Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cherry on Top: Our Engagement Photos at Joey's Diner

As a photographer, style blogger, and all around creative retro gal, I have been looking forward to our engagement photo shoot forEVER. I mean, I was fantasizing about it way before we were even engaged.

Through the years I had many ideas for locations (the Brimfield Antique Show, a musical instrument shop, cooking class, etc) but as my idea grew to have a retro diner themed wedding and Cody agreed to the theme I knew I wanted to have our photos taken in a throwback diner.

Well, it turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected. Sure, there are plenty of cool diners in the area but while the outside was cool, I was looking for a unique inside - one with vinyl booths, a jukebox, and colorful decoration all around. THAT was asking for a lot!

The first diner I approached turned me down instantly (boo, whatever), the second seemed into the idea but then ghosted on me (wow, thanks!), and by then, I was frustrated. I turned to Facebook and gathered recommendations from my friends.

My gal pal, Christina, referred me to Joey's Diner in Amsherst, NH. Just about an hour away and full of retro decor (a jukebox AND a classic Coca Cola machine!?) and the exact booths I imagined in my mind (that red and white vinyl!!), I knew it would fit the bill! So I gave them a call, turned on the charm, and hoped for the best.

Well, shout out and major thanks to the manager at Joey's, Frank. He was totally down for it, let me know what day is their slowest day (therefore his preference), and we agreed on the time. They're open from 7am to 8pm so coming in when it was closed was out of the question.

Instead, we went in on a Monday afternoon between rushes so that the diner was as quiet/empty as possible.

Some wondered why I bothered calling ahead for permission or why I didn't just go and take photos whenever we damn well pleased. It's not that I refuse to take photos with others around (you know I am not shy!) but I did it as a courtesy.

I didn't want to intrude or bother any of the other guests. I also didn't want other guests in the background of my photos without their consent or wish to be, you know? That is why I wanted to speak with the managers before just showing up and taking photos.

In the end, it all worked out PERFECTLY! We ventured on up with my girl, Karina, from Oh Karina Photography, ordered some classic diner food, and went to town snapping photos all over the diner. With hardly anyone there (our timing was PERFECT), we practically had the place to ourselves. It was JUST as I imagined and was everything I hoped for.

Karina is just amazing at what she does and blew me away with all the final photos - if she wasn't such a good friend of mine, I would have hired her to photograph my wedding in a heartbeat! We decided that we wanted all our photographer friends to ATTEND our wedding, however. That is WAY more fun for them!

I love ALL the photos from the diner and it was SO hard picking my favorites to share. Ahh, it just makes me even MORE excited for our wedding to happen! Come on, November, get here faster!!


  1. These are just adorable photos, Sara Lily!!
    We've gotten into the habit of calling before hand if we are going to try to take photos inside. It's so much better than being booted out...LOL!!!
    It always amazes me that some places don't want you to take photos there (our mall for instance)....who doesn't want the exposure???
    Congrats and loved these so much!!

  2. so I was talking with my husband about these photos Sara Lily and we were wondering did you use the camera, phone, or any kind of flash with these? We may be inspired to do some like this ourselves!!

    1. Hi Jodie!

      Nope - none of these have a flash added. My photographer just knows what she's doing with her camera, that is for sure! It helped that the diner had so many HUGE windows and a lot of the natural light was coming in. I so prefer natural light!

  3. I don't even know where to start! The outfits, the location, the faces!! Oh my gosh, your expressions are AMAZING. I can't get over you feeding Cody the french fry, while you're all like, "Oh, I'll just be here drinking this milkshake."

    My fave photo is the one where the white accents on the booths all line up perfectly diagonally across the image. Excellent composition! :)

  4. Engagement photos aren’t a thing in the UK so hardly anyone does them (that I know, anyway) - most of me didn’t care but then I see these photos and suddenly I care!! They’re amazing and are going to be such great keepsakes for you both. I love you found this adorable diner - it couldn’t be more perfect. The whole set-up is just perfection.

  5. Super adorbs! <3 Congrats, you guys!

    - Anna

  6. These pictures are so stinkin' adorable! I've been wanting to do a photoshoot at our local 50s diner, and now I'm convinced of it. Your personalities really come through here, and I love that you dressed to match the venue while really showcasing your signature style. What treasures these are!


  7. These pictures are THE BEST!! If I had gotten engagement pics, I definitely would've wanted to do ones like these!
    I'm SO excited, and can't wait to attend your wedding! :) I know it's going to be amazing!! Thanks blogging, Modcloth, Bernie, and Instagram for bringing us together. <3

  8. Fantastic photos! You and your fiance look fantastic, and so happy. This is such a cool, quirky spot to choose for engagement photos, and it all worked out so well. It was really kind of the manager to work to accommodate you. These will make for some lovely memories!

  9. These photos are so cute!! This diner definitely screams 50s diner and I love it. I also love that you asked for permission instead of assuming you can just go in for photos. I'm sure the owner really appreciated it!

  10. Ahhhh I love this photoshoot so much!! You guys are both ADORABLE and the backdrop is perfection. Like you, I absolutely would have called ahead (sometimes I even ask permission in coffee shops or clothing stores if we're just snapping a few quick blog shots - I think it's nice to respect the establishment). These just made my day... so excited for you both!!