Have you considered having engagement pictures taken by a professional photographer? Not everybody does them, but those who do are usually very enthusiastic about it. Engaged couples choose to do a photo session celebrating their decision to get married for a variety of reasons.
The most common justification is that it gives them a chance to make sure they like their wedding photographer, since they'll be spending their wedding day with them. If you go out and spend a day shooting engagement pictures and you find yourself wishing it was over, or you're bored or uncomfortable, your photographer may not be a good personality match for you. With that said, if you're the kind of person who always freezes up with a camera in your face, this is a good opportunity to tell your photographer that. Have them help you with strategies to make your wedding photos appear more natural. Other couples already know they've found the perfect wedding photographer, but they're planning to use their engagement photos for their save-the-dates and other wedding materials.
For debutantes, southern belles, and other "members of society," a formal engagement picture is absolutely necessary for the newspaper announcement. It's not even something up for discussion. These brides and grooms don't even have to think about whether to do it because engagement photos are a given in their worlds.
Some brides and grooms are simply "picture people" and they want to memorialize the fact that they've gotten engaged so they have something to use to share the moment with their family and friends, whether via social media, or printed on their Christmas cards.
Although I didn't personally do professional engagement pictures for my own wedding, I can certainly see the sentimental value of having them. A word of caution, however, if you're going to have a million snaps taken: Be careful about how many pictures you post on social media. A few, lovely engagement photos sprinkled on your timeline over six months isn't too annoying, and changing your profile pic or background makes sense. But try not to social media vomit engagement pictures all over all of your friends. Especially if most of your Facebook "friends" and Instagram "followers" aren't actually going to be invited to attend your wedding events.
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.
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