Over the years I’ve shot for people I know well, and for people I don’t know at all. I’ve photographed the weddings of some of my closest & dearest friends, and I’ve shown up at a weddings having never once even *met* the bride and groom. What I have come to realize is that knowing a couple can make a real difference in how relaxed and comfortable everyone feels with each other on that all-important day, and also with the resulting wedding photographs themselves. I’ve learned that whenever possible, it’s best to KNOW the couple- their passions, how they met, what makes them laugh, what makes them tick.
That is why at the start of 2014 I decided to include Free Mini-Engagement Sessions with all my Wedding Packages. This 30-60 minute outdoor session not only gets you some bangin’ photographs to mark a super exciting time in your life (your engagement! hello!), but more importantly, it gives us the chance to get a feel for each other. Laugh, share insecurities, make an inappropriate joke, break the ice, be real. So that when I roll up on the morning of your wedding day, while the bride is in her underwear with her hair half done and one false-eyelash hanging off, we can laugh about it like two friends and keep on trucking.
Occasionally I get inquiries from folks who are in the early stages of wedding planning, and they are wondering if they can perhaps get a bit of a discount if they “waive the Engagement Session”. Or, could they maybe just “give the session to a Family member who just had a new baby”, etc etc? All understandable questions for a couple for doesn’t want/need/have time for a pre-wedding photo shoot! However, for the reasons listed above– because I find working together once before your big day SO beneficial to everyone involved, my answer to these understandable inquiries is no. No, I can’t give you a discount if you don’t want it. No, you can’t pass the session onto a friend or family member. No, you can’t trade the 1 hour engagement for an extra hour of wedding coverage. It’s just for you, and just for your engagement.
Your wedding day is one of the most intense, stressful, magical, beautiful, emotional, crazy, incredible days of your life, and your photographer is going to be within 20ft of you for 90% of it. Don’t you want to KNOW who your photographer is, as a human being? Don’t you want him/her/their team to know, really know, who YOU are?
Do the engagement session, folks! And if, for whatever reason, you just can’t do the engagement session, at least meet your photographer for a couple of drinks and appetizers* somewhere. Get to know them, and let them get to know you. It’ll show up in your Wedding Photos.
* Wanderlust Photography happily offers “drinks & appetizers” dates to all Wedding Clients. Hell– I’ll go on a drinks & appies date with just about anyone, anytime for that matter! Holla!