Should We Do An Engagement Session?

Well, I’m so happy you asked!

I will always recommend doing an Engagement Session… Even If you’re not local, and have to arrange a trip to the TN mountains, or fly me to where you are! Many of my couples find a local photographer to help them out, and even though it doesn’t serve all the purposes of having your Wedding Photographer work with you - it will still be beneficial for you!

As a photographer, I absolutely love doing Engagement Sessions… but there may be a few reasons you may not have thought of!

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Nerves.

If you think you’ll be nervous or awkward in front of the camera on your Wedding Day, it’s a great chance to work together and show you just how fun it can be! I want you to be able to relax, enjoy the time together just focusing on your love for one another. Come wedding day, you’ll be able to get into a comfortable groove with photos much sooner!

My goal in the first 15-20 minutes of your session is to make you feel comfortable by reassuring you of a few things: Everyone is Nervous. You can’t mess this up! You’re doing great!

I have a few tricks to get you comfortable in front of the camera, and even forget the camera is there. My goal is to for you to just have fun and enjoy being together! I’ll do the rest!

Habits.

We'll also find out if you're a nervous blinker or fist-clincher! 😂 Let me preface this by saying I am very detail oriented, and I usually catch little nervous habits people have, but you know yourself the best. Sometimes I can’t tell if your smile is genuine or your “forced smile”… and finding out what habits or tendencies you have on camera before the Big Day will help us work on those things and get genuine reactions and natural expressions!

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Decor.

An Engagement Session will give you so many images to either use as decor around your wedding, in frames on the reception tables or rehearsal dinner, a large canvas or album for guests to sign, or just as a focal piece for the gift/card table or Ceremony entrance.

Keepsake.

Probably the most important reason of all… This is the only time in your lives that you get to be in this season of your relationship.

Some of the sweetest/funniest memories my husband and I have are from our own engagement photo session from almost 10 years ago.

This is such an exciting time in your relationship - let's capture that excitement together!

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If you’re still with me - I have a special offer for you! If you don’t already have a wedding & engagement photographer, and you’re interested in a free engagement session, send me a contact email at the top of this page!

Comment below and tell me your favorite date night location!

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Wedding Day Items You Didn't Know You Needed

Like any well-prepared bride, you’ve probably made an ultimate check-list, but what could you be missing? In my experience, here’s a few items you probably forgot to include - but could come in handy!

 
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A STEAMER

This seems obvious - but it’s often forgotten! The Last thing you want are bridesmaids in wrinkled dresses coming down the aisle, and in all your photos! Or a crinkled veil! Not a bad idea to send one with your Groom as well!

 
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A BEAUTY BAG

Your makeup artist will create a look to last all day, but sometimes touch-ups are inevitable. Have a small bag of powder, lipstick, and oil-blotting papers just in case!

 
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COMFY SHOES

You may have dreamed of those gorgeous heels, but they may not be the best dancing shoes. Stash a pair of flats in your bag! (They make some that are super compact and will fit in a clutch!) Or consider cute Kate Spade Keds that photograph well too!

 

BRUNCH / LUNCH

Remember to stock up on snacks & drinks to keep everyone from getting “hangry” or passing out! Especially in the summer months, extra water bottles are a must! If it’s too much to remember on your day, ask a friend or bridesmaid to arrange fruit, bagels, muffins, or sandwiches. Or have somewhere cater lunch in for both Bride and Groom.

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CUTE CLOTHES TO GET READY IN

Matching robes are always a favorite for this photographer! They make for some really beautiful getting ready photos, fun group photos, and look classy! But don’t forget to wear cute clothes underneath also! We don’t want the robe slipping open to reveal just undergarments - but you want to make sure you can slip it over your head and not mess up your hair! If you don’t have a robe - a button up or wide-necked top will be perfectly fine.

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AN EMERGENCY KIT

Bobby pins, Safety pins, band-aids, Advil, deodorant, a sewing kit, super glue, fashion tape… to name a few I’ve experienced needing on a wedding day! Some of these items I carry with me, as well as a crochet hook, scissors, tampons, breath mints… In the summer I also recommend Sunscreen spray, and for outdoor weddings - Bug Spray.

 

PORTABLE SPEAKER

Whether you want to relax or keep the mood fun while you’re getting ready, music sets the mood! Create a playlist that starts with soothing songs, and gradually gets more energetic and fun! Try out the search feature in Pandora, and search for either Wedding Day Country or Pop!

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PRINTED TIMELINES

Your photographer should help you create a schedule for photos to convey to wedding party & family. Knowing the general timing of what’s happening at what time will put everyone at ease and help the day run smoothly! Some of my most organized couples have even put together a Girls/Guys list of duties and where everyone needs to be when, who needs to be setting up what or driving everyone from hotel to venue, etc.
If you’re an Emerald + Ivy couple, at our very first consultation we’ll set a rough timeline to give you times that hair and makeup should be completed, flowers should be delivered, decor finished, dinner served, etc.

 
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EXTRA UNDERGARMENTS

Trust me, you don’t know what might snap or rip, and if you have extras you won’t fret one bit! Also make sure you have the proper undergarments for your wedding gown! And try them on together before the big day (at your last fitting if you’re having your dress altered) to ensure a good fit, comfort, and long wear! (Not to mention, make sure those sticky cups will hold through sweating if you’re getting married in the warmer months of the year!)

 

COORDINATOR

A wedding planner, venue coordinator, day-of MC, or an organized friend - whatever you decide - will take a lot of pressure off you! They can hold on to your beauty bag or clutch and emergency kit, and make sure things happen as they should behind-the-scenes. It also takes some pressure off of the photographer - to not have you stressed or having to check on decor. Show someone before the big day how you want tables decorated, etc… and let them handle it!

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I hope these tips have been helpful!
Anything I’m missing? Leave me a comment!

Brad + Mary Catherine :: Basilica of St Peter & St Paul :: The Camphouse :: Chattanooga, TN :: East Tennessee Wedding Photographer

After doing an engagement session with Mary Catherine and Brad, I knew the wedding day was going to be a breeze - They're so perfect for one another, so incredibly sweet to each other... I hope as the years go by, your relationship just gets better and better. Always be affectionate; Always be considerate and adoring, just as you are now! 

Here's a few of my favorites (there were SO many!), but if you want to see the entire gallery - the link will be at the bottom! Just ask myself or the Bride and Groom for the password! 

Ceremony was at The Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul
Reception held at Camphouse
Flowers by Grafe Studio Floral Artists
Bride's Gown from The White Room in Lebanon, TN
Bride & Bridesmaids Hair (and Bridal Prep) at Juliet's Beauty Lounge
Makeup by Katheryn Golden Makeup
Groom & Groomsmen suits from Joseph A. Banks
Bridesmaids gowns from various locations, a few from Adrianna Papell
Bride & Groom and Wedding Party Portraits were done at Phillips Park in Chattanooga

View the full gallery HERE. (Ask the new Mr. & Mrs. for the password or email Emerald + Ivy HERE.)