Wedding Planning


February 11, 2021

An engagement session at Duke Gardens in Durham, NC.

He popped the question, you said “Yes, of course!”, and now it’s time to start planning your Raleigh, NC engagement session! You probably have some many questions in your mind ranging from ,”Where should we take these photos?” to “What on earth do we wear?”

I know that the hardest part of planning your wedding and engagement session is not knowing where to start, so allow me to help you with the following tips!

1. Select a date and time for your engagement session – based off of the sunset.

We tend to do our engagement sessions during golden hour. This means we typically start shooting two hours prior to sunset depending on your location. The timing of sunset varies greatly throughout the year so the timing can vary as well. In the cooler months, we will likely start your session around 3pm. In the warmer months it can vary anywhere between 5pm-7pm.

2. Select a location for your engagement session

  • When we start planning your engagement session, I will send over a questionnaire for you and your fiancé to fill out together. This will help fill me in on any possible location ideas. I love using locations that are sentimental to you and have significant meaning to ya’ll! However, if there isn’t anything specific that stands out, I will also see what the overall “vibe” is that you’re going for, and make suggestions accordingly!
  • Some locations for require permits and fees. We will want to arrange payment for any applicable photo permits or admission fees  in advance – otherwise be prepared to pay on the day of the shoot!

3. Plan you engagement session “look”

  • The biggest piece of this puzzle is certainly your outfits. We recommend two outfits for your engagement session. Most couples select one dressy outfit and one casual one, however you’re welcome to have multiple dressy outfits if you’d like! The goal for your engagement session is not to be “matchy-matchy” but to coordinate!

  • As tempting as it may be, we do not recommend getting a fake tan. We totally understand wanting to be tan for your pictures, however spray tans can sometimes cause “Oompa Loompa” skin tones in post processing. Natural skin tones photograph the best!

  • We will be photographing your shiny new bling so make sure to get your nails done!

  • We do recommend professional hair and makeup. It’s a special occasion so why not pamper yourself? If you aren’t getting a bridal portrait session, this is an excellent time to utilize your hair and makeup trial with your wedding day makeup artist!
  • If you’re wearing heels, bring sandals or flip flops to wear when walking between locations. Some locations require a lot walking, and I don’t want you to be in pain from your footwear!


4. Make a dinner reservation for a date night after your session!

You’re already all dressed up, so why not make a special occasion out of it! Go on a date night to a spot you’ve been wanting to try. Besides it may help your groom to get more on board with the session if he has food as a motivator 😉


I hope these tips will be helpful for you as you plan out your engagement session! I know having your photos made can be intimidating, but you two are going to look fabulous and so very in love! I will walk you through exactly what to do so that you’ll not only walk away with genuine photos of you and your love, but you’ll have fun while taking them!




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We are Tierney and Christopher. We're Raleigh wedding photographers who serve timeless couples that want an effortless wedding day filled with sentimental moments!

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