the hidden camera, hoping it was still recording) Zainab finally found the pickle. I then handed her a flat, white box as her prize. Gift-giving is my love language, so Zainab was still unsuspecting and just playfully rolled her eyes and smiled. She opened the box and read the glass and gold ornament encrypted with “Marry Me?”, our names, and the date. When she looked back at me, I had dropped to one-knee and was holding the ring box open.


That night we went to Franklin Square a few blocks from our home to watch the Christmas light show and the next day we spent Thanksgiving cooking, eating, laughing, dancing, and relaxing at home with our dog, Minerva. Zainab then proposed to me 3 weeks later with a beautiful ring and champagne.

Tell us about the carousel engagement shoot:

The highlight of our engagement shoot was getting to take pictures in our neighborhood in Philadelphia. We took photos in the park where we went to see the winter light show the night of our engagement. We took pictures in the park where we had our first kiss and where we have since walked our dog together everyday for the past 2+ years.

We rode on the carousel and ran around a mini golf course with Philadelphia landmarks that were hilariously and unexpectedly decorated for Halloween. The cobwebs and ghosts weren't exactly what we envisioned, but that didn't matter. Then we ran home to grab our dog, Minerva, and take a few shots in the park across from our home. Of course, Minerva didn't need any posing notes and loved being the center of attention.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your carousel engagement shoot?

It is cliche, but the “just have fun” thing really is true. We tried not to think about how many people would see these pictures or feel self-conscious being dressed up in ball gowns in a busy city park 2 blocks from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall on a Wednesday morning. We were just focused on each other, laughing and joking like we always do. We trusted our photographer. We picked outfits that made us feel beautiful. After all, it really was just a walk in the park, only this time with a little extra glamor and a camera.

Our photographer really helped us to feel comfortable and let us just play around and be goofy with each other, which is our normal. She was there when we needed help to pose or guide us on how to hold ourselves if we ever felt self-conscious, while also stepping in to help us be more aware of things like lighting, shadows, etc. Our photographer captured our little family in our favorite, most-familiar spaces and we think they really emanate safety, joy, and the love we feel in each other's presence.

Tips we learned: We are really going to have to invest in some transfer-proof lipstick for the wedding….We spent a lot of time wiping lipstick off each other's cheeks. Also, if you feel awkward and never know what to do with your hands in pictures, 10/10 would recommend a carousel, mini golf putter, and/or a dog to hold.

Vendors behind this playful carousel engagement shoot:


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