How to Plan for a Fall Engagement Session // Plus a FREE Fall Style Guide

For Brides

It’s officially September which means it’s FALL and my favorite time of year again! Seriously, I know it’s the basic white girl thing to love all things fall but I seriously do! I always have and I probably always will. 

There’s something about the muted fall colors, the transition into cooler weather, all the cozy vibes, and also the flavors of fall: apple cider, pumpkin pie, hearty soups and stews, the list goes on. 

Whether you chose to have your session in the mountains, by the water, downtown, or in a field, this time of year makes for MAGICAL romantic images!

Since I am obsessed with fall, it makes sense that my favorite time of year for engagement sessions is also, you guessed it, fall.

As we enter into this wonderful season, I thought it would be nice to share a little post with tips and inspo that you can implement into your fall engagement session. I’ve broken this down into four sections with tips on choosing the setting, timing, extra details, and outfits that best fit you as a couple and this time of year!

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to grab my FREE fall engagement session style guide!

The Setting

Choosing the right location for your engagement session can seem daunting at first, but I always recommend that you choose something that feels like a place you would naturally go on a date together! If you love hiking and exploring the outdoors together, choose the mountains or a beautiful wooded park! If you love all things water, chose a riverfront or lakeside location. If you love a night in the town and the excitement and bustle of vibrant city life, choose a downtown spot.

BONUS TIP: You could make your session even more unique by turning your engagement session into a planned date: ideas could include a romantic picnic, an intimate dinner for two, grabbing coffee or drinks at your favorite coffeeshop or bar, the list goes on!

The Timing

The best time of day for photos is the first 2 hours after sunrise or the last 2 hours before sunset. While both will give you magical glowy light, there is a distinct difference between a sunrise golden hour and a sunset golden hour. The sunrise light is more gentle and enchanting, and the sunset light is more dramatic and intense.

One other thing to take into consideration is your location and if the sunrise (east facing light) versus sunset (west facing light) will be better. For instance, if you choose a river and want photos with golden light behind you, you need to know if you plan to be on the east or west side of the river and pick the sunrise or sunset accordingly.

BONUS TIP: The sunrise and sunset times change dramatically over the next three months so be sure to check the exact times for your session date to know when to start!

EXTRA BONUS TIP: While the sun is magical, fall colors truly shine on overcast days so don’t be sad if your session falls on a cloudy day! I promise the photos will still be amazing!!

The Extras

While this is definitely NOT necessary, it is always so fun when my couples choose to bring something fun and unique to their session! Bringing something that is a part of your relationship or something that you love to do together can help your photographer tell your love story a little bit more fully. Some ideas of fun extras to bring can be your dog, a boat, a champagne bottle and glasses, books, a picnic, coffee, flowers, the list goes on and on!

BONUS TIP: If you plan to bring your dog to your session, it’s super helpful to bring a friend along who can help take care of the dog when you don’t want him/her in your session! Especially if your dog is still a puppy ;).

The Style

Choosing the right outfits that complement one another and fit with the location and time of year for your session is actually simpler than it may seem. A couple of key things to keep in mind: I always recommend that you choose outfits that coordinate together but not necessarily “match”. So selecting colors that complement one another or choosing neutrals with one pop of color is a good guideline. Also, avoid having more than one pattern between the two of you. So if he is going to wear a flannel shirt, chose a solid color dress. And if you are going to wear a floral dress, have him in solid colors that complement the colors of your dress.

BONUS TIP: Make sure you choose clothes that make you feel BEAUTIFUL and that you are super comfortable and confident in. If you are uncomfortable or insecure in the clothes you are wearing, it will probably show in your photos and nobody wants that to happen!

Check out this FREE style guide for some fall color palettes as well as some more tips for choosing colors and outfits that are best suited for a fall engagement session:


Mary Kate


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