But why?

A Preface

Before I get into the good stuff, I feel like I need to preface this post by sharing just how important engagement sessions are, and just how important using the same photographer for both your engagement session and wedding is. It's more than just creating space and tangibles to appreciate your engaged time together, it's also about relationship-building and practice.

What you DON'T want is for your wedding day to be the first time you meet your photographer. Just imagine: "Hi, I'm a stranger that you've never met, but I'm going to be with you every minute of the most important day of your life." Like what?! When you really think about it, that sounds stressful, and uncomfortable. The engagement session is PERFECT to continue the relationship that you've been building with me through zoom, phone calls etc., and to prep us to work as a team for your special day. You will leave your session feeling confident in not only me, but yourself!

The second reason: practice. I have yet to meet someone that automatically says "I am so comfortable in front of a stranger's camera. I know exactly what to do with my hands, it's as if I've done this a million times already. I look natural no matter what. I'm not anxious at all" Never. Not once. Everyone feels a little awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera. I even do, and I do this for a living. Enter: the engagement session. It's your practice, your trial run(PRO TIP: I recommend using your actual makeup trial run for this too, two birds one stone!). You get to become more confident with each other in front of the camera, you learn that with guided posing, prompting, and candid capturing, you will not only look your best but feel your best in your wedding photos. After that session together, I can guarantee you will feel so much better about going into your wedding day.

TOp Three Athens Georgia Engagement Locations

The Places

If there is one thing we are not short on in Athens, it's beautiful scenery(and beautiful venues, but that's for a later blog post;)). But I'm sharing my TOP THREE absolute favorite locations to take engagement photos here. As an Athens Georgia wedding photographer, I get to spend a lot of time with couples at these locations, and have been able to vet them to the fullest extent. These are the bee's knees, and if you are an Athens Georgia bride, you should definitely put them on your list.

1. State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Hands down the most popular Athens engagement session location for my couples. My favorite thing about the Botanical Gardens is the variety. No two engagement sessions at the Gardens are exactly the same. I can have a session there one weekend, and then another the following weekend and the images are unique--- different flowers and plants are blooming, the scenery has completely changed. It. Is. Wild. The possibilities are endless at the Gardens. So many picturesque locations, from the Children's Garden, to the International Garden, it is very easy to be able to tailor your engagement session to best fit you and your fiancé. I recognize that very couple is unique, and therefore every session and experience should be tailored as such. Want playful in the Children's Garden? Want romantic in the rose garden? Want free-spirited dancing & gallivanting in the fields? The Botanical Gardens fits the bill. The epitome of the perfect Athens Georgia engagement photography session location.

2. UGA's North Campus

Anybody who is anybody has heard of UGA's North Campus. Just kidding, but if you haven't heard, North Campus is the most beautiful part of University of Georgia's campus. I may be a little biased, because my classes were on North Campus when I was a student at my Alma Mater lightyears ago. But I also think it is a well-known fact that North Campus is absolutely stunning all through out the year. Home to the Founders Memorial Garden, North Campus is budding with beautiful greenery, majestic magnolias, elegant buildings, and lovely walkways. It's honestly an enjoyable experience just strolling through it during your engagement session there. Coming in hot at #2 on my list of top three Athens Georgia engagement session locations.

3. Your Venue

Did you know that many venues offer the option of having your engagement session at your actual wedding venue? I love this option, because you get to celebrate this season in your relationship, your engaged season, at the same place where you will become husband and wife. That is incredibly special in and of itself. Depending on your wedding planning timeline(one year out, 9 months out etc), you can plan your engagement session two ways:

1. The same time of year as your wedding- you can get a sneak into what your wedding photos will look like! A lot of times Brides are booking during a different season and don't have a full grasp of what their venue will look like during their specific wedding season. Venues can vary drastically in the appearance based on the season, this way you get to experience your venue like it will be on your wedding day!

2. Different season from the season of your wedding- you get to have a different take on your special venue in your engagement photos.

Both are excellent ways to approach an engagement session at your wedding venue. There are so many incredible venues here in Athens, and I will make sure to do a post with all my favorites in the future!

Final Thoughts

You truly can't go wrong with any three of these locations for your engagement photos!

Are you engaged and starting to think about your engagement session? Let's chat. Remember what I said earlier about the importance of the engagement session? So important that I include complimentary engagement sessions in my Wedding Collections because they are just THAT important. Can't wait to talk soon!