If you’re getting married this year, you no doubt have an engagement session to prepare for, too. An engagement session comes bundled in with most wedding photography packages, and is beneficial for both client(s) and photographer. Yes, you read that right! It’s not just for save-the-dates, wedding invitations, or even vanity. The engagement session has a purpose! We teamed up with Erin from Nature’s Grace Photography for some tips to help you get all styled for your fun day!
Do we really need an engagement session? Yes! It may seem cheesy and impractical, but the engagement session is an excellent way for the future Mr. and Mrs. to build a relationship with their photographer, illuminate exactly what the clients are looking for in their photos, and is a nice little pre-wedding practice shoot so that on the big day the bride and groom know exactly what to do when their photographer says “lean and kiss”. This is especially valuable for the groom, who is likely to be uncomfortable during a photo shoot and will be much better prepared for the big day after an engagement session.
Tip from Erin: The session is also an opportunity for you to get photos taken in a more laid back atmosphere. Your wedding day often has a timeline that allows only a certain amount of time for your photos, but the engagement session is a much more relaxed and flexible affair.
So what does an engagement session look like? Now that you understand the purpose of an engagement session, you may be wondering what this is actually going to be like. The length, number of outfits and location are ultimately decided by you and your photographer, but this type of session is usually around two hours in length with 2-3 outfits. Again, this is decided by you and your photographer, so don’t be afraid to voice your questions, concerns, and preferences. Have fun with it!
Tip from Erin: Pick locations that tell a story about you as a couple! If you spend your free time in a park, fantastic. Ask your photographer to help you find locations that are cohesive with your wedding day style. If you are going with industrial chic-rustic-classic-romantic or elegant, this is a great time to pull those styles and colors into your wedding day and onto your wall. Get your groom involved and let him help you pick a location that makes him comfortable!
What is the best type of clothing to wear for my engagement session? Your ideal outfit for any photo session will be simple, flattering, and complementary. For example, it would be ideal to wear natural colors that compliment your skin tone rather your brightest neon-striped bodycon dress. Choose solid colors over patterns (or a pattern that is classic that you will still like in 10 years), natural colors over artificial, and choose styles and colors that complement each other. You don’t have to match, but you do want to look good standing next to each other (you know, you will be doing just a little of that during this session!).
Be practical, be comfortable. Be you! Do you remember that year you tried something new for your school portraits and subsequently hated it? Yeah, that’s probably going to happen if you try something new at your engagement session, too. Be yourself, and wear a style of clothing that you know makes you feel good. This is the time to showcase your best assets! You want your photos to look and feel like you, so do what you know feels good.
Tip from Erin: Mix it up! If your photographer allows you 3 outfits, try 3 different styles. If you are unsure either call your photographer and have them walk you through some ideas, or bring 4 outfits with you and ask for help! I love it when my couples call and chat about this–helping them helps me see their style more clearly, and we photographers have done this a time or two- so ask away! 😉
Don’t forget the accessories! Now, I know, I said be simple. But that doesn’t mean you should forget the classy heels and glamorous jewelry! If dressing up with accessories makes you feel beautiful, by all means, girl! Consider going to get your hair and makeup done- this is a fantastic way to get to know your stylist better, and to feel really beautiful when you show up for your session!
Tip from Erin: Add props y’all! Let’s bring out the bubbly, meet at the baseball field with your gloves, or hike together and then have a picnic. It’s your session- show your story as a couple!
The most important thing to remember is this: don’t stress! Engagement sessions are supposed to be fun! You’ll get some great photos to showcase you and your love, and what truly matters is that the two of you feel special and happy with what you take home. You get to decide what to do with these photos. Use them for your invitations and save-the-dates, display them at your reception, create an album to keep for yourself, or use them for your first holiday cards. This session is for you and you keep the photos forever! So have fun and look forward your engagement session!
Photo Credits: Nature’s Grace Photography