A question I have been asked by a surprising amount of brides and grooms is "Do we HAVE to have an engagement session?". (Usually this is the groom's request to skip it, but occasionally the bride too)
And my short answer to that question is...YES!
Not because I am bossy, but because I care. <3
Then the follow up is usually, "but won't it be awkward?!?!"... And the short answer to that question is yes... but then no. I know, that makes no sense. Yet! It will be awkward for the first 10 minutes or so. Then you will feel more comfortable and natural as time goes on and you get all of that awkwardness out of the way before your wedding day!
You will never look back and say, "Gee, I really wish we never had that engagement session."
In fact, you will be glad you did it and here are 8 reasons why:
1. The session helps you prepare for your wedding day. Tell me something. How often do you get directed on how to pose in front of a camera with your love? Pretty much never, right? And it will take a little practice to get used to it all. Your engagement session is sort of like practice, so that you will rock all those poses on your wedding day. If you are into logistics and timelines, this practice session will help save time on your wedding day! It's true! When my couples have had and engagement session with me, on their wedding day I can refer to specific poses by saying remember the pose where you do such-and-such and they immediately move into the pose versus me having to show them step by step because they are already pros at it!
2. This session will also help you get comfortable with your photographer so that they become more like a friend and less like a vendor. Which you will appreciate on your wedding day! The more familiar you are with one another, the easier your day will flow. Your photographer will be with you ALL day, so you need to be totally comfortable with them.
3. You are going to end up with some really fabulous images that you can use for all sorts of things and your family will LOVE seeing them all! After the session you have images for wedding websites, save-the-dates, guest books, Facebook, reception decor, wedding day slideshows, prints for your walls, etc!
4. It is like a fun date night, so go all out! Get your hair and make up done and make a whole night of it. Spend an hour or two getting your picture taken together and then go get dinner and have a night out on the town. Celebrate your love! Take the time to savor this chapter of your relationship.
5. Number 4 sort of touched on this, but celebrate who you are as a couple for this session. Think about the location and try to make it something meaningful for you both! Have FUN with this! Maybe you two are avid readers and want to plan a themed session around your favorite books... OR maybe you both LOVE ice cream, so your session needs to take place at an ice cream stand..... OR you love the beach and walks during sunset... you get the idea. Plan something that you will really look forward to and that feels like you. It will make the idea of an engagement session less intimidating.
6. If you have booked your wedding photographer, chances are your wedding collection includes a complimentary engagement session so you shouldn't throw away that opportunity! You would never throw away several hundred dollars, so don't throw this investment away. It is too important.
7. If you plan to have kiddos, they will LOVE these images when they get old enough to appreciate them. They will want to see what their parents looked like way-back-when.
8. Lastly, it won't be anywhere near as bad as you are thinking. I have had SO many grooms that come into this session thinking it will be awful and then they actually have a GOOD time! I know, ... what?!?! They are actually smiling and laughing before they know it. Your photographer will make you as comfortable as they can and you will be in very good hands. So trust them. Do the session.
Preserve your memories lovebirds!
Ask any of my brides that did an engagement session how it went. Ask them if they regret it... I bet I already know the answer. ;)