For Brides: Why You Should do an Engagement Session

Kingwood wedding photographer - Why you should have engagement portraits taken by your wedding photographer

One thing I commonly hear from brides as they are planning their wedding and weighing options for photography is the question “Do we really need engagement photos?” Often times, engagement photos can be seen as just an extra cost – I strongly disagree!

Now, I’m not here to tell you you absolutely have to have them or your wedding/marriage won’t be a success. That’d be ridiculous.

I am here, however, to tell you the reasons why I think you should WANT to have engagement photos taken.

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1. Yes, it’s nice to be able to have a great, professional image of you and your fiancé to use on your save the dates if you’re sending them out. Definitely a plus and sets the tone for your wedding – especially if the images look great AND capture the spirit of your relationship.

2. Getting professional portraits taken isn’t something that many of us do regularly throughout the year. For some people, the last real portraits they have are from their graduation, or from being a part of a friend/family member’s wedding. Getting high quality images that highlight this incredible time in your lives is of value. You’ll be able to look back at these years from now and remember the excitement, joy & love that filled this crazy season of wedding planning. Bonus: you’ll have great portraits of you at this age in something other than wedding attire!

3. Wedding planning can be stressful. (If you’re feeling that now, take a second to click through my To the Newly Engaged series… Seriously, I’ll wait.) Taking some time out for the two of you to be together and not be talking about color palates, seating charts or bridal party gifts is of value. You get to just take some time to really focus on each other, have some fun & enjoy yourselves!

4. When I get to spend the extra time with you during the engagement shoot, it allows me to get to know you better. While this may not seem like a huge deal to some brides & grooms to know your wedding vendors & for them to know you, in the case of your photographer, it is so important! Of all the vendors you select for your day, as the photographer, I am the person who is with you the most. I want my brides & grooms to be comfortable with me being by your side, and knowing that I’m there for y’all as your begin your marriage.

5. Most importantly, getting engagement photos done gives you the chance to become comfortable in front of my camera. If you’ve gone through an hour or two of taking photos with me, you’ll already be familiar with some of the poses & the way I will guide you/talk you through things during the bride & groom portraits. This eliminates the “awkward phase” that happens on pretty much every shoot from your wedding day photos!

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So as you select your wedding photography package, I hope you get excited about including an engagement session!

I’d love it if you would take a second to share this post with one person you know who could benefit from it!

For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: 

For Brides: The First Look

Kingwood wedding photographer - Why you should include first look portraits in your wedding day timeline

Choosing to do a “first look” is definitely something that’s gained a lot of traction in the wedding industry lately, but I still think there is some confusion or some concern about whether it is the right choice as brides are planning their wedding day. While I whole-heartedly believe that each bride & groom needs to make the choice that best fits them as a couple, I do think that the first look is a GREAT option for a variety of reasons!!

As a bride myself, I have to admit I was a little nervous about how the first look would impact that moment of walking down the aisle – would it still be as special if Max had already seen me prior to that moment?  Ultimately my photographer side won out and I decided that having the extra time in our wedding day timeline for portraits was really important to us, and we went for it. And y’all, I can’t tell you enough how glad I am that we did it, but mostly for reasons I didn’t expect…

Nacogdoches wedding photographer post for brides about wedding day first look

I tell brides all the time that our first look ended up being one of my favorite parts of our day. Yes, getting to just focus on Max and our reactions to seeing each other was great, but really, that was such a special time because it was the only time we were alone pretty much all day! You’re surrounded by family & friends all day, and often you don’t have much time to just be together. The first look was a chance for us to just have time with one another, and it also allowed for us to have more time alone later in the day because we could get a lot of our wedding party photos done pre-ceremony.

Getting to get gorgeous golden hour bride & groom portraits, PLUS being able to sneak away in our first moments of being husband and wife? Loved it.

Nacogdoches wedding photographer post for brides about wedding day first look

Another thing I didn’t really think about was the way that getting to see Max helped me kind of settle into the day. There are so many emotions flying around, and seeing Max helped me feel grounded and able to really just soak in our wedding day. That was definitely a bonus I didn’t really expect! I know this has also been helpful for any grooms (or brides for that matter!) who may not be too big on being the center of attention – getting that time with their soon-to-be-spouse eases nerves & makes things so much more enjoyable for them!

As for the fear of not having that amazing coming-down-the-aisle moment, I think this photo can clear up some of those worries! There’s nothing that can take away from the moment of walking down the aisle to your forever, and when the groom sees his bride walking through their family & friends on her way to him, it’s an incredible moment – regardless of whether it’s the first time he’s seen you!!

Nacogdoches wedding photographer post for brides about wedding day first look

So of course, as a photographer I love that the first look gives some breathing room in the timeline so my brides & grooms can relax a little more.

Of course I LOVE that it allows for more portrait time.

Of course I love getting to get great photos of that initial reaction of the groom seeing his beautiful bride.

But most of all, I love what it does for my brides & grooms as they start their marriage. Because after all, the wedding is about the beginning of a life, not just the party or the dress. And those moments together to really cherish what’s happening, those are my favorites. 

For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: 

For Brides: Wedding Day Details

Kingwood wedding photographer - wedding details you should have ready for your photographer

When people think of wedding photography, they tend to think of bride & groom portraits, ceremony shots, first dance photos, etc., and rightfully so! Those are some of the key parts of the day and priorities for photographs.

But something less commonly thought of would be the details (especially the bride & groom’s personal details), and I just think they don’t get the credit they deserve!

The details are what make up the day – and they’re also such a great way to remember the way the day felt, and to really be able to see the full story of the day through your photographs! To remember the perfume you wore, the delicate pattern of the lace on your veil, the perfectly-designed invitation suite you sent out to loved ones to invite them to stand witness to the beginning of your forever.

Nacogdoches photographer images of bridal wedding details

Wedding day details have such great potential to be a place where the bride & groom can really bring their personalities into their wedding celebration, and it’s a great opportunity to highlight what’s most important to them.

For example, for me, family is everything so I had the first piece of jewelry my grandmother received from my grandfather wired into my bouquet, along with the lace trim of my mother’s wedding dress wrapping the stems. I am so incredibly grateful to have beautiful pictures to remember exactly how that looked since those flowers are long gone now. I will be able to take those photos & show my girls when they get older & ask about our wedding, or even as they plan their own.

Be sure to communicate with your photographer about any personal touches and sentimental details like that so they can be sure to get photos of them for you! This is included in the pre-wedding questionnaire I have each of my couples fill out because it is so important to me to honor those things for my brides & grooms! (Plus I love that it allows me to get to know my brides even better as they fill me in on the personal stories behind the special touches they’ve planned!!!)

Nacogdoches photographer images of bridal wedding details

Here are a few of the things I would suggest having on hand and ready for your photographer as they arrive:

  • Bridal accessories (shoes, jewelry, hair piece/veil, heirloom pieces, bouquet, rings, etc.)
  • Invitation suite (these tend to get lost post-wedding, so having a good photo of it is important!)
  • Letters or gifts you are exchanging with your soon-to-be spouse
  • Your perfume or cologne bottle
  • Any photos or mementos of lost loved-ones
  • Groom/groomsmen’s boutonnieres
  • Groom’s accessories (watch, cuff links, tie, shoes, etc.)

For more in the For Brides series, check out these posts: