Congratulations! You’re getting married!
This time in your life is both fleeting, and so exciting. There are decisions to make at every turn, and you are probably feeling overwhelmed. After you’ve selected a photographer who you feel is a great fit for you and your wedding, you will probably find yourself debating whether or not you should have an engagement session.
Let me just stop you right there and tell you to stop debating and do it! Engagement sessions are one of my favorite parts of my client’s experience for several reasons. Personally, I believe couples deserve to have their engagements photographed. It is such a special and unique season prior to your nuptials, and it should be captured accordingly. As a former bride, our engagement pictures were the first time my husband and I had any formal pictures taken. They became images we used for our save the dates, gifts for family members, and decor for our home. It was a way for us to make permanent memories of the amazing (and fleeting) time of our engagement. We chose a location that was important to us, a small beach town where my family vacations every year, invited our family to participate, and made a day out of it. The images are now ones I can look back on and remember the joy and anticipation we felt in the months leading up to our wedding. As a photographer, an engagement session is an opportunity for my clients to get comfortable in front of my lens. Being photographed can be nerve-racking, especially if you aren’t familiar with the process. An engagement session allows the couple to gain confidence in the poses and with the directions the photographer is giving them. It also allows me, as the photographer, an opportunity to get to know my clients a little better, hear more about their love story, and hopefully have a little fun with them! I believe in the engagement session so much that I include it complimentary in every wedding package for my clients, because that’s how important they are!
So now we know that you both want (and deserve) an engagement session, it’s time to begin planning.
Your engagement images should be a reflection of who you are as a couple, and should unfold as part of your story, meaning nothing should be chosen arbitrarily. If you have a favorite flower that your fiancé gave you on your first date, include that in your session. If he proposed at the window seat of an incredible cafe, suggest that as a location. If you guys enjoy riding bikes together, include them as a prop.
A question I get most from my clients when planning their engagement session is “What should we wear?”
My best advice for planning your outfits for this session is to be true to who you are! You should look like yourself, just the best version of yourself. Bring two outfit choices with you, one casual, and one more formal. Try to select attire that reflects your personal style. If you don’t usually wear 5 inch heels, your engagement session on cobblestone streets may not be the best place to practice. Remember, you want to look amazing, but you also want to be comfortable and for your outfit choices to be appropriate for the setting!
I absolutely love it when my brides wear dresses and really feminine attire for their engagement sessions, because it feels so romantic (which is totally appropriate for these types of photographs). Don’t be afraid to dress formally because it looks incredible when photographed! That being said, if your style as a couple is casual and laid back, then dress that way. These images are a reflection of you, and if you’re trying too hard or are uncomfortable, the images will show that as well.
Most importantly, the engagement session is a time for the two of you to come together, relish in the fact that you’re getting married, and celebrate your love for one another!
I have prepared a board on Pinterest for my clients to check out some engagement inspiration that you can find here!
You can find an article I collaborated on with Burnett’s Boards regarding planning your engagement session here!