How to prepare for your engagement session

How to Prepare For Your Engagement Session

I get a lot of questions about what to wear to an engagement session and where to do it. So I wanted to leave some tips and information on all things engagement sessions. I know most brides and grooms have never planned an engagement session before. Here are some tips from an insider. 


What to Wear

Marie? What do we wear? Well, you want to look like you - but your best you! Also, something that coordinates with your location is ideal. For example - a session in home, well, a snuggly sweater and some cozy thigh high socks is a perfect choice. Planning to do a picnic under your favorite willow tree? A floral maxi dress for her and a solid button up for him would match perfectly.

Want to hike your favorite mountain for those epic views or are we heading to your favorite beach? This is where the FLOW FACTOR comes in.  Your hair down and a gorgeous long flowy dress or skirt is just the ticket! The waves crashing on the rocks, your hair and dress taken away by the wind, and you kissing your other half at sunset. GORG!


The Flow Factor

I always send a pinterest board FULL of outfit ideas for every size. View that here.

Bring multiple outfits. I always suggest a dressy outfit and a more casual outfit. A suit and a gown for an engagement session? Why not? If you’re planning to do your engagement session at the Biltmore, or The Duke Mansion, a long dress/gown is going fit in so well and make for some unforgettable portraits.



Don't be afraid of colors! Also, accessorize it up with a fun hat or a flower crown!

Location, Location, Location

You want to choose a location that fits you as a couple. What does that mean Marie? Well, what do you guys like to do together as a couple? Do you have a favorite coffee shop? Do you go beer/wine tasting for a fun weekend often? Do you like to hike? Are you running off to the beach every chance you get? No. No. No, Marie, we don't do any of that stuff. Well? Does your venue allow you to access their property for your engagements? Perfect! Not that either? Do you guys spend a ton of time at your home? Are you proud of your home? Let's make pancakes and snuggle on the couch with the cats! Sounds ahhhmazing to me. Once you choose your location it's easier to decide what to wear. 

What time should we go? 

Plan for sunset! I usually suggest 2 hours before sunset. If that's not do-able then early morning is great too. 

If it’s an extremely busy location like the beach or Washington DC during the cherry blossoms, sunrise is what I usually suggest.


Get Pampered Before Hand

Oh yeah! You heard me right! It's so important to feel comfortable. When a professional does your hair and makeup before photos you definitely feel your best. Make sure to get your hair cut and colored 2 weeks before your engagement date. Also, make an appointment to get a blow out and your makeup done before the shoot. It's also a great idea to get your nails done. You are going to be showing off that ring, which means I'll be photographing your nails too. They're going to be in the photo. 

Guys, this goes for you too!  A fresh hair cut and shave is going to make you feel like a million bucks in your photos. 

This is a great trial for the BIG day too! Need awesome hair and makeup? Check out Ashleigh Moore


Pamper your ring too!

Get your ring cleaned so it sparkles and shines.


I don’t normally suggest bringing lots of props but if you want to bring some - here’s a list that might elevate your engagement session just a little more!

  • Your dog! I love it when the pooch tags along! Just remember to bring someone else to handle the pup when you don’t want them in the shot.


Bring your Pooch!

  • An engagement bouquet or a flower crown. I can’t tell you how much I love florals. Having a florist whip you up a small bouquet with ribbons flowing from it is an amazing idea! So romantic and so trendy right now. Want to know what I’m talking about? Check out this pinterest board.



or confetti poppers!

  • Another fun one is champagne or confetti poppers! Just make sure alcohol is allowed where ever we are and it’s a good idea to get biodegradable confetti. Check out Lindsay and Drew’s Charlotte Engagement session, they did both!

  • A blanket is definitely a great and simple prop. I love doing some seated shots and if there isn’t a place to sit, a blanket in the grass works great. Neutrals are best! Bright colors can sometimes leave a cast on the skin.

  • Big props, like a canoe in the lake, or a paddle board.


A few more tips...

  • Try not to think of it as a photoshoot, think of it as a date.

  • Don't worry! I'll pose you and before you know it you'll feel like a pro in front of the camera. That's what these are for.

  • Feel free to move when you're posed. I know you are not a statue.

  • Flirt! With each other and the camera.

  • Try not to put too much pressure on your partner. Being married myself, we all bicker and by pressuring your other half that can cause fighting and we don't want that during or before a shoot. Not everyone likes having their picture taken but on the other hand think of how important this is to your partner.

  • Have fun with it! Snuggle, dance, move, twirl, tell corny jokes, or dirty ones. There is no pressure we are here to have fun and create beautiful memories.

  • Don't be afraid to do something out of the ordinary. Let's get in the ocean, visit the zoo, or hike a mountain the snow. The options are endless!

Check out some highlights from these past Engagements! Click on your favorite to see more!