Planning and Styling Your Engagement Session

Every bride wants her engagement photos to pop! While one of our favorite stylists and boutique owner, Cecelia Church of Vocabulary Boutique, has already told you about what to wear to the engagement session , you are likely wondering, “what about the setting, props, and styling?” or “what elements will make my photos just a bit different from the rest?” Below are the must knows about styling your engagement session. It all starts with the perfect photographer that you feel fits your style and aesthetic! One of our favorites, who we also share an office with and who shot the session below is B. Miller Photography!

Here are the top questions to ask yourself to help you create the perfect engagement session.



1.Where is OUR PLACE?




BryanMillerCoutureEventsMiniShoot1-7   BryanMillerCoutureEventsMiniShoot1-12

We will start with location and setting. Where do you feel you spend most of your time as a couple? Is it at your home, your local coffee shop, or the beach? Wherever that special place may be is where you should do your engagement session. This will be the base for creating an environment you feel comfortable in, and that will show in photos!


2. What is YOUR THING?





What do you like doing together? What is the best representation of both of you as a couple? Whether it’s spending time baking or cooking together, long walks with gelato, or sailing, find that special hobby and show it off! When you bring in props or items that reflect your hobbies together, that connection will show through on camera. Let the engagement session be a reflection of you as a couple!


2. What do YOU LOVE?




Pinterest has taken over the wedding world and many brides spend hours upon hours on Pinterest. You can search “engagement session” and you will find a million ideas for your session. The hardest part is to reign in the ideas and do something that you LOVE! It might not be something you do everyday, but it should be something that you do sometimes together. If you don’t go on picnics, don’t create a picnic for your engagement session, if you don’t bake then don’t do a baking engagement session. Do what YOU LOVE and put elements in that you love. If you pick up flowers sometimes at farmers market and LOVE them, then go get some for your engagement session and incorporate them. If you love it and it makes you happy then DO IT! If you just saw a photo that you liked of someone else but it might not be you, don’t do it. Bringing in elements that you like and that are a true representation of you, this will make your engagement session photos SHINE!




Nothing sexier than a man holding your ice cream!


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ENGAGED: Natalie & Isaac

Meet Natalie and Isaac!

Natalie Isaac Engagement shoot

We love a good engagement session, especially when the couple is as fun and in love as these two! Natalie and Isaac met when they were just kids and their love story speaks of an incredible example of faith to anyone who knows them. We have had so much fun dreaming up their wedding details to highlight the things they love best like their love for the garden and being outdoors! We adore them and are thrilled to help them celebrate at Bandy Canyon Ranch this summer!

Engagement Session Natalie and Isaac Engaged-Natalie-Isaac-Couture-Events2 Engagement Session San Diego Natalie and Isaac Natalie Isaac Engaged Photography: Acres of Hope Photography

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Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling.

Marriage Quote

Save the date. Pick a Venue. Flowers. Dress. Color scheme. Seating Chart. Bridesmaids. Groomsmen. DJ. Rehearsal dinner. Photos. The list goes on! It’s no wonder that in the midst of planning the biggest event of your life that the relationship itself can sometimes get lost in the mix. I know for me, there were many times in my engagement season that I felt distant and disconnected from my fiancé. So much so that after our rehearsal dinner I BEGGED him to go to Walmart with me to pick up an extension cord we needed last minute just so we would have 20 minutes alone to connect! So how do we not only plan for an incredible wedding, but also for an incredible marriage?? It takes intention. Investing time in premarital therapy not only creates space for connecting during your engagement season but also helps you lay the groundwork for the commitment you are making in “I do!”

1. Get to know your strengths!

All couples have strength and growth areas. In pre-marital therapy, I love to highlight your strengths and really get to know how they work. What makes your relationship feel safe, supportive and connected? These strengths are the key to navigating the highs and lows ahead. By really understanding what makes your relationship feel solid, it will be easier for you in the future to identify where you might be feeling stuck or disconnected.

2. Guide through the rocky places!

Conflict is often seen as being a sign of something being wrong with the relationship. In fact, conflict and disagreement are common in both healthy and unhealthy couples. The difference sits in your ability to work through it in a way that is effective. As they prepare for marriage, many couples are wrestling with tougher topics like finances, sex, family, etc. I like to help couples have these conversations in a way that leaves them feeling like they were both heard and have accomplished something for their relationship. The transition into marriage is sometimes a trying time for a relationship and can bring with it unexpected challenges. By setting aside time during the engagement season to invest in your relationship, you are working together to try and foresee potential tough spots and come up with a plan for how to handle them.

3. Resource for the future!

By the time a couple has gone through pre-marital therapy, I know the ins and outs of their relationship. The benefit of this lasts longer than just pre-marital therapy itself. Life inevitably will bring challenges and in those times, it is helpful to know that you have someone to turn to, someone you already trust. I like to think of it like a family doctor who sees their patients from childhood through to adulthood. By having an established relationship with a therapist, it means that you can come in for check ups throughout the life of your marriage. It helps me have a context for how to best help you and helps you to bypass the “getting to know you” phase of therapy and get any help you need quickly.

The wedding day is just the beginning! Give your relationship the time and attention it deserves for you both to feel happy, healthy, and connected long after the “I do’s”! For more information on pre-marital therapy, you can check out my website. CONGRATS! And best wishes on your exciting journey ahead!!

 Posted by Mariah McQueen


Love quote

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