When Do You Take Engagement Photos? Our Top Tips For Planning Your Adventure Engagement Session

So you’ve got that ring on your finger! As a recently married couple ourselves, we know what an exciting and overwhelming time this season in life can be. Especially as small wedding and elopement photographers, we love helping our couples navigate the craziness that is engagement season so they know all of the next steps in their wedding or elopement planning process. And that brings us to one of the most exciting part of planning your wedding: the engagement photos.

Your engagement photos are kind of like your first step out into the spotlight of engaged life. They’re a rite of passage, if you will. And they’re also one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process, where you can spend a couple hours frolicking around and cuddling with your boo, all while getting some gorgeous keepsakes to hang up on your walls. They’re also a perfect way to get used to being in front of your wedding or elopement photographer’s camera and understand their shooting style and vibe.

When it comes to timing for the engagement photos, we have a few recommendations:

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute

This is especially important if you want to use your engagement photos for your save the dates. Bear in mind that it’s industry standard to wait a few weeks for your engagement photos to be edited. And then you’ll want to send your photos off for print, which will also take a bit of time. On average, you’re going to want to send out your save the dates half a year or so in advance of your wedding, so you’ll want to buffer for your wedding photographers editing time, your designing time, the print shop’s turnaround, and the shipping timeframe.

If you’re planning a destination elopement or adventure wedding, you’ll want to increase this range a bit more, so your guests can make sure they’re able to book their flights and save up any funds they need to travel to your wedding or elopement.

Make Sure You Factor in the Expected Weather For the Seasons

Here in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, each season has its own perks for engagement photos. The fall is an amazing time to see the changing of the aspen leaves in the mountains. The summer is rampant with mountain wildflowers. Spring has plenty of cherry blossoms down in Denver and other nearby Front Range towns. And winter likely means snow, especially in mountain towns like Breckenridge, Aspen, or Vail. But if, for example, you want your engagement photos taken on one of Colorado’s gorgeous mountain passes, it’s best you do so before mid-September, since a lot of these roads are closed during the winter months (although there are a few secret exceptions we love to tell our couples about!). And as Colorado-based adventure wedding and elopement photographers, we make it our business to be up to date on the best spots for adventure engagement photos, depending on the season.

Consider a Weekday For Your Engagement Session

This tip is especially important for couples looking to get their engagement photos taken in a national park. National parks are historically busiest on weekends. In fact, most popular trailheads in Rocky Mountain National Park are full by 8am in the morning, even in the wintertime. However, weekdays provide you with much more flexibility when it comes to battling through crowds to find parking and a quiet spot. Another thing to note: many wedding and elopement photographers have extremely limited availability on weekends (because that’s when we’re typically out shooting weddings and elopements), so weekdays are usually when engagement sessions get scheduled.

P.S. As adventure wedding and elopement photographers based in Colorado, we’re always looking for the coolest spots for our couples’ engagement photos. When we’re not photographing small weddings or elopements, we can usually be found on the trails, scouting locations in Colorado’s national parks and beyond. And we’re here to help our couples with planning out all of the little details when it comes to their engagement sessions. So if that sounds like your vibe, give us a shout. Let’s take you and your boo on an epic adventure.

Sheena Shahangian is an adventure elopement and intimate, small wedding photographer based in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We primarily serve couples looking to elope or marry in the western United States (Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, California, Wyoming, Montana, and beyond), as well as a select few eastern states (North Carolina and Georgia). We love serving couples who’ve chosen to do their own thing on their wedding day, whether that’s eloping in a National Park or having an intimate backyard ceremony in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. We’re here to make your adventure wedding photography dreams come true.