Now that you have picked a date, your venue, and us to be your photographers, you can celebrate!  Those are some of the toughest decisions in the wedding planning process and you can cross them off your list!  YAY!!  Now onto the fun stuff…. like your ENGAGEMENT SESSION!


We include engagement sessions in our services offered because we truly believe that they are a VITAL part of the entire process.  During your engagement session, you’ll have the chance to get to know us.  And you’ll get to experience how we shoot and how we handle posing and lighting.  This session will make a HUGE impact on how the wedding day flows.  We’ll arrive on your wedding day already knowing how you two interact. And we’ll already know what your best poses are and how to photograph you in a genuine way!  What we will learn about you two during your engagement session is invaluable!  You’ll feel like such a pro on your BIG day because of the practice you had during your engagement session!  And that’s how it should be!


Your engagement session can be scheduled any time before your wedding day. We normally suggest booking it at least 3-6 months in advance to avoid stress.  Our weekends are filled with weddings, so we will shoot your engagements session on weekday evening.  We will normally schedule  your engagement session from 5-7pm depending on the light and the time of the year.  In the winter months, 3-5pm is a normal time frame for an ‘e-shoot’!


As you start to plan for your engagement shoot, you will need to start brainstorming about location ideas. We LOVE it when couples pick a location that is special or sentimental to them in some way!  If you can’t think of anywhere specific that you would like to shoot, we can help you decide on a location.  As long as the light is great, we can make ANY location look awesome!  We shoot at farms, campuses, downtown alleys, river edges, the beach, and even the side of the road!  We’re serious!  Do NOT shy away from the crazy ideas!  The more creative, the better!  Be sure to keep reading to find out more about outfit ideas and inspiration!



It’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken …. even if it’s just a photo on an iPhone that is taken by a friend.  We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth, and that our hair is behaving!  Preparing for your engagement session can be a little overwhelming.  We offer tips for outfits, handling nerves, and recommendations that will make your shoot the best it can possibly be!




POCKETS | Empty your pockets! Literally. You don’t want to have key chains or phones showing through your pockets. (This is for the guys especially!)

TIMING | The sun sets quickly especially if your shoot is not in the summer months. The later you arrive, the less time we have to shoot! Once the sun is set, the shoot will be over.

RING CLEANING | Clean the ring! We love to shoot a few rings shots while you change outfits! The cleaner the better.

CHANGING CLOTHES | As much as we would like to say that we always have restrooms for outfit changes, more often than not, we don’t. Most of the time our clients do quick outfit changes in their car if there are no other options!

DEEP BREATHS | I’m going to help you along the way and it’s going to be a blast! Enjoy this time together and make a date out of it! Plan dinner afterwards and celebrate!!

PARKING FEE | This may or may not apply to your engagement session. But you always want to plan in advance for a cash-only parking fee that we may encounter or any tolls. We’ve had instances where this has caused some stress and stress is what we want to avoid!

CLOTHING | We explain clothing more in-depth in our Bella Lumiere Bridal Guide. Generally, our couples like to bring one casual outfit and one dressier outfit!  If you’re unsure about a few pieces, feel free to bring all options and we can help you decide.

LIP COLOR & HAIR SPRAY | You may need to apply more lip color after one outfit change and a few kisses.  If you have a bold lip color, try to have a matte finish so it won’t transfer to your groom as intensely!  Hairspray and a brush will be helpful if your hair struggles in the humidity!

FLIP FLOPS | If you’re wearing shoes that are difficult to walk in but look AWESOME, bring some comfy shoes to change into while we walk to each shooting location!



Believe it or not, you have so much control over the outcome of your engagement session.  You are in total control of what it looks and feels like!  What you choose to wear is a big decision that often causes a ton of stress for the bride beforehand.  Our hope is that with a little education, you will be able to determine the style and feel you want for your engagement session.  Then, that will make your outfit selection so much easier and less complicated!  Let’s start by debunking some very common outfit myths that lots of people believe about what they should wear to their engagement session!



  1. MYTH ONE: Avoid neutrals; they wash you out! Whoever started this myth couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sure, there are some colors that don’t work for some people, but I spent a large majority of my life believing that I could never wear neutrals and we was missing out! The truth is, neutrals are the most photogenic color for portraits.
  2. MYTH TWO: Always wear black or you won’t look thin! Sure, black is slimming, but it’s always very heavy in portraits. There is nothing wrong with black.  But if you’re only wearing it to look thinner and deep down, you’re hoping for light and airy portraits, it may not be the best choice.
  3. MYTH THREE: You two need to match!  Please, for the love of all things beautiful, please don’t try to match your significant other! Instead, try to coordinate! Coordinating is a completely different concept from “matching”. Coordination means you are usually choosing different colors that look good together but are not close to being the same. I have some more tips about this concept in the following pages.
  4. MYTH FOUR: Your location determines your style more than your outfit! False! Your outfit has way more impact than your location. Your location is just a setting in the background.  You two will be the main focus of the images.
  5. MYTH FIVE: You have to buy something new! False! If you know you look awesome in an outfit that you already have and it fits the style you want for your engagement session, that would be a great choice!


If you have any questions about our engagement sessions or to book your engagement session with Bella Lumiere Photography, please contact us.

bride and groom's wedding rings stacked and photographed from the top looking down at the engagement ring

July 3, 2020