When Should We Do Our Engagement Session?

stunning sunrise engagement photos in front of the washington monument

Timing Your Engagement Sessions So You Can Use the Photos in Your Save the Date

If you recently got engaged, I’m sure your head is swimming with ideas and all of the things you need to do to prepare for your big day! But before you start thinking about place settings or centerpieces, you have to think about sending out save the dates to your friends and family.

While it’s not completely necessary to send out formal save the date cards (as long as you tell your friends and family, of course!), it’s pretty much become industry standard to mail something out so that people have a reminder.

Typically you’ll hear wedding professionals recommended that save the dates be sent out at least six to eight months before your wedding day if you’re getting married near home, or eight to twelve months prior for a destination wedding.

Sites such as Pixieset (my gallery system!!) and Minted have made it easier than ever to personalize your save the dates to fit your style as a couple, and one of the most common ways I see engagement photos used is for this purpose!

But, if you have to send out save the dates six to eight months ahead of time, when should you schedule your engagement session? Let’s break it down!

10-12 Months OutBook wedding photographer; schedule your
engagement session within 1 month of booking
10 Months OutBook Hair & Makeup Artist; Choose Outfits
9 Months OutYour engagement session date!
8 Months OutReceive your full online engagement photo
gallery! (Note: a full edited gallery from me may
take up to 3 weeks to complete!)
8 Months OutOrder Save the Dates!
6-8 Months OutMail Save the Dates
6-8 Weeks OutMail Invitations
2 Weeks OutFinal Headcount to Venue/Catering
0 Days Out!Your Wedding Day!!

As you can see, there are a few factors to consider when booking your engagement session:


After you book your photographer, within the first few weeks of paying your deposit to secure their services, you should start talking about your engagement session. Photographers will reach out with their availability, but it will likely be two to three months before they have an opening.

bethesda wedding photographer, maryland wedding photographer, arlington va wedding photographer, dc wedding photographer, garden engagement photos

Plan & Prep

You need enough time to plan for your engagement session. I always recommend that my couples book professional hair and makeup artists for their engagement sessions. Professionals know how to make you look your best on camera and really flatter your features! You’ll also need time to plan outfits and go shopping if you need to add something new to your closet just for the session.

Photo Editing

After your actual engagement session (where we’ll have a blast getting to know each other!), your photographer will need a few weeks to prepare your gallery. Editing photos can take longer than you think because we want to make sure they look perfect for you.

Design & Ordering

Once you have your gallery and have picked out your favorites, you’ll need some time to pick out a design for your save the dates. When you have designed something perfect and place your order, you also have to wait some time before they are actually delivered to your front doorstep.

You can even order your save the dates straight through the online gallery system I use! Learn more about that here: Ordering Cards Through Your Gallery

Engagement sessions are such a fun part of the wedding photography experience. You’ll be married for years but engaged for only a short amount of time, so these photos will be precious so you can remember this special season of your relationship.

Want to check out some of my all-time favorite engagement sessions? Visit these posts!

Crabby Engagement Session | Jane & Brian

Thomas Jefferson Memorial Engagement Session | Andrew & Ari


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *