I often receive this question from my couples right after they book me: When is the right time to schedule my engagement session? So I thought it would be helpful to note 3 important things to think about when answering that question because honestly, you could do it any time between when you book and the wedding day. But based off of your answers, it will help you narrow down the perfect day! Number one thing though is: Get your engagement session scheduled ASAP!
Our calendars fill up quickly throughout the year!
So, your wedding photographer is booked, and you just checked another thing of your list! Congrats! But one of the things they might mention is about scheduling your engagement session. Up until now, you may not have thought too much about the exact date, just that you wanted one. Well, work through these next three questions, and by the end you should have the dates narrowed down pretty well!
Have you scheduled your engagement session yet?
The first thing to consider is if you are planning to use any of the photos from the session on your save-the-dates. If yes, that plays a big role in how far out you need to schedule the engagement session from your wedding day. Save-the-dates should typically be sent out six to eight months prior to your big day. Taking into account the editing your photographer will need to do after the session and the time for you to design, I typically tell me couples to plan their session no later than seven months prior to the wedding. That gives you enough time to send out the save-the-dates six months beforehand, but if you have a lot of out-of-town guests, you may want to consider doing it even farther out. Either way, remember this is only if you are planning to use those photos on your save-the-dates; if not, you can do the session closer to the wedding day if you would like.
So step one: Will you be using the photos on your save-the-dates?
Step two: What season do you want your engagement session photos to take place in?
The next thing to consider is, depending on how long your engagement is, which season so you want your photos take during. Maybe you love the snow, or you love the summers at the beach. That can help determine the setting for your session. Also, you could think of it as your wedding may be in the spring, so for your engagement session, you may want to do fall photos, so you have a lot of variety. It is totally up to you, but knowing that will help your photographer narrow down what months to plan the session during. There are so many factors seasonally that you can base it around, so consider that when you start thinking about your engagement session date.
Step three: Take into account when sunset time is during the season you are hoping to have your engagement session in.
Finally, once you have it narrowed down to a month or two, then consider the sunset time. Depending when it is, you may have to watch out for daylight savings or the session being earlier in the evening. All of these considerations may help determine the exact day that would work best for you and your schedule. My only note is: Photographers’ weekends book up really fast due to weddings, so take that into consideration as well. You may have to be open to a weekday and potentially needing to take off work early. Are there any evenings in a week that you absolutely can’t do? Just as a rule of thumb, most photographers like to start the session 1.5-2 hours before the sunset time.
Once you have all of these three points considered, you and your photographer should be able to nail down a date that works best for everyone. Then it is time to start planning for the session! Head to my blog post all about my Ten Tips for Picking Your Engagement Session Outfits, to help you get started! Then just get excited for a time to be all dressed up with your soon-to-be hubby and also to get to know your photographer even better!
I hope this all helps as you decide when to schedule your engagement session!
XOXO ~ Heather Marie
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