Planning your engagement session

I love to have an engagement session with couples prior to their wedding. It gives us a chance to get to know each other, which is so important for their big day. Engagement sessions give my couples an idea of how I work – posing, changing lenses, terrible Laffy Taffy/dad jokes – so that their wedding day is smooth sailing.

But when should you plan your engagement session? How soon after you’re engaged or how close to the wedding? And the answer really depends on your personal preferences to be honest. I like to have them at least two or three months before the wedding so that we aren’t trying to get it done in the midst of all the end of the line wedding prep. 

Do you want pictures for your save the dates?

If you want pictures for your save the dates, we will need to plan your engagement session at least six to seven months before your wedding. This way we can have the session, I will get it edited and a gallery sent to you, and save the dates can be ordered and mailed 4 to 6 months before your big day. 🙂 You will have a print release, so you can order them from wherever you’d like, or if you would like me to design and order them for you, I can do that as well!

Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips

Is the season important to you?

Some with longer engagements want their photos in the fall if their wedding will be the next fall. Others want the opposite season, engagement in fall if the wedding is in the spring or vice versa. 

For Justin and I, we waited until spring to do our engagement session because we wanted to have nice weather. Don’t get me wrong, winter sessions can be fun and just as beautiful as other seasons, but it was just our preference. We were engaged in the fall of 2016, and decided that warmer weather was what we wanted. It is up to the couple to ultimately decide, but I am always happy to answer questions or give suggestions.

Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips

If the time is important because you need to get off work, or you plan to hire hair and make up, it will vary depending on the time of year. For engagement sessions scheduled between September through November and April through May, the time will change often due to the changing sunrise and sunset for those parts of the year. I aim for two hours before sunset or two hours after sunrise.  

For sessions scheduled June through August, we will usually start those around 6:30 p.m., unless you want a sunrise session. If the area you want your session in usually has a lot of foot traffic, a sunrise session starting around 6 a.m. would be what I recommend.. If that is 

For outdoor sessions December through March, we will get the best light between 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Unless we are taking photos inside, then the earlier the better to get as much light in those windows as possible! 

Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips

When choosing outfits… 

  1. Don’t try to match. Instead pick outfits that coordinate. A great tool for this is Style & Select, and I will send you a link when you book. 
  2. Make sure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. It shows in the photographs if you’re uncomfortable or fidgeting with your clothes the whole time.
  3. You can choose more than one outfit, and some couples go with one dressy outfit and one that is a bit more casual. 

But most importantly when preparing, don’t forget to have fun! You’re getting married, and we should celebrate that!!!

Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips

Want to get in touch?

I am so excited you found me! Just so you to know your email is going to make my day, and I’ll probably do a little happy dance when it hits my inbox. I love email because it helps me keep all our important conversations in one place versus spreading the conversation out over email, text, Instagram DMs, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, etc. You can expect to hear from me within 24 hours. You can contact me here, or just shoot me an email at

Wanna save this for later?! Pin the image below!! 📌

Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips Planning your engagement session | Kelsey Alumbaugh Photography | #kcwedding #weddingphotographer #engagementphotos #engagementphototips

Originally published September 22, 2018.

wedding wisdom

filed under

April 12, 2021




A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and I know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab my free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day. 

FREE GUIDE: 5 tips for an

amazing Wedding
Day Timeline

send me the guide