When it comes to planning your wedding, the first two vendors that are normally booked, are the venue and the wedding photographer because, depending on the time of year you want to be married, they tend to book out 12-15 months in advance. Here in Alabama, the most popular wedding months are May, June, and October; so, if you are wanting to be married in those months, you'll need a longer engagement to plan. However, some less popular months may only need 6-9 months advance notice to book. Your engagement timeline, will ultimately determine when you should take your engagement photos. If you're wanting a long engagement of 2-3 years, then you'll probably not have such a hard time booking what you want. Typically, it is a good idea to schedule (not necessarily take) engagement photos within 1-2 months of the proposal. Every relationship has its own timeline though, so don't feel like this is a rule you HAVE to follow, but is really more of a guideline to help you along your wedding planning journey.
Do I even need to take engagement photos?
Engagement photos document how your relationship grows over time. They are important photo memories that you will look back on and see how you and your partner's relationship has changed and developed into something new. If you do take engagement photos, they will likely be the most used images during your wedding journey and also the foundational images of the beginning of your marriage. That being said, they are not a necessity for every couple. For some, they simply don't fit in the budget, and for others, they may hold on to memories in a different way. For most, the opportunity to create lasting photo memories is too tempting to pass up. Another good reason to take engagement photos, is that it gives you a chance to work with your photographer and hair and makeup artist before the big day. If you've decided to go forward with booking engagement photos, then you now have to decide when you should take your engagement photos.
WHEN YOU SHOULD TAKE YOUR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS, GENERAL GUIDELINES
- Most engagement photo sessions are taken 6-12 months before the wedding day. Some couples are bursting at the seams to announce their engagement, so they may opt to schedule them for sooner rather than later. Other couples in longer engagements, may decide to wait until just before they need to send out their save the dates or invitations.
- Make sure you account for plenty of time for the photos to be delivered from your photographer and printer. It takes time after the session has wrapped up for the photographer to upload, cull, edit, and deliver your engagement photos. Leave ample time to have the photos printed and shipped to you as well.
- Try to plan your engagement photo session during seasons you like. If you get engaged in November and you hate the cold, then it may be a good idea to schedule your engagement photo session during the spring or summer, when it will be warmer and more romantic. Others may prefer the intimacy and coziness of winter sessions. If you have a specific vision for what you want to wear or how the photos will look, then consider your surroundings when planning the photo session.
- Communicate your engagement timeline with your photographer. If you know exactly or roughly when you want your photos taken, then you need to let your photographer know as soon as possible. More than likely, you are not the photographer's only client. And so, they will need to check their availability to make sure that they can accommodate your requests. This also goes for if you know the deadline that you need to send save the dates or invitations out by, then you can work with the photographer to make sure that you can get the final product out by that time.
- Try booking a surprise proposal package. Some couples love the idea of capturing the proposal when it happens. This is a great opportunity to sneakily capture a huge moment in your relationship, and use as a chance to do your engagement photos at the same time. If you want your photos as soon as possible, then you should take your engagement photos at the same time as your proposal. Tell your significant other that you want to take couples photos to document your relationship, and surprise them with a gorgeous set up and ready-to-go photographer.
FIND THE RIGHT COUPLES PHOTOGRAPHER FOR YOUR ENGAGEMENT JOURNEY
When you've just gotten engaged, there are so many emotions swirling around. You'll feel elated, excited, and oh so happy, but you may also feel a little anxiety and stress mounting about the wedding planning process. Don't get too caught up asking yourself when you should take your engagement photos. Try to enjoy the moment as much as you can and live in that bliss while putting together your wedding day plans. Your photographer is a resource that can help make things easier for you and guide you along your journey. All you have to do is contact them today!