When brides-to- be contact us, sometimes it’s very early in their planning. That’s a great thing!! Most people don’t realize how early bridal teams start booking dates!
Next up.. the age old question… “I have an engagement photo session coming up and I’d love to use that as a trial… could we do that?”
Well, here’s the thing.. this is a multi-faceted situation, so sit down and prepare for a bit of a lengthy answer. I should start with the fact that we are always grateful when someone wants to work with us! BUT, an engagement session (in our opinion), should not serve as the trial to determine if you want to work with an Artist. That’s what reviews and photos are for, right?? For us, you can find our amazing reviews on Wedding Wire OR the Knot and you can visit our Weddings page to select your market and see the work of our Artists! Otherwise, we’ll share several points to think about below, while comparing how different an engagement session and a wedding are.
- Usually engagement sessions are among the first big things planned because you *usually* book your photographer pretty early! Those are usually done for save the dates and such things. At this time, you probably don’t know a whole lot regarding allllllll the other wedding day logistics quite yet. Those logistics are all pieces of the wedding day that help us put together your bridal look later with 100% accuracy!
- Usually your engagement session is not in the same season, nor at the same time as your ceremony will be. This is a big thing to think about! We often get fall engagement sessions for the following Summer brides, or Sunrise engagement sessions when your wedding will NOT be at sunrise. Time of year, time of day, the weather, and the lighting ALL will likely be different enough that doing the session as a “trial” really provides no similar circumstances that you would actually want to test your look in. You look completely different at sunrise than you would at a 4pm ceremony!
- Usually you wear (and we encourage) wearing colored clothing at an engagement session! This is the time to personalize the session to you… wear what makes you feel most confident! VERY different from a wedding dress! Colors reflect light and makeup colors differently than any color of a bridal dress.
- Usually the engagement session attire is more casual. The Bride-to-be often prefers to wear their hair down with waves or something like that (maybe half-up half-down), and that tends to be different from most hairstyles ladies prefer for the wedding day. A very neutral and everyday look tends to be preferred on the makeup end. Brides tend to understand that the wedding day is their chance to look like themselves but stepped up a notch or two! Trying to change between looks on the same day and before photos can create a time crunch.
- Usually your skin is not in the same condition so early in advance as it will be on the wedding day.
- A more everyday, normal engagement shoot look may not be as formal,so the session allows us to get to know you with less pressure! Bridal trials can be stressful for a bride because they have to make decisions that they know they will be looking at in their photos for years to come! Having the engagement shoot breaks the ice with a very pretty look that allows the bride to see how proper makeup should photograph. We use the engagement session photos as a benchmark of what you like, and therefore at the bridal trial, we have some time to play with a bit more drama if you want, or tweak colors, or basically make any adjustments and you feel more comfortable speaking up and doing so without any rush or stress! Bride Lindsay, in photos below, is just one great example of wanting to step up her bridal look with an updo and smokey eyes after her engagement session.
So… when a potential client inquires about this, we in turn, recommend the engagement session serving as an add-on to our bridal package options. I always, always, always let brides know that the purpose is NOT to just tack on more money for no reason, but to instead allow each session as separate time to discuss and plan. With the engagement AND bridal trial sessions and each having their time for us to be successful, the wedding day is more fun because we’ve all spent even more time together!
As always, I’m hoping this was helpful! Our sole purpose here at BFF is to make the planning process as smooth as we can! We look forward to working with you!
All the best,
Kara, Susie & team