Longwood Gardens

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


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. :)


Kelsey & Evan | Engagement

It is really amazing how social media allows us to connect with people all over the world. Kelsey reached out to me through Instagram when she randomly found my work! It didn't take long for me to realize Kelsey was going to be a dream client, a bride that I would adore working with. Not only does she have the sweetest, dearest heart, but she was so complimentary of my work and knew right away she wanted me there on her wedding day capturing all the precious moments. 

It truly means the world to a creative, artist, photographer and any other vendor when a client hands you the keys to their vision and dream for their wedding day and says, "Run with it; we trust you!". 

Kelsey and Evan are from Pittsburg, PA and will have their wedding in the gorgeous Excelsior venue in Lancaster, PA! When we initially started talking about their engagement session, we knew we wanted to shoot somewhere grand. I threw out the idea of shooting at Longwood Gardens (secretly hoping they would be up for it!). Not only did they quickly reply back saying "Yes, we love it!", but they drove all the way from Pittsburgh to Philly so we could shoot at Longwood Gardens. 

Kelsey & Evan were an absolute joy and dream to work with. The sweet love they have for each other is contagious and so precious. They are the happiest couple ever and it overflows from their hearts. While they danced during their session, I kept thinking about that sweet song in the Disney movie "Cinderella". 

So this is love, mmm...
So this is love
So this is what makes life divine

I'm all aglow, mmm...
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine

My heart has wings, mmm...
And I can fly
I'll touch every star in the sky

So this is the miracle
That I've been dreaming of
So, this is love



Mary Kate


Venue - Longwood Gardens, Hair & Makeup - Unfading Beauty by Kristen, Photographer - Mary Kate Steele Photography