1. Set the Date, Time, and Location
Your engagement session can be scheduled anytime before your wedding day. I normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress in case we need to reschedule due to weather or if you're doing Save the Dates, that should give you time to design and send those out. As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, think about what you want your session vision to be. I believe engagement sessions should showcase who you are as a couple. What do you like to do together? Hiking, visiting little coffee shops, baking or cooking together? The options are limitless. It makes it so much more special and meaningful when couples pick a location that is sentimental to them! If you can’t think of anywhere specific, I can help you decide on a location. I recommend booking sessions around an hour before sunset, so we can catch that golden hour, but really I can make any lighting work! 2. What to wear
Don't feel like you need to go on a mega shopping spree for your session, but if you do, more power to ya! It's important you feel comfortable during your session; the more comfortable you are, the better your photos will be. I encourage two outfits during your engagement session, so you can do a more formal outfit and then a casual outfit if you'd like. What you wear is truly up to you, but I am here if you need help!
3. Schedule Hair and Makeup Appointments.. if you want Taking the time to get your hair and makeup done before your engagement session is the best way to get pampered and relax! This also gives you the opportunity to do a trial run with your hair and makeup artist before your wedding day. I say "If you want.." because I don't think you should have to change who you are for photos. If you're not a makeup type of person, then don't do it. Engagement sessions should show who you are and I've had plenty of couples who did not get their hair and makeup professionally done and they STILL looked beautiful and their photos STILL turned out amazing! 4. Don't do a Spray Tan I recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session, even a few days prior, because it tends to photograph orange even when it’s applied by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most beautifully! 5. Clean your ring Make sure you get your ring cleaned so it’s nice and sparkly for its close-up! This is something that most people don’t think of doing before the engagement session, but it really does make a big difference. You can simply give it a quick scrub at home (my favorite way to do this is to soak it in some hot water and Dawn dish soap), or take it to your jeweler for a professional cleaning.
6. Trust your photographer
Pinterest is an amazing resource for poses, but I'd like to gently remind you that the poses you like or see on Pinterest will not look the same. It's a different location, lighting, people, and photographer. Photographers usually have a set list of poses they go through and the majority of us are up for taking inspiration from Pinterest, but please trust your photographer! You chose them based off their work and editing style, so let them work their magic!
7. Pack A Bag
Here are some things you could include in your engagement session bag:
Additional outfits (if you plan on wearing more than one)
Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots
Makeup for touch-ups
A bottle of water (for warmer sessions)
Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
Something personal if you want to incorporate it into your session
If you're bringing a pet (please do!), bring treats or a toy and have a handler there as well to help
8. Enjoy Yourself Engagement sessions can be nerve-racking, but have fun with it and enjoy yourself! After your session, I always recommend going on a date. You're already dressed up, so you might as well make a reservation somewhere or end the day at a new dinner spot!