Wedding Prep Session – the New Engagement Session

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Welcome back to another Wedding Wednesday post and the third in a series on my new wedding photography package (read more about that here and here). Last week I told you all about how I’m a magician who is able to add time to your wedding day (read that here). Today I’m going to share why I now include an engagement session in my standard package and why I’m now thinking of it as a wedding prep session.

After photographing dozens of weddings, I’ve learned that creating a fun, joyful experience along with beautiful images means giving my couples time to practice for their wedding day portraits. I noticed a HUGE difference last year during wedding day portraits between my couples who did an engagement session and those who did not.

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That’s why I’m making the case that the engagement session might as well be renamed a ‘wedding prep session,’ because truly that’s what it is. The engagement session / wedding prep session is an opportunity to practice being in front of the camera with your fiancé, and a great way to really feel comfortable with your photographer.

I noticed that couples who had done an engagement session were able to hit the ground running during portrait time on their wedding day. They were automatically relaxed and knew what to do, and there were no awkward moments, meaning they got beautiful photos and had fun together. I even had one couple say to me multiple times on their wedding day, “thank goodness we did an engagement session with you! Now we already know what we’re doing!”

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Couples who didn’t do an engagement session took more time to warm up in front of the camera (which is totally normal your first time!), and in some cases, by the time they did warm up, portrait time was over because we only had 20 minutes or so. We all still had fun, but I could tell the experience just wasn’t as enjoyable for them as for the couples who did an engagement session. And I want you to have the best experience possible on your wedding day!

On a wedding day, you never know what is going to happen. Rain could be in the forecast and we might have to cram outdoor portraits into a sliver of 10 or 15 minutes. Or your timeline could get thrown off if hair and makeup takes too long, which could also cut into your portrait time. You want to be well prepared for portraits so that you get beautiful natural photos while also enjoying yourself, and that’s why the wedding prep session comes in super handy!

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This year I made it so my standard wedding package comes with an engagement session so that it’s a no-brainer to book it! I know this is going to help my couples feel natural, at ease, and excited for portrait time on their wedding day.

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Check back next week for more ways you can document your marriage in my fourth and final post in this series on my new wedding photography package.


Did this post get you excited to book your own wedding, elopement, or engagement session?! If yes, send me a note and we can chat about what you have in mind: contact me

Hi – I’m Rachel! A wedding, engagements, and headshots photographer in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and northern Virginia. I love taking photos of elegant people who love to laugh, as well as of much in-love couples. If you’re a dog owner, that’s a plus! I’m currently booking 2019 portrait sessions, as well as 2019 and 2020 weddings.

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