I recently wrote an article for Railey Vacations‘ Deep Creek magazine and thought I should share it here, too! (With some added personal thoughts, of course!) It’s all about engagement sessions and why our Deep Creek area might be is a good place to make them happen! 🙂

Engagement sessions are such an important part of the wedding planning process, at least in my opinion. You get to know your photographer and your photographer gets to know you. As a result, the pictures on the big day are easier and you’re more comfortable because you’ve had practice. Your photographer may ask you to snuggle or fake laugh or flash a model look (I’ll ask you to do all three…and I promise, it’s just because I want to encourage some genuine interactions. 🙂 ), and sometimes it just doesn’t come naturally right away. So you practice it during the engagement session and nail it on the wedding day. 

Engagement sessions are also a great way to snag some additional pictures, maybe with a big mountain or lake in the background!? If you’re marrying at an elegant barn venue, for example, that mountain or lake will give you a completely different look than your wedding day pictures. So you’ll have more pictures and you’ll have variety overall from your being-engaged-to-being-married experience!

One of the things I love most about our corner of Maryland is the natural beauty. Everywhere you turn there are trees, farms, mountains, and of course our beloved lake. Engagement sessions give you a chance to capture such picturesque scenes and places like Swallow Falls and Deep Creek Lake State Parks are definitely at the top of my list for location possibilities! 

We also have beautiful seasons! Leaves burn bright with colors of yellow, orange and red in the fall and we’re covered in beautiful snow in winter. While you do need to wait until at least mid-May for the lush green of spring, our warmer months offer less humidity and milder summer temperatures than our neighboring areas, which is welcomed and more comfortable when posing for pictures.

You could take your engagement session one step further by incorporating an activity or a meaningful place. If you and your fiancé are avid skiers or boarders, consider taking some pictures on the slopes at Wisp (I actually did an engagement session at on the slopes at Wisp in February and it was an absolute blast!) Maybe you’ve been visiting Deep Creek for years and family boat and canoe rides are part of your summer traditions. Consider pictures while floating on the water at sunset! It has been said that people feel more comfortable in front of the camera when they have something to do with their hands or are engaging in an activity. The slopes and a boat certainly help with that! 


Engagement sessions are also a great excuse to plan an over-the-top date night or weekend getaway. Garrett County and Deep Creek can EASILY make this happen! Dutch’s at Silver Tree is a delicious option for fine dining here, but there are also plenty of casual options – Mountain State Brewing at Deep Creek, Deep Creek Seafood, The Cornucopia Cafe, Brenda’s Pizzeria, Alder Street Diner, and UNO Pizzeria & Grill are some of our favorites. If you’re wanting to spend the night, Lake Pointe Inn offers a lovely lakefront B&B option, Wisp Resort has traditional hotel rooms, Savage River Lodge has yurts, and Herrington Manor and New Germany State Parks have very affordable cabins for rent. Make it a “stay and play” kind of experience. After all, the wedding planning process should be an enjoyable way to strengthen your relationship.

So smile for the camera, get to know your photographer and then treat yourselves as a couple. At Deep Creek and in Garrett County, the possibilities are plentiful, even beyond the picturesque backdrops. 


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