We’ve noticed a trend in the past year – more of our inquiring couples telling us during our intro call that they “don’t need” an engagement session.
There’s a variety of reasons behind this. Some had friends take some pictures on the same day as their proposal. Other couples scheduled engagement pictures for save-the-dates ahead of time but didn’t immediately start looking for a wedding photographer.
While it’s a personal decision for each couple and circumstance, Rob and I strongly encourage our couples to consider having an engagement session with us before your wedding. Let’s talk about why we feel you should do an engagement session with your wedding photographers ahead of time.
As wedding photographers, we believe your Upper Peninsula engagement session is one of the most important parts of the pre-wedding process for three reasons.
Do An Engagement Session – So We Can Get To Know Each Other
Here’s the process – you inquire about your wedding date. We have an intro call to find out more about you. Then you sign the contract and make things official. While Rob and I love meeting you during that brief call, we don’t really KNOW you. Sure, we may know where you are planning to get ready, what time the ceremony will start, and what you’re looking forward to most about the day. But that’s it.
Your engagement session is the time we really learn who you are – individually and as a couple. We hear more about how you two met, what you appreciate most about each other, and see the difference between a fake smile and a real laugh. Rob and I want to know the silly inside jokes that make you laugh. We want to arrive at your getting ready location ready to support you as best we can – sliding seamlessly in like an old family friend.
It goes both ways, too. When you’ve already met me, I don’t feel like a stranger showing up pointing a camera in front of your face while you’re applying your makeup. You’re excited to introduce me to your favorite aunt (you know you have one) who was such a support to you during college. We can have a normal conversation instead of the stilted conversation you have with someone you’ve just met.
Even if you already had engagement pictures with a family friend, we encourage you to plan for at least a mini session with your actual wedding photographers, as well. It’s about much more than just having pictures to share on Facebook!
An Engagement Session Makes Your Wedding Day Run Smoother
In addition to getting to know each other better before your big day, it gives the two of you a chance to get comfortable in front of our cameras. Let’s face it – unless you’re a professional model by trade, being photographed feels awkward at first! Even when Rob and I had anniversary pictures a couple of years ago – despite being photographers ourselves – we felt a little silly and unsure of what to do.
Let’s make that awkward, unsure phase as short as possible. Having an engagement shoot ahead of time helps you learn how we pose and communicate in a low-stress setting. I hate to break it to you, but here goes. No matter how hard you try, your wedding day is going to be at least a little stressful – there are a lot of moving parts and everyone wants your opinion on how things should go.
When we plan time for your engagement pictures beforehand, you roll into wedding portrait time already knowing what to expect. You will feel more comfortable and confident. Even better, portraits will actually take less time to complete because we don’t have to spend extra time explaining every little detail. While we promise to never rush you on your wedding day, we aim to get as much variety in a short amount of time so you can get back to celebrating with family and friends.
Engagement Portraits Give You Something To Share
Save-the-date cards, your wedding website, a wedding guestbook to sign, and the all-important countdown to the wedding day on Instagram – these are just a few of the ways you can use the portraits we capture during your engagement session.
Additionally, some of our collections include a 16×24 canvas from your engagement shoot to display at your wedding and to hang in your new home after. While you’re going to love decorating your home with pictures from your wedding day, it’s great to have some variety with some pictures in something other than your wedding dress. (Speaking from experience here!)
What If We Don’t Live in the Upper Peninsula?
Many of our couples each year are planning a destination wedding in the Upper Peninsula and don’t actually live in the area. You still can and should do an engagement session! Let’s talk through our options together.
Rob and I have family in the Lower Peninsula. If we’re already planning a trip down to visit family (or shoot another wedding or session) can we coordinate schedules to meet that weekend? That’s what we did with Chaz & Alison, as well as with Luke & Claire!
Now that you know why you should do an engagement session with your wedding photographer, click here for our best recommendations on what to wear for your engagement pictures!