When Should We Schedule Our Engagement Session?

Emi Rose Studio | Rochester Wedding Photographer | Canandaigua Engagement Session

You’re engaged! The ring’s officially on your finger, you have a wedding season (if not a solid date) picked out, your eyes are glued to Pinterest for about 80% of the day, and you’re ready to think about engagement photos! (P.S. if you’re undecided about whether to make time for an engagement session, head on over to my previous post about why engagement sessions are so darn important).

The next question is, of course, when over the course of the next 1-2 years of blissful engagement should you schedule your engagement session? I get asked this question all the time, so I’ve pulled together the biggest considerations on engagement session timing so that you can make sure that you not only get some amazing images to celebrate your love and excitement, but that you have them in time for any of the major engagement milestones that you could need them for!

Emi Rose Studio | Rochester Wedding Photographer | Canandaigua Engagement Session

Question #1: How do you plan to use your engagement photos?

This is probably the biggest thing you’ll need to consider when you’re deciding on when to do an engagement session. Here are some of the most common ways that I’ve seen my brides and grooms use their images, and the timelines that I would recommend to meet each one!

Do you plan to use your engagement photos for engagement announcements or engagement party invitations?
Do you want to submit a photo to a local newspaper to shout your big plans from the rooftops?
Are you just SUPER excited about this next step in life and simply can’t wait to celebrate?
Then think about scheduling your session within the first month of getting engaged.

Do you plan to use an engagement photo for save the dates?
Do you want to include your engagement photos in the design of your wedding website?
Then I’d recommend scheduling your session at least 8-10 months out from your wedding.

Have you decided on your wedding photographer and want to get to know them a bit before your wedding day?
Are you looking for a way to celebrate your engagement, reconnect, and commemorate this chapter of life?
Then think about scheduling a session about 6 months out from your wedding.

Do you plan to submit a photo and wedding announcement to a local newspaper? (Note: Check with your local paper for guidelines – some have specific formatting requirements, and some require submissions as soon as six weeks before the big day)
Then you’ll want to have your engagement photos taken no later than 3 months prior to your wedding. 

Is your wedding right around the corner? Are you close to the finish line and worrying that you’ve missed out on the engagement session fun?
Are you realizing that you’d like some great photos to include on wedding day programs, on favors, or in your guest book?
Then it’s not too late to fit an engagement session in as late as 1 month before your wedding!



Question #2: What season is best for your engagement session?

This is a personal choice that will have a lot to do with your style, your wedding season, and the kinds of memories that you’ll want to capture in your engagement photos!

Let’s say your wedding is in June, and you’re thinking of scheduling your engagement session about 6 months out. That puts you smack in the middle of December, which could be wonderful for a cozy holiday session or a winter wonderland look. But if you want to use those images for your springtime wedding decor, you might prefer something a little warmer! If that’s the case, think about having your engagement photos taken a few months earlier to take advantage of the late summer sunshine or fall foliage.

Think also about potential locations for your engagement session! If you dream of having your photos taken at the ice cream parlor where you had your first date, or in a canoe at your favorite lake, weather can be a little limiting – I want to help you tell your story, so let’s work together to make sure the timing of your session lets your story shine! (That being said, a cozy winter ice cream session sounds absolutely magical – if you’re into it, get in touch!).

Question #3: What is your availability?

Life is busy! On top of wedding planning, you and your soon-to-be-spouse are probably working, traveling for work, visiting friends, and (hopefully) taking time for a vacation or getaway. Look at your calendars and see if there are any months that absolutely DON’T work to fit in an engagement session, or if you have any windows of time that you can lock down now to make sure life doesn’t get away from you!

Your photographer’s travel time is also a consideration – if you’re not located in upstate New York, I’m happy to come to you and take some magical photos! Just be sure you give me enough advance notice so that I can be sure to carve out time for you and make my travel plans.


Emi Rose Studio | Rochester NY Wedding Photographer | Canandaigua Lake Engagement Session


Check out the Emi Rose Studio engagement gallery, or book your engagement session today!

Emi Rose Studio | Rochester Wedding Photographer | Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer | New York Wedding Photographer


5 Reasons Not to Skip the Engagement Session

Emi Rose Studio | Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer | 5 Reasons Not to Skip the Engagement Session

Every couple wants amazing wedding photos. A start to finish documentary of your wedding day, told in fine art images, is almost as much of a requirement these days as an officiant or a reception venue! The engagement session, though, remains a bit of a question for some couples. Why do an engagement session? Can you fit it into your schedule? Is it worth paying for? Will you (or more likely, your future groom) feel weird in front of the camera?

I feel so strongly about the value of the engagement session that I include it as a complimentary offering in every wedding package. It’s a core piece of the Emi Rose Studio wedding experience, and I truly wouldn’t want any of my couples to miss out!

Spenser and I had engagement portraits taken shortly after we got engaged, and I’m telling you – they’re still my favorite photos of the two of us. Our wedding photos are beautiful, and I’ll treasure them forever, but there’s something about the casual excitement and just-the-two-of-us happiness in our engagement photos that will always have my heart.

Here are just a few of the reasons – both sentimental and practical – that I think the engagement session is such an important part of your whole wedding process!

Emi Rose Studio | Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer | 5 Reasons Not to Skip the Engagement Session

1. A moment to reconnect

Wedding planning can be stressful! I’ve been there. Between touring venues, making (and remaking) guest lists, choosing attire and decor, and the thousand little “to-dos” that pop up in the planning process, it can be easy to lose sight of the romance. Engagement portraits give you a chance to take an afternoon off from your to do list, focus on each other, and celebrate the reason behind it all.

2. A chance to celebrate your story

The engagement session is an amazing opportunity to show what makes you YOU. Maybe we’ll go to the spot that you two had your first date, or the ice cream parlor where you first said “I love you.” Maybe we’ll head to your favorite hiking trail. Maybe we’ll bring your violin, or your canoe, or your dog! My favorite sessions are often those in which couples show off some aspect of their unique personality. We kicked off Meaghan and Brian’s engagement session at the Skaneateles Bakery, where they had their first date. Caroline and Matt’s dreamy e-session included their spunky Border Collie, Scout, who pretty much stole the show.

Whereas your wedding photos will tell the story of the wedding day, engagement photos are often a perfect way to tell the story of you, and in my book, that’s really what this is all about.

Emi Rose Studio | Rochester Wedding Photographer | Charlotte Beach Engagement Session

Emi Rose Studio | Rochester Wedding Photographer | Charlotte Beach Engagement Session

3. A chance to get comfortable in front of the camera

Let’s just face it. On some level, every single person is worried about how we  might look in front of the camera or how bad we might feel they we at “posing.” The engagement session is the perfect way to dispel this kind of negative self-talk before your wedding day! I want every couple to walk into their wedding day feeling confident that their real, most beautiful self will shine through in every photo, without feeling the pressure of being a world-class model. I find that one of the best ways to do this is to have an engagement session, so that you can get comfortable with taking pose prompts and with acting natural in front of the camera. Once you two see how much you love their engagement photos, even if you felt self-conscious as the photos were being taken, the wedding day tends to be a lot less stressful.

4. An opportunity to get to know your photographer

We’re going to spend a lot of time together on your wedding day, and instead of feeling like you have a clingy vendor following you around, I’d prefer you to feel like I’m just another friend hanging out at the wedding! During your engagement session, you will get to know my style and how I interact with clients during a photoshoot, so that you know just what to expect on your wedding day.

For me, it is so important to get a sense of your personalities and your dynamic as a couple before the wedding day. I’ll take note of how you interact with each other, how you make each other smile, and how you make each other laugh, so that on your wedding day, I know how to capture those little moments that could only happen between the two of you.

Emi Rose Studio - Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer, Skaneateles, NY Engagement Session

5. Amazing photos to celebrate this time in your lives

You probably have some cute photos of the two of you already, but there is really no replacement for professional, romantic photos of the two of you for things like newspaper announcements, your wedding website, and save the dates! (P.S. Check out my blog post on when to schedule your engagement session if you’re curious about how to schedule your photos, announcements, and save the dates!).

I love photographing engagement sessions because I love photographing love, and there’s something about the ease and happiness of two people just being together that makes this whole engagement process a joy to photograph. I love it SO much, I’ve made it a complimentary part of each wedding package at Emi Rose Studio, so really – why NOT?


Check out the Emi Rose Studio engagement gallery, or book your engagement session today!

Emi Rose Studio | Rochester Wedding Photographer | Finger Lakes Wedding Photographer | New York Wedding Photographer