This is one of the most commonly asked questions from brides-to-be, and one that I feel so passionate about as a photographer!
There are several reasons to have an engagement session, and some may resonate more strongly with you than others, and that’s ok. But I feel that all of them are important to consider, especially as you are choosing your wedding photographer who may or may not offer an engagement session as part of your wedding package (by the way, I include an engagement session in ALL of my wedding packages, because THAT’S how important I think they are!).
You’re Planning a Marriage
When you are planning engaged, it is so easy to get caught up in the details of planning the wedding itself, but in reality, you aren’t just planning a wedding. You are planning a marriage. And in service to your future spouse and marriage, I think it is so SO important to set time aside to be yourselves, to take yourselves out of the planning scrambling frantic rush to the aisle and just breathe. An engagement session is the perfect opportunity to do this! It’s a chance to stop worrying for an hour or two, and spend some time just celebrating how crazy in love you are! It’s an opportunity to start setting the stage for how this marriage is going to celebrate and honor you (as individuals, and as a cohesive unit).
Have you ever heard the phrase “date your spouse?” I think it’s a fantastic concept, and one that I want to get into the habit of doing NOW, before the wedding even happens! Keep making time for each other, to celebrate each other, to love each other, and to honor the special, magical bond you share!
You Can’t Turn Back the Clock
Humans have this amazing habit of convincing themselves that “this phase” will last forever, and I’m here to burst your bubble! This wonderful, crazy, fun, challenging phase of being engaged and planning a wedding is NOT going to last forever. And once the wedding bells are done ringing, you can’t turn back the clock. You will never be engaged to this amazing, adorable person ever again! Some engagements last longer than others, but that doesn’t change the fact that one day you will no longer be engaged. You’ll be married. Photos taken during this magical little bubble of time can be so precious to look back on, especially years down the road when you’ve been married for years and want to look back and see how crazy and wonderfully in love you were! These photos are also fantastic to show children as they grow up. You can look back and say, “Look how in love we were. We still are!”
They Make Great Save the Date Cards
One of the most common reasons you’ll hear for doing an engagement session is that the images from this session make great Save the Date cards! I couldn’t agree more! A Save the Date card is the first glimpse your guests will get of your wedding day, and seeing a beautiful picture of you and your sweetheart on the front, ready to celebrate your love, is the best way to get your guests excited and eager to reply back with an enthusiastic “Will Attend!”
Get to Know Your Wedding Photographer
I may be a little biased (ok, I am probably a lot biased), but I think this is the NUMBER ONE REASON to have an engagement session! An engagement session is like a rehearsal for your wedding photos! You only get one shot at wedding day photos, and you want to make sure that both you and your wedding photographer are on exactly the same page as to what types of images they produce, and what kinds of images you are expecting on your wedding day. (This is also why it’s important to chose a photographer based on what you see in their portfolio and their past work. If you don’t like their past work, you probably won’t like what they offer you! On the other hand, if you love everything they’ve shown, you’re much more likely to be blown away on your wedding day!)
The other half of this equation is getting to know how your photographer directs you (or doesn’t!). I am the type of photographer that is talking, reassuring, directing, and praising almost constantly, but there are definitely other photographers who give little to no direction or reassurance at all. You want to make sure that whatever type of photographer you choose, you know how they run the actual session, and you are comfortable with their type of direction. That way, when the wedding day rolls around, you will be so much more comfortable going in knowing exactly what to expect from your photographer.
For me, I see engagement sessions as the time to start building a warm and trusting relationship with you so that on your wedding day, you are already comfortable and at ease before I even lift my camera to my face! You already know exactly what to expect from me, what kinds of directions I give, and what kinds of images I will produce for you.
So are you ready to book your engagement session? I’d love to chat!