It’s January which means a lot of you are running around town sporting that brand new sparkler on your finger! I remember that like it was yesterday. The joy of being engaged and just hoping someone mentioned your ring so you could show it off! (am I right?!?) Your head is buzzing with ideas for your big day and trying to figure out what to do for your engagement portraits! Planning your engagement shoot can go one of two ways – 1. You know exactly what you want. 2. You have no clue! Either way, it’s completely normal to be overwhelmed with excitement! As a photographer (and past bride) i’m going to let you in on some secrets to plan your engagement shoot!
There are a few things you want to consider and decide first. Which season do you want your engagement photos to be in? This is a big one and although you may have always dreamed of a fall engagement, that may not work out the way you hoped. If you’re planning an October wedding, you might want to consider taking engagement portraits in the spring so all of your portraits don’t look similar. I always suggest to my clients that they consider a season that isn’t the same one as their wedding, variety is key! Maybe you’re not worried about the season and just want to take the portraits right away? That is okay too! Celebrating while the excitement is still new is always a great idea! If that’s the route you’re going, reach out to your photographer as soon as possible!
Here are some things to consider with each season for engagements!
Spring doesn’t truly begin here in Maryland until April. If you’re wanting a spring engagement session, make sure to schedule a rain date for back up!
Summer engagements are so fun but can also be very warm. If it were me, i’d try to avoid scheduling those from mid July to mid August to keep the heat and humidity at a minimum!
Fall engagements are dreamy but there is only a short window for peak leaf season. This can vary each year but is typically the two middle weeks in October.
Winter is always a sweet idea and I always suggest my clients try to be unique with theirs! Bring props or think of a fun location like a tree farm or ice skating rink!
Now that you’ve consider the seasonal aspects, where should they be?! Most photographers will have a list of locations they prefer to shoot at. This may be because they are comfortable there, they know the best spots there, or the light is great! However, it’s important to consider locations that are important to you as a couple. Think about places that are sentimental and tell your story. Where you met? Where he proposed? A family home or farm? These locations usually turn out to be the best ones because of their tenderness to the both of you. If you’re wanting some suggestions for locations, here are mine!
Beach – Terrapin Beach Park, Ocean City, Downs Memorial Park, Jonas Green State Park
Rustic – Howard County Conservancy, Patapsco Valley State Park, Quiet Waters Park, Flower farms
Coastal – St Michaels, Downtown Annapolis, Easton, Chestertown, Oxford
Urban – Fells Point, Federal Hill
I’d suggest sitting down with your fiance and thinking about the locations more. Talk about which ones best suit your personalities. He might surprise you and have an even better idea in mind! The most stressful part for most brides is what to wear. There’s a huge cliche that you have to wear white and that simply isn’t true! Outfits are another great way to incorporate who you guys really are. I always suggest to my clients that they bring two outfits, a casual and a dressier option and to start with the dressier one first. It’ll be easier to change into the more casual! While most photographers will have their own suggestions and outfit guide for you to take a look at, here are some tips you should follow!
- Choose your outfits first. If you’re groom is like most guys, he’s laid back and will wear whatever makes you happy!
- Coordinate, but do not match. Which basically means, don’t wear the same color and don’t wear the same thing. If you’re wearing a vest, he shouldn’t. If you’re wearing blue, he should wear a coordinating color, not blue.
- Avoid busy patterns and logos/words! Busy patterns can sometimes photograph strangely and words will distract from you guys!
- Accessorize! Wear statement necklaces, scarfs, fun shoes, etc! It’s always nice when I can tell my brides to casually play with their necklace, looks so cute!
- Consider getting your hair and makeup done! This is a great opportunity to treat yourself and take that stress away!
- Don’t wear anything too loose or too tight.
- Be yourself! If you don’t usually wear cocktail dresses, don’t wear one! Wear something that feels like you.
Phew! Now that we’ve got that hard part covered, I have a few more things you should know. These are simpler tips to plan your engagement shoot but their important!
- Get your ring cleaned. It’ll be photographed and you want it to look it’s best!
- Bring your pet if they’re important to you, but consider bringing someone to help.
- TRUST your photographer. They have the eye for light and will never steer you wrong.
- HAVE FUN WITH IT! This is the most important tip of all.
Your engagement shoot is one of the most fun parts of the wedding experience. It’s a time that is supposed to be all about the two of you and you want to make the best of it. If you’re feeling anxious, express that to your photographer and try to remember to have fun. Soak it all in!
I hope these tips to planning your engagement session helped! Reach out to schedule your engagement session here!
View more engagements and weddings here!
January 15, 2020