Well typically after you get engaged. Ok just kidding. After 20 plus years of bride chasing – I have yet to discover a rule that says ‘your engagement session must be done between week x and week y’. When couples ask me this question, I turn things around and ask my couples a few questions back:
What season would you like the photos to be taken in? Date availability and production schedules can affect time lines at different points in the year. Winter sessions can often be turned around in as little as 24 hours. During peak wedding season – plan early or you may need to wait a few weeks for an available shoot date, and be prepared to wait a few days longer for images to be edited during busy season. Fall is typically our busiest season fyi. If you are getting married in early October, and think it will be great to wait until the end of September for your e-session, don’t be surprised if the only available time slot left is 6:30 am on a Tuesday morning. Just saying…
Do you plan to display the e-session photos at the wedding? Plan enough lead time for the shoot – plus a rainy day back up date, editing & delivery time, plus time to shop for the perfect frame & assemble before you pop it on the guest table at the wedding. It probably takes about a week from shoot to framed photos – worst case scenario, for a simple framed image.
Are you planning to custom frame? Or create a guest signature album? Factor in the production time for these types of products. Our in house album design lead time is 3 – 4 weeks for the album design alone, and then expect about 3 weeks for printing & binding. And that is after you have taken the time to select your fav images from the collection. Plan for three months pre wedding for these types of products to play it on the safe side.
E-session images are great to use on save the date cards, wine labels, wedding programs, at showers, on wedding websites, (birthday & Christmas gifts etc). If you are thinking of using your photos for any of these products, then lets get started. The sooner we create these images, the better you can incorporate them into your wedding plans.
But at the end of the day – it is up to you when to schedule the session. We have done e-sessions 2-3 years before the big day, and also the day before the wedding. And one time 2 weeks after the wedding, believe it or not… What ever makes you happy works for us!