engagement session from block island wedding photographer

Engagement Session Ideas for the Non-Traditional Couple

March 21, 2023

Are you planning your engagement session and hoping to find something unique, or that feels very “you”? Engagement sessions are such a great way for you and your fiancé to have a beautiful day together, create some memories and get comfy in front of the camera! Keep reading for 5 engagement session ideas for the non-traditional couple!

I like to tell my couples that engagement sessions are great because it gives us the opportunity to capture you authentically. On your wedding day you’ll be wearing the most gorgeous (and expensive!) clothes you’ve ever bought. You will have all the hair and makeup done. But an engagement session gives us so much more control! We can choose locations, outfits, and have the time to let you guys settle in and get comfy with each other, and with me! But if you feel like you’ve seen all the engagement session ideas check out these 5 engagement session ideas for the non-traditional couple!

#1 The Water

OK wait till you see the photos before you roll your eyes at the idea of the BEACH being “non-traditional”. Yes, a beach engagement session is go to place for photographers and couples for many reasons. Especially around sunset, the way the sun lights up the sky and the reflects off the water, makes it a perfect backdrop for an engagement session. Plus the beach is often a special place for couples. Maybe they’ve spent time walking there, partying there on the weekends. Or a go to place for lunch dates, picnics with cocktails; or even gotten a proposal! But there’s no reason your photos all have to take place on dry land!!

I’ve had many couples that have wanted to brave the water. It’s been warm, cold, calm, and crashing waves. They’ve been dressed, or not so much. All to get some truly authentic photos of them being themselves and playing around in the ocean. Definitely give your photographer a heads up if you’re into this. I’ve left many a session with zero regrets, but one very soaking pair of wet jeans! Haha so letting your photographer know so they can throw on a bathing suit is nice when possible.

Enjoy some of my favorite adventurous couples who got in the water to show off who they really are!

luxury bohemian engagement session

#2. Boats!

Keeping with the water theme (I am from Rhode Island after all!) How about a boat?? Don’t have a boat, how about a friend who has a boat?! Or maybe there’s a boat you can rent, (check out Trip Advisor in your local area for this!) Bonus is that a boat can bring you to a little island that not many people get to explore so you could get two unique locations in one session! Ok but back to our boat. Different, a touch of luxury, adventurous, gives you guys an activity to do (driving the boat) while I get to just document you interacting naturally with each other.

No boat, friend with boat or boat to rent? How about a dock?! I don’t encourage trespassing onto someone else’s dock, but a lot more times than I thought I would, we’ve stumbled upon docks that we could use! And bonus of docks and boats, you can do that swimming idea there too!

#3. McDonald’s / Fast Food Engagement Sessions

One of my most favorite engagements sessions EVER was at our local McDonalds. I LOVE that this couple mixed their modern romantic bohemian vibes with neon lights and Big Macs. Fancy restaurants for dates are great and all, but this couple shared some of their most meaningful meals at this particular location. After a bunch of ideas just didn’t seem right for them, they had the idea to step way outside the box and do their engagement session at McDonald’s. We did call ahead to make sure it was ok, and they let us in! Just prepare yourself that you might have an audience. But for those fries and a shake? Totes worth it!

#4. Yay! Sports!

Another absolute fave session was when Hillary came up with the idea of photographing them playing basketball. This was something they did often together. It made them feel less awkward and shy in front of the camera and gave them something to focus on besides the fact they were being photographed. In this session there was tons of natural laughter and playfulness. (OK and Hill was pretty much ready to pop with their sweet babe, which just makes this a million times better!!) Other great sporting ideas? Skiing/ snowboarding, skateboarding, bike riding, climbing….

#5. In Home Engagement Session (or at work or at the local bar)

I love a good in home, or “lifestyle” session. Let’s be honest- in your home is probably where you are going to feel the most relaxed and comfortable. You don’t have to worry about other people being around. Your home is usually significant in that it’s the first place you’ve lived together, or its the first home you’ve bought and renovated and poured lots of love into! If you have pets, they can naturally be in the photos instead of trying to get them to behave out in the wild! A lot of proposals happen in home, so you can document the space that happened in. That’s always cool to have photos of to show the some day kids!

Along those lines maybe you met at work like Britt and Victor and can get some off hours access to the place to make it romantic. Or maybe there’s just a local bar you like going to and hanging out in. All of these things add a ton of personality into your engagement photos!

BONUS: Travel!

Maybe you’re just racking up those credit card miles by paying for a wedding (not speaking from experience or anything?? :D) so why not use them to take your engagement photos in a cool destination?? Or Maybe you really wanted a destination wedding but for whatever reason it couldn’t happen, getting all fancy and having your engagement session in that location might be a good compromise! Or you need a little weekend away somewhere cool and romantic, spend a few hours of it doing your engagement session! The possibilities are really endless when it comes to this but here are some from a Big Sur engagement session, and a couple Zion National Park sessions.

*I hope you enjoyed some engagement session ideas for the non-traditional couple. Amy Mellow Panucci is a destination, elopement and wedding photographer based out of Westerly, RI with a modern bohemian feel for the adventurous couple. She also made her husband go into the water fully dressed at their engagement session/secret elopement.*






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