4 Tips for Planning Your Engagement Session

We can all use engagement session tips, right? One of my favorite times before the wedding day to connect with my couples is during your engagement session! These allow you the chance to get comfortable in front of the camera! And by the time your wedding day rolls around, you’re going to be a pro. It allows me to take a peek into your relationship…to create memories between the two of you. And it gives us the opportunity to know my posing process, so on the big day when I yell “belly to belly and sniff your shoulder” you’ll know exactly what I am talking about! (And yes, that is actually something I use..).

Engagement session preparation is SO important. This goes beyond choosing a date and time and just showing up. A great engagement session experience with Harp & Olive begins with planning. First,  I have you and your fiance think of a few ideas between the two of you for locations. I cater each session for my couples. This even includes location scouting beforehand!


1. Choose your location: I like to choose locations that are meaningful to my couples. If they love an urban, more city-life feel, I have several suggestions for engagement session locations in downtown Nashville! Some couples prefer more of a rural feel, while others may prefer a small-town setting. The beautiful thing about middle Tennessee is that we have SO many options! Lakes, parks, downtown Nashville, and even greenhouses. If my couples have a hard time choosing, I’m always happy to recommend! Keep in mind as you choose your location that some may have a session fee for photography that will be additional to your engagement session investment. If you have any questions, just ask!

2. Outfits:
When considering your engagement session outfits, I recommend preparing two separate ones: more casual, and more dressed up/formal. This not only gives you some variety for images in your gallery, album, and walls of your home, but let’s you get extra dolled up! Engagement sessions with Harp & Olive are typically 1 hour long, and we can usually do one to two locations, depending on how close they are.

I recommend against outfits that are super matchy-matchy. Instead, choose outfits that compliment. Different layers, textures, and patterns that vary in complementary colors really look beautiful in images. Stay away from bright hues of red, green, and neons. Generally, I recommend more neutral colors, such as tans, white, soft blues, navy, and pastel colors. They photograph beautifully and all compliment well.

Typically, my brides will contact me with images of their outfits that they’re considering and I highly encourage that! I’m happy to help you choose your outfits, and happy to help recommend some sites to purchase amazing, flowy dresses! I love when the bride wears a flowy dress for sessions, they give movement in photos!

3. Hair & Make-up:
While you don’t necessarily have to pay to have your hair and makeup professionally done for your engagement session, I always recommend that brides do! Enjoy the season, and get dolled up. That’s right, treat yo’self! It is infinitely easier than looking back on your photos and wishing you’d had someone professional do your makeup! Also, don’t forget about your nails! I’ll be getting up close photos of your hands, and that shiny new rock on your ring finger! You’ll want to make sure they’re manicured and looking photo ready.

man in jeans and girl in floral dress on nashvilles pedestrain bridge
4. Make Plans for After:
I don’t believe in all dressed up with nowhere to go. Go ahead and make this a full date experience! Once we wrap up your engagement session, go out for date night to a nice restaurant! Reminisce on your favorite parts, laugh about my silly prompts, and enjoy one another. Taking time for the two of you as you’re planning a wedding is so important.

If you’re still looking for your Nashville or destination wedding photographer, I’d love to chat!
Want more wedding planning tips? Check here for the latest on why you need to hire a wedding planner!


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