DC Wedding Photographer

4 Reasons Why You Should Book An Engagement Session With Your Wedding Photographer

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Hey friend! Recently engaged?! Firstly, let me extended the warmest congratulations to you both! This is such an exciting, happy butterflies fluttering in your stomach, can’t stop smiling time in your life —soak it ALL up! Do your best to remember all the little moments. :)

A question I get from time to time from some of my own couples and others is this: “Should we do an engagement session with our wedding photographer? Is it really that important?” It is a great question and one I understand why couples ask about.

So, I wanted to shed some light onto why (as a wedding photographer), I believe it is so important to schedule one! Sure, it will require finding time that works with three different schedules, but ya’ll, it’s worth it — every single time.

  1. It provides YOU & your photographer the opportunity to get to know each other!

    As a wedding photographer and a relational human, ya’ll I just love getting the chance (as many as possible) to hang out with each of my couples and truly get to know them. Emails, texts, Instagram, Facebook — it’s all wonderful ways to connect, but nothing beats real, in-person human interaction. It’s simple, yet lasts forever. I want to know what you two love doing together on an average weekday evening after work, if you love beer or wine, what makes you smile, (a favorite of mine), or what your enneagram is! I want to hear about your wedding day dreams and how I can help you accomplish them! I want to know something you’d love to accomplish as individuals and as a power couple. Simply put, YOU are important to me and having that time with you elevates my friendship with you guys!

  2. Storytelling…

    Your wedding day is a story. It is a story I have the incredible privilege to tell through pictures. There are so many details that add to your wedding day story. Brides, your “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a part of that story. Maybe you’re going to wear your Grandma’s veil, or the groom is going to wear his Dad’s wedding suspenders or maybe you have a fur baby you’re including in your day, or maybe your Dad passed away and in remembrance of him, you include a unique detail that only those who understand would pick out. These are real examples of details I knew and learned about by having real conversations with my couples and their families. These kind of conversations start to happen as you first start the booking process with me and they continue at your engagement session, at coffee meetups and timeline meetings. What I’m trying to get at is this. I want to have real conversations with you so that I can truly tell your wedding day story and capture the story details. It is so much easier for me to tell your story when I’ve had the chance to work with you prior to your wedding.

  3. Let’s make magic (and chemistry)!

    Here’s a truth bomb for you! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, needs some time to get comfortable with a camera in front of them and finding that magical connection with their special someone. It also takes time for a photographer to fine tune those perfect angles, find the perfect light and help make the magic happen. I find engagement sessions as like a “first date”. Leading up to the moment we all meet for the first time in person, there can be this anxious moment when you wonder how it will all go. Even me, a people person, who’s been shooting for the last 7 years still gets anxiously excited for the moment I meet each of my couples for the first time!

    Let’s be honest though, all those silly anxious feelings quickly fade as we chit chat and give warm welcoming hugs that just seem to say, “I’m so glad you’re here”, as my little four year old son always says to friends walking in our front door. He speaks truth! I am so glad YOU’RE here and I’m so glad I’m here with you! That my friends is the start of the “chemistry” I talk about with each of my couples. Feeling that chemistry between my couples as I take their pictures and the chemistry we feel all working together, it’s a feeling you trust and it makes you feel good inside.

    When you combine making magic with that undeniable chemistry at your engagement session, just IMAGINE the type of experience you guys & me will have shooting those magical, breathtaking portraits on your wedding day?! Ya’ll it is unreal. It is amazing. You’ll remember having so much fun during your wedding day portraits!

  4. Pretty, pretty photos

    Lastly, if anything else, you get beautiful pictures and memories of you two together, in this moment of your lives. Pictures you can hang in your home that will remind you of such an exciting season. I’d say that’s worth it. :)

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Springtime Engagement at Memphis Botanic Gardens | Juliet and Wesley | Destination Fine Art Wedding Photographer

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They are high school sweethearts who followed each other to Mississippi State University (they just graduated!) and together they have two adorable Australian Shepherd pups! (I can’t wait to meet them!) They’ve been on this life adventure together for the past five years and now they are ready to seal the deal and make it official! Juliet and Wesley are the sweetest souls you’ll ever meet and are sure to put a smile on your face! We had so much fun laughing and laughing during their engagement session!

Juliet and Wes! I am so thrilled and honored to be your wedding photographer! I am getting so excited and counting down the days till March when we celebrate your beautiful Annesdale Mansion wedding!

Xoxo! Mary Kate

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An Annesdale Mansion Wedding | Kailan and Tyler | Memphis, TN | Destination Fine Art Wedding Photographer

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There are certain days that remind me what a privilege and joy it is to do what I do…photograph such special moments in another person’s life. Kailan and Tyler’s wedding was one of those days for me. This day was literally perfect in every way. A forecast calling for rain on their day turned into a cool, breezy mid 70’s sunny day. This day was filled with so much joy and it was contagious. From their amazing bridal party to their wonderful parents and families to their beloved guests, everyone radiated so much love and joy. We were all overjoyed to witness these two childhood friends become husband and wife! Read more about their love story and how they met here!

There are endless highlights about their gorgeous day that I could share, but the one that stuck out to me (and the other vendors participating with this moment) the most was their first look. I personally adore first looks and have witnessed so many precious ones, but this specific first look goes down in the books as my favorite. Their first look had me, the videographer and our second shooters all in tears. I think it is most brides’ dream for their groom to react the way Tyler did when he turned around and saw Kailan for the first time in her dress. It was so genuine and sincere. His eyes welled up with tears and he fell to his knees not once, but three times! Tyler was completely blown away by the beauty of his bride. Once we all got ourselves together, (lol) they then read out loud the letters they had written to one another. (cue more tears from us vendors). Afterwards, Tyler surprised Kailan with a gift. He gave her a thick, leather bond journal - 150 pages - to be exact. Each page filled with hand written entries to her. Every day, for 150 days leading up to their wedding, over his lunch break, Tyler sat down and wrote to his future bride. Their first look and Tyler’s gift to Kailan was one of the most romantic gestures I’ve witnessed.

Kailan & Tyler! Your willingness to give me extra time for your portraits make me LOVE YOU FOREVER! Thank you so much for having me be your wedding photographer and trusting me with your memories! I truly feel like the luckiest to have been the one to capture your special day!!

Enjoy a few of my favorites from this gorgeous Annesdale Mansion wedding!

xoxo, Mary Kate

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Vendors:


Venue - Annesdale Mansion
Ceremony Venue - Wilson Chapel at Christ United Methodist Church 
Photography - Mary Kate Steele Photography
Videography - Twenty-Two Magnolias Productions
Second Shooter - Morgan Cowles Newsom
Calligraphy - Rachel Fisher Calligraphy
Dress - Anne Barge at Bustle
Cake - Karen Woodlee with Cakes & Candies by Karen 
Rentals - White Door Events
Florist - Kacie Cooper Floral Designer
Coordinator - Amy Tyler
Hair - Deborah Parker
Makeup - Laura Elizabeth Zerwig & Heather Sappenfield
Spray Tan - Jordan Smith with Glo Spray tans 
Caterer - Cindy Krag Catering
Band - Nick Black
Ceremony Music - Rachel and Tony Fisher- vocals
Anna Pearson- violin 
John Palmer- organ
Bus - Tennessee Limousine Service