Destination Engagement Shoot – Italy – La Dolce Vita

Destination Engagement Session Italian Alps 

It all started with our visualization exercise which we do to understand clients’ preferences.

This is the best way to understand what the client is looking for. Dilpreet and Mandip were inspired with lot of ideas and it was important to narrow it down.

After spending an hour and a half, we narrowed it down to Italy. Inspired by the Italian Alps, we were excited to plan this destination engagement session.

Couple against a yellow wall
Meet Dilpreet & Mandip – Our Italian Destination Couple

Lake Como, Italy

First, we narrowed down the location to Lake Como. Lake Como makes up the southern parts of the Italian Alps, which is vacation home to many celebrities like George Clooney and where Bollywood couple Deepika & Ranvir got married.

Freshwater lakes surrounded by mountains, these views are just spectacular in Varenna, Lake Como. Unfortunately, we were not able to go to Bellagio due to tight timelines. Bellagio is known for its royal gardens which are a must visit if ever you plan to go. Bellagio is a village on a promontory jutting out into Lake Como. It’s known for its cobbled lanes, elegant buildings and Villa Serbelloni Park, an 18th-century terraced garden with lake views. Nearby are the Tower of the Arts, a venue for exhibitions and performances, and the Romanesque San Giacomo Church.

Sun was setting and we had only 1 hour to document this beautiful long flowy dress with breathtaking mountains. We were fortunate to get some beautiful images showcasing our couple just before sunset. 

Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Rustic staircase behind couple.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Lake and Italian alps in the background.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Lake and Italian alps in the background.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Lake and Italian alps in the background.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Sunset, Lake and Italian alps in the background.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Sunset, Lake and Italian alps in the background.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Sunset, Lake and Italian alps in the background.
Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Sunset, Lake and Italian alps in the background.

Next morning, we were expecting to go to Bellagio but since our bride-to-be needed time to get ready we couldn’t make the ferry. Nevertheless, the city of Varenna had some beautiful architecture which was perfect to work with.

Engagement photo session in Varenna, Lake Como. Bride in princess like  golden dress.
Engagement photo session in Varenna, Lake Como. Bride in princess like  golden dress.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and seafood. Cinque Terre is known as the Amalfi Coast of North Italy. About 4 hours from Milan, we couldn’t ask for a better location for the next photoshoot.

Our first day, we just spent hanging around getting to know the area and finding some spots to photograph.

Pro Tip – Start super early for destination shoots. Cinque Tere is full of tourists during the summer months, so start super early to get the city to yourself.

Colorful Manarola Look

The best bet for us was to start at 5:45 am when the city tourists are still sleeping. Challenge was for our bride to be ready with hair and makeup. We were hoping to catch some morning sun, but we ended up with a cloudy morning.

Manorala, Cinque Terre views

Manarola was our island pick for our morning location. Looking out onto the beautiful Mediterranean sea with colorful villages, this was one location we couldn’t have asked for more. This morning look was very dramatic with mountain and ocean look.

Couple photoshoot at Manorala, Cinque Terre.
Couple photoshoot at Manorala, Cinque Terre.
Couple photoshoot at Manorala, Cinque Terre.
Couple photoshoot at Manorala, Cinque Terre.
Couple photoshoot at Manorala, Cinque Terre.
Couple photoshoot at Manorala, Cinque Terre.

Italian Riviera Look 

We wanted to give our clients a variety of images. Cinque Terre is famous for its multicolored tower-houses stacked on cliffsides, its terraced vineyards climbing the hills for miles, and its winding hiking trails connecting pretty villages.

But let’s face it — that sparkling turquoise sea is a pretty huge draw!

Trust us, you want to be in this crystal clear water as much as humanly possible. It is heaven on earth.

We had a couple change outfits and hop on local train and headed to Monterosso Al Mare’s beach. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the sun we wanted, but a soft cloudy day is also perfect to photography. This look was more casual where we could photograph the fun side of their relationship. It was more fun and romantic. And yes, we got a little carried away by jumping in the water for a perfect shot.

Couple photoshoot at Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre.
Couple photoshoot at Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre.
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vogue Italia Look

Dilpreet had always wanted to get that Vogue Italia high fashion look. So, we did a small shoot before the end of trip as a bonus for this lovely couple. Showcasing the signature colorful walls and iconic architecture Italy is known for.

High fashion Vogue Italia inspire photoshoot in Cinque Terre, Italy.
High fashion Vogue Italia inspire photoshoot in Cinque Terre, Italy.

A special thanks to Simran and Pallu (bride’s sister) for making these photos possible.


FAQ and Concerns about Destination Engagement Shoots

Is it even worth the time and financial cost?

Images are artwork that you invest in. On the wedding day, we have very limited time. That is where engagement shoots are great time where we can really work to create art inspired by you.

Why can’t we do it locally?

Destination shoots are an experience of its own. Most of the locations in Toronto have been overused. Yes, we can create the magic of your relationship in Toronto. However, we can’t add mountains or lakes in the background

Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress. Sunset, Lake and Italian alps in the background.

How much does it cost?

It really depends where we are plan to go. Clients are responsible for travel, accommodation and food while we are photographing.

We open our calendar for 4-5 destination shoots in January of every year. Sometimes two clients are looking to go to Europe then your cost could split up if we can manage adjacent dates.

Roughly you are looking at $400 to $700 for airfare and usually couples will book an airbnb with multiple rooms to share.

Bonus – When travelling for Destination engagement sessions, we give our clients an additional 1.5 hours of service worth $450. That way since we are travelling so far we have more time with you and the location.

Engagement photo session in Lake Como. Bride in extra long flowy red dress.

My parents aren’t comfortable for us to travel together before the wedding.

We fully understand and respect that. That is why a lot of our clients travel with their siblings or best friends which usually make parents more comfortable.

When should we plan our destination engagement session?

We recommend having your engagement photo session done at least 2 months before the wedding. For destination shoots, we recommend the month of May or max June. October is also a great time to plan your destination shoot as our calendar starts to open up after the wedding season.


Watch Dilpreet and Mandip’s Italian love story:

Also, check out our blog on Destination Shoot – Iceland – The Land of Fire & Ice.