Sounds like congratulations are in order to you and your fiancé! Getting engaged is such a wonderful time in your relationship. The 'will we? won't we?' feeling is taken off the table and you two can finally focus on forever. Plus, all the Instagram posts you saved can finally be rolled out to your fiancé and they can't run away.
While the 'when should we take our engagement photos' question may be top of mind, here are a few other points to discuss with your fiancé to land on the best answer for the two of you.
Should I hire a wedding photographer before taking engagement photos?
As a photographer, my answer is a resounding yes! Research and hire your wedding photographer prior to taking your engagement photos. This is crucial for two reasons.
First, your wedding photographer likely includes a complimentary engagement session within their wedding photography package. Great for your wedding budget, sure. However, this saves you the time it takes to search, inquire, and book a different engagement photographer.
Second, working with your photographer prior to your wedding is the best thing you can do for your wedding day photos. Why is that? You'll get to know your photographer, both personally and professionally. This is like doing a tasting with your caterer or a makeup trial before the big day.
Where should we take our engagement photos?
Ah, a very good question indeed! The answer could be quite lengthy but here's three points you should consider:
Is there a location that you two love to visit or represents your relationship? Maybe it's at a winery where you two had one of your first dates. Maybe you two grew closer with each hike you took and want a spot that represents those experiences.
What season do you want to take your engagement photos? If you're considering a particular location, then think about when that location will look the best. There's also a chance your location may only be open part of the year, as with many historic homes and gardens.
Does your engagement session location require a permit or permission to take photos there? This could affect availability both for your schedule, with your photographer's schedule, and seasonality may affect the
Always use your photographer as a resource! They likely have plenty of experience or some ideas to consider.
Do we need to take engagement photos?
Please tell me your reaction to reading that was something like 'Emily, you can't be serious?!' Because if it was, you're a-ok in my book.
Engagement photos are not a necessity to your engagement. You can absolutely enjoy being an engaged couple without taking engagement photos. BUT, and hear me out, why would you want to forgo documenting this special time?
Soak up all the excitement being engaged can bring. Capture the glow that's radiating from you two each time you snuggle in close. An engagement session is the perfect excuse to capture your love and share these photos with your future generations.
When will we receive our gallery of engagement photos?
Knowing your photographer's answer to this question can absolutely set you both up for success. I get it - you're excited to share your engagement news and photos with the world. Surely your photographer is excited to deliver a beautiful gallery to you as soon as possible.
Ask this question when you're booking your engagement photos or after your session. You'll know what to expect and your photographer will have time to work their magic. Refrain from following up and you'll quickly become your photographer's favorite couple.
Generally, my couples can expect their engagement photos within two to three weeks of their session date.
So...let's circle back to that big question that started this all...
When should we take our engagement photos?
Let's say you've booked your wedding photographer and they'll be taking your engagement photos. There are two more things to consider to make a decision that works best for the two of you:
Length of Engagement
Naturally the length of your engagement will be the primary way to determine how much wiggle room you have to take engagement photos.
18+ Months - essentially you get four seasons before it's time to say 'I do' with plenty of availability ahead of you. Pick out a timeframe that you and your fiancé love, then coordinate a date with your photographer.
12 - 18 Months - my recommendation would be to take your photos no later than six months prior to your wedding day. Then you have flexibility to use the photos for save the dates, a guest book, on your wedding website, etc.
6 - 12 Months - Schedule your engagement photos shortly after booking your wedding photographer. You'll leave some room to work out logistics and prepare for your engagement photos.
Less than 6 months - Book today. Like now. Stop reading, go email your photographer right now!
Overall Vibe & Style
Have you been swooning over some inspiration pics and want to style your engagement photos in a similar fashion? Take that into consideration when scheduling your engagement session. Bundled up in a cozy knit blanket with colorful leaves on the trees? Plan for fall. Winery bound with permission to shoot near the lush vines? Aim for late August or early September if you're in Northern Virginia. Cherry blossoms and petal showers? Early spring is your thing!
About Emily Marcella Photography & This Engagement
Emily Marcella Photography is a Northern Virginia wedding and portrait photographer offering a simply classic style that focuses on sweet moments shared together.
Delaney and John took their engagement photos at historic Oatlands Mansion in Leesburg, Virginia. Delaney was looking for a garden setting for their engagement session and did Oatlands deliver. The sprawling gardens were in bloom on this amazing June evening. We spent nearly two hours together taking photos and getting to know one another. This time with a couple is so important to me because it's our opportunity to connect and work together before the wedding day.
Interested in saving these images as inspiration? Save them on Pinterest.