Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Do You Need An Engagement Session?

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Q:  I’m checking out wedding photographers and some of them include an engagement session in their wedding packages.  Do I need an engagement session?  Is it actually necessary?  What’s the purpose of an engagement session?  Just more photos?

So the short answer to your question is no.  You don’t need an engagement session.  It is not necessary at all.  But, an engagement session does serve a few purposes.

The first is a chance for you to get more photos.  Some people don’t really need it, but if all you have are selfies (be honest), then it can be nice to have nice photos.  It’s also nice to have nice photos of you not in your wedding gear.

And what’s fun about an engagement session is you can do it in places that mean something to you.  Maybe it’s your favorite coffee shop or neighborhood or hike.  Or maybe it’s just in your own home.  You can also be totally silly.  It’s a chance to express more about your personalities and likes and get photos that reflect that.

The second is that it’s also very useful.  You can use your engagement photos for your save the dates or wedding invitations.  You can use them for your guest book or just to show at your wedding.  If you need a new business photo, you can possibly use it for that too.

But, the third and real purpose of an engagement session is practice.  Taking photos with your photographer before your wedding day gives you practice.  It lets you get used to being in front of the camera.  Because most of us are not photogenic or comfortable in front of the camera.  This is an opportunity to get more comfortable with it.

And specifically, this allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera with your wedding photographer.  The more comfortable you feel with them, the better your wedding photos will turn out.  So, think of your engagement session as a dry run.

It’s a chance for everyone to get to know each other and get comfortable.  It’s a chance to see photos and point out things you like and don’t like.   All so that when your wedding day arrives, it’s easy and relaxing.

But it’s your call whether or not you want to do the engagement session (and when to take your photos).  And remember, it’s not necessary.  But, if getting practice or using them for other purposes appeals to you, then go for it!  At the very least it’s a fun time with your fiancé and that’s always a good thing.

An engaged couple taking photos at their engagement session with their photographer at the De Young Museum in San Francisco

(Photo credit: Kate Webber)

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