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!
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!
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!).
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.
A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and it can be hard to know where to begin. Grab this free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day!