Quite often my wedding clients ask me how important I think an engagement session actually is. My answer? Incredibly!
While an engagement session is not required (I offer collections both with and without engagement sessions), I always encourage clients to include one in their wedding collection. Here are a few of the reasons why I find engagement sessions to be worth it.
1) We can put faces to the names (and voices) BEFORE the wedding day!
Most of my clients live outside the state of Maine and have chosen Maine for a destination wedding. Because of the distance, it’s usually impossible for us to meet in person, so we talk on the phone and via email. If they’re coming to Maine at some point in the planning process to test food for their wedding day menu, sample cake flavors, or meet with other vendors, I always suggest planning an engagement session for when they’re here. It allows us to meet face to face and get to know each other, which will make it more comfortable when I walk into the wedding day!
2) It will help you to relax.
It never fails that my clients are nervous for their engagement session. I always suggest making a day of it and stopping for some relaxing drinks before our shoot. An engagement session should be fun and show the two of you having a blast together, so why not have a little date first? A glass of wine is very helpful when it comes to pre-photo session jitters. At the beginning of each session, I ask every client if they’re nervous. Ninety percent of my clients respond that they are. So, we’ll look through your wardrobe options, walk and talk for a while until I sense you becoming more comfortable. I also ease in slowly with posing until I see that you’re having fun and the stress is gone. We’ll talk more about your wedding and I’ll leave the shoot knowing what kind of poses you like and how comfortable you are with PDA. Every couple is different and an engagement session helps me determine how you’d like to be photographed on your wedding day.
3) It will document how excited you are to be engaged!
Getting engaged is the first step in your wedding planning process, so why shouldn’t you have photos to show how excited you are to be starting this journey together? Being newly engaged is just as exciting as being a newlywed, and you should be able to look back on the afterglow of your proposal and see how thrilled you both were to have finally found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with.
4) It’s nice to have professional photos of the two of you in everyday attire.
Of course you want amazing wedding photos that you can print as gallery wraps and display on your walls. You know that years from now, you’ll want to flip through your album and remember everything about that day. However, many couples don’t have photos done together outside of the wedding day. An engagement session allows you to be more casual and showcase your everyday love to your friends and family. They also make for great online profile photos, which many of my clients look forward to having.
5) You can do something completely different!
Chances are the two of you have something fun, or even a little crazy, that you like to do for fun on the weekends. Why not incorporate that into your engagement session? Hiking, sailing, riding horses, dancing, riding hot air balloons…? Hey, it’s completely up to you! I’ve photographed engagement photos on top of a Ferris wheel! Or, you can do something more cozy, like a lifestyle engagement session in your home cooking and drinking cute coffee drinks. The possibilities are endless when it comes to your engagement session.
6) You can visit your wedding site, or somewhere completely new, in an entirely different season.
Quite often my couples decide they want part of their engagement session to take place at their wedding site. Doing this allows you to document your love in not one, but two seasons if you wish! Most of my summer wedding couples choose summer for the warmth, but have their engagement photos done in fall because of the gorgeous foliage and coziness of boots and sweaters. There’s something incredibly romantic about fall engagement sessions. Also, there’s an added excitement to being photographed in the place where you’ll become husband and wife several months down the road.
7) We can walk through your wedding venue together before the wedding.
If you do choose to have your engagement session at your wedding venue, we can walk through the property together. I can make a mental note of perfect photo spots, or the charming characteristics that made you fall in love with the venue in the first place. You can show me the spot you’ve chosen for your ceremony and we can exchange ideas about how to make the wedding day even more amazing.
8) Engagement photos make for great save the dates.
Most couples these days are sending photo save the dates in the form of magnets or postcards. They make for a great keepsake for family and friends, show everyone how excited and happy you are and, if we shot them at your wedding venue, they can give everyone a peek at your wedding site!
9) Engagement photos can be used throughout the wedding as decor.
In addition to save the dates, I’ve seen my clients use engagement photos as table numbers, wall art and as displays throughout the wedding reception. I’ve also seen guest books created out of the couple’s engagement session. Engagement photos make these things more unique and they give guests something to look at during cocktail hour while you’re out being photographed.
10) An engagement session can help you represent where you’re both from, or where you share your life together.
I’ve had brides who were originally from Maine and chose to return to their home state for their wedding day. However, it was really important for their groom to feel like his home was represented in some way as well. The solution? An engagement session in his hometown! Or, maybe a couple has decided to treat their guests to a beautiful Maine destination wedding, but they want the home they share included since it’s such an important part of who they are as a couple. By having your engagement session at home, or nearby where you had your first date, you’ll have sentimental photos for the two of you and give guests a peek at your life together. I have traveled to places like Boston and New York City for my client’s engagement sessions and in the end they were so happy they chose to represent both places.
Since many of my clients travel from other states to have a Maine destination wedding (I have some coming from Texas and California this year!), I know it’s not always possible for us to meet up for an engagement session simply because they won’t be in Maine until the wedding. If it’s at all possible to schedule a trip to Maine during the planning process, or bring me to you, it will be well worth it. If not, don’t worry. I’ll be sure to get as much information from you as I possibly can to make your wedding photographs incredible. ♥