Destination Engagement Session East Coast Beach Atlantic Ocean © Bonnie Sen Photography

A few years ago we saw a strong trend of couples who were opting for a destination engagement session. This is a fun way to get your engagement photos taken at one of your favorite places in the world, whether it’s Disneyland or Vail, Colorado. Most couples want photos at their summer vacation spots or places they have lived, especially if their favorite spot is different from where they were getting married. Many of us have an absolute favorite place but logistics or other factors make it impossible to hold a wedding there.

Needless to say, we are more than happy to travel to a location that you love because chances are that we will love it too!

Destination Engagement Session Tips

Once you have decided to go for a destination engagement session, here are the first things we do: 

1. Research, research, research. Thanks to the bounty of information on the inter-webs we can often find top photo spots online, which is a great place to start. We gather information like the popular photography locations, how crowded they get, are they open during golden hour, and if they require a photography permit.

2. Choose wisely! If you’re trying to show off the beauty of the Italian Alps, then it doesn’t make sense to do photos in a generic garden or field. Pick a spot that really shows where you are!

Destination Photo Shoot in Seattle Washington - Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photographer
Destination Engagement Session in NYC - Destination Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photographer

3.   Dress appropriately – this is true whenever you pick a destination location destination or not! Let the scenery set the tone. Gardens are great for pretty dresses and sport coats. The mountains of Colorado call for dramatic flowy materials or the completely opposite – hiking gear. 

4. Theme it up! If you’re going to be doing these photos at Lake Como in Italy (dream spot!) then go for the vintage wooden sports boat! Opt for a more editorial outfit. This is the time to be a little more bold than you would at home. After all, you’re on vacation! 

Destination Engagement Session on a Sail Boat - Denver Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography

Spring engagement sessions can’t come soon enough! Between snow in Colorado this week and all the rain that DC has been getting, I am ready for some sunshine! This look back at Arielle and Adam’s Washington DC spring engagement session is just what I needed to power through the rest of winter.

Georgetown Washington DC Engagement Session in Spring © Bonnie Sen Photography
Georgetown Washington DC Engagement Session in Spring © Bonnie Sen Photography
Natural Light Headshots Springtime Photo Session © Bonnie Sen Photography
Natural Light Engagement Shoot by Destination Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Light and Airy Engagement Shoot by Destination Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Light and Airy Engagement Shoot by Destination Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Engagement Photos Shot in Film Denver Colorado Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Monuments Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Monuments Engagement Photos © Bonnie Sen Photography
Washington DC Monuments Engagement Photos © Bonnie Sen Photography
National Mall Engagement Photos Washington DC Fine Art Film Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Monument Engagement Photos Washington DC Fine Art Film Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Engagement Photos Red Dress and Nude Heels Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Jefferson Memorial Engagement Photos Washington DC Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
National Mall Engagement Photos Washington Monument Fine Art Film Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography

Arielle and Adam met through a mutual friend New York City but came home to DC. For their spring engagement session, we captured the city they love and where they are building their life together. And while we love a good Cherry Blossom session this day was proof that there is more to DC in the spring than the madness of the blossoms.

We started the day with a few pictures in Georgetown and then headed to the National Mall for some more quintessential DC shots. A&A’s outfits perfectly matched the vibe for each location and captured the different sides of their personalities.

We are, of course, going to miss having these monuments in our backyard but are so excited to find amazing new locations for Denver engagement photos. Stay tuned for more Colorado weddings soon!

My love and appreciation of New York City is showcased in this sunrise chic and minimalist bridal session in Central Park. I collaborated on the shoot my friend and destination wedding and event planner, Jasmine from Vivid Vibes Event Planning. We planned the session with simple, elegant details and played off the nature and beauty of Central Park before sunrise.

Sarah Seven Wedding Gown New York City Bridal Session © Bonnie Sen Photography
New York City Modern Wedding Shoot Central Park © Bonnie Sen Photography
Central Park New York City Details Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Minimalist Wedding Florals Inspired by Nature Studio Imbue © Bonnie Sen Photography
Minimalist Bridal Session Vivid Vibes Events New York City © Bonnie Sen Photography
Chic Minimalist Editorial Bridal Shoot Central Park NYC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Sarah Seven Wedding Dress Chic Bridal Shoot Destination Wedding Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Sarah Seven Wedding Dress Chic Bridal Shoot Studio Imbue © Bonnie Sen Photography
Minimalist Wedding Florals Studio Imbue © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Bridal Photos Vivid Vibes Events New York City Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Neutral Wedding Flowers with Pops of Taupe Sarah Seven Wedding Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Central Park New York City © Bonnie Sen Photography
Chic and Modern Wedding Dress by Sarah Seven New York City Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Chic Modern Wedding Dress by Sarah Seven New York City Wedding Vivid Vibes Event Planning © Bonnie Sen Photography

For those of us who love clean lines, minimalism is a way of life. But just because it’s simple that doesn’t mean it can’t be organic and luxurious. For this minimalist bridal session we showcased a bride that wants to be feminine and yet look strong, independent and current.

Amanda from Studio Imbue designed florals that perfectly blended into the natural flora and fauna of the city; meant to look like they were growing out of the cracks of the NYC pavement. The end result was effortlessly chic.

Minimalist Bridal Session Vendors

Photographer Bonnie Sen Photography

Wedding Planner Vivid Vibes Event Planning

Planning Florals Studio Imbue

Wedding Dress Sarah Seven

Model Mariah Scott

Film Lab Goodman Film Lab

The Line Hotel Washington, DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern and Minimalist Wedding Invitations from Minted © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Bridesmaid Getting Ready Robes Floral Robe © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Bridesmaid Getting Ready Photos The Line Hotel DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Wedding Washington DC The Line Hotel Sleek Wedding Dress Blue Velvet Shoes © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bridesmaid Dresses in Shades of Green Modern Wedding Dress Florals by Kruse and Vieira Events © Bonnie Sen Photography
Fine Art Film Photographer Black and White Candid Photos Groom and Groomsmen © Bonnie Sen Photography
Blush White Modern Bridal Bouquet by Kruse and Vieira Events © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bridal Portraits Sleek Modern Wedding Dress by Floravere © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bridal Portraits Film Photographer Sculptural Earrings from BHLDN © Bonnie Sen Photography
First Look on the Rooftop at The Line Hotel Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Portraits at The Line DC Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Portraits at The Line DC Washington DC Wedding Floravere Wedding Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Wedding Photos at The Line DC Modern Wedding in Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Wedding Photos with Dog Washington DC Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Flower Girl Photos Flower Girls in Sweaters and Greenery Crowns © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern Wedding in Washington DC Blush and Ivory Wedding Flowers Dog in Wedding © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bridal Party Photos Fine Art Film Photographer Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bridal Party Photos Fine Art Film Photographer Mix and Match Blue and Green Bridesmaid Dresses © Bonnie Sen Photography
Candid Bride and Groom Photos with Dog © Bonnie Sen Photography
The Line Hotel Wedding Ceremony Indoor Wedding Ceremony © Bonnie Sen Photography
Seating Chart Display at Modern Wedding in Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Minimalist and Modern Wedding at The Line Hotel in Washington DC © Bonnie Sen Photography
Grey and Light Wood Modern Wedding at The Line © Bonnie Sen Photography
Black and White Photos Wedding Dancing Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography

Details were king at this modern wedding at The LINE in Washington DC. Our bride Jennifer admits “no detail was too small for me to think about. I knew that the details mattered to me, even if they wouldn’t be noticeable by everyone in the end.” As photographers we could not be more happy with Jen’s state of mind! As a result this minimalist wedding was chock full of gorgeous details to capture.

Jay proposed to Jen at the base of the Washington Monument. As the planning began the couple landed on The LINE for their I dos even before the hotel opened. Uniquely, the LINE is not your traditional hotel ballroom but a historic church converted to a modern hotel. Details like the organ turned in to a chandelier and pews used as seating create a space unlike anywhere else. Not to mention breathtaking views from the rooftop of the Washington Monument which created such a special full circle first look for J&J.

Personal and Thoughtful Details

Jen and Jay worked person touches all throughout the wedding celebration to honor both their love and they city they love together. For instance the meal and bar featured ingredients and spirts from local providers. Correspondingly, one of the specialty cocktails was a recreation of a family punch recipe. Also, as a nod to history Jen had her wedding dress customized with a pearl button from her grandmother. Also, the couple’s dog, Panda, served as the “dog of honor” walking down the aisle with the best man.

Jen initially didn’t want any flowers for the dinner tables. Jen’s planner and florist, Julie of Kruse & Vieira, convinced her that a few simple arrangements of roses and greenery would be elegant and modern. Furthermore Julie and Jen designed the tablescape to be minimal allowing for the family style meal to be served.

Finally, the table numbers were based on the four letter park codes assigned to each National Park by the National Park Service. Not only did the groom work for the NPS, but the bride and her late father spent a lot of time hiking in National Parks. Furthermore the ode to the National Parks continued with vintage parks postcards on the tables and a donation to the National Park Service made in lieu of favors in memory of bride’s dad. 

See much more of this modern wedding featured on Brides.com.

Modern Wedding Vendors

Ceremony & Reception Site: The LINE DC

Planner & Floral Design: Kruse & Vieira Events

Officiant: Jeffrey Schwartz

Bride’s Dress: Floravere 

Bride’s Veil: Tania Maras 

Alterations: Cheryl Lofton & Associates 

Bride’s Jewelry: BLHDNGiantlion

Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman 

Bridesmaid Dresses: BLHDN

Groom’s Attire: Ezra Paul Clothing 

Groom’s Barber: Max Men DC 

Flower Girl Attire: Ava & Yelly, Nordstrom

Rings: Tiffany & Co

Stationery: Minted 

Guest Book: Ansel Adams 

Music: Mixing Maryland 

Catering: The LINE DC 

Cake: Buttercream Bakery

Red and White Wedding Invitation Niru & Baku © Bonnie Sen Photography
The Rajbari Bawali Hotel Calcutta India Bougainvillea © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Inspired Red Wedding Invitation Wax Seal Niru & Baku © Bonnie Sen Photography
The Rajbari Bawali Hotel Calcutta India © Bonnie Sen Photography.jpg
Naeem Khan Wedding Dress White Lace © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Wedding Bride Calcutta Raniwala Jewelry Diamonds Emerald © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Elopement Ceremony Bridelan Flower Garland Backdrop Naeem Khan © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Elopement Bridelan Mum Garland Naeem Khan Wedding Dress © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Elopement Ceremony Bridelan Colorful Flower Garland © Bonnie Sen Photography
The Rajbari Bawali Hotel Calcutta India Wedding Venue © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Wedding Bhavani Kumar Hair and Makeup © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Elopement Calcutta India Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Raj Bari Indian Elopement Calcutta India Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
White Sabyasachi Hindu Conjugal Ceremony © Bonnie Sen Photography
Modern White Sabyasachi Hindu Wedding Ceremony Bengali Bride © Bonnie Sen Photography
Sabyasachi Modern White Mukut Hindu Wedding Ceremony Bengali Bride © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Elopement Bridelan Bougainvillea Centerpiece © Bonnie Sen Photography
Indian Elopement Bridelan Bougainvillea Centerpiece © Bonnie Sen Photography
Bride and Groom Indian Wedding Styled Shoot Bridelan © Bonnie Sen Photography
Destination Indian Wedding Styled Shoot Fine Art Film Photographer © Bonnie Sen Photography
Welcome Bag Indian Wedding Calcutta Products © Bonnie Sen Photography

For this Indian elopement, I partnered with Nisha of Bridelan, an Indian styling company. We went on a Calcutta trail; partly to rediscover my and Nisha’s roots and partly to bring the Calcutta of our collective consciousness to the contemporary lens.

The Bengali life is full of nostalgia and we aimed to capture this perspective in our shoot. We took our inspiration from the venue, the Raj Bari, a historic elite mansion turned luxury hotel on the outskirts of Calcutta.

We styled two bridal looks for the elopement. The first, a lace gown, is by Naeem Khan, who has an ability to bridge cultures in an elegant and understated way. The second look is by Sabyasachi, India’s most famous bridal designer. In India, brides from Bengal traditionally wear red for the Hindu conjugal ceremony. However, in a departure, we kept it white. Our inspiration was the white wedding dress made in Indian style, paired with red accents of Bengal.

The florals were simple and pulled inspiration from the colors of the environment. Bright fuchsia greeted guests in the main hall of the Bari. Then we used those colors to create the tablescape and ceremony backdrop. The cake design was inspired by the celebration of the most important goddess to Hindy locals, Durga. The minimalist cake design by the Rogue Cafe was, as with the rest of the shoot, a beautiful blend of cultures. 

See more of this Indian elopement and read more of our inspiration for the shoot on Style Me Pretty.

Indian Elopement Vendors:

Photographer Bonnie Sen Photography Film Fuji Film Styling & Creative Direction Bridelan Florist Orchid Garden Banquet Cake Rogue Cafe Jewelry Raniwala Hair & Makeup Bhavani Kumar Calligrapher Bawa Studios Venue The Rajbari Bawali Video Devang Vyas Film Scanning Goodman Film Lab Creative Consulting Linda Ha Wardrobe Naeem Khan Paper Goods Niru & Baku Wardrobe Sabyasachi Producer Shaikh Ayaz, Sinaya Khan and Tom Milavec