The saga of our engagement photos almost made me decide it wasn’t worth it to have them done!  When we signed our contract with Jackie at JDK Images, we received a free engagement photo session as part of the package.  Jackie provided us with a list of locations that we could have the photos done, so we settled on The Castle at Skylands in Ringwood, NJ in October.  We had the outfits all chosen, and were super excited to check this off the list.

And then it snowed.  In October.  Like, really snowed.  So those pictures got canceled.  We could have rescheduled for November, but we wanted something a bit warmer and scenic.  So, we waited until Spring.

Being the planners that we are, it occurred to me one day that all of our weekends in April and May were filling up.  Panicked, we got in touch with Jackie to see if she had the schedule yet.  She did not have it yet, but created it, and wouldn’t you know, we couldn’t do ANY of the location dates she had chosen.  We gave her a call, and she was so nice about working with us and agreed to meet us at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum after work on April 7, even though it wasn’t part of the schedule.

By this point, I was almost wondering if we should even bother.  We wanted to have something special created for the wedding out of these pictures, but was it really worth it?  I mean, does it even make sense to have engagement pictures taken one month before your wedding?  I could tell other people agreed, since almost everyone expressed shock we were still having them done.

I have to say that I’m very glad we did these.  Not only did we get a gorgeous day, but we also got some much needed practice for the wedding day.  I wouldn’t say that Jared and I are completely comfortable in front of the camera, and this session allowed us to see what we looked like so we could avoid any uncomfortable shots on wedding day.  Jackie praised us for our body language and said that we were “naturals” and seemed very comfortable with each other.  She gave us a few tips on how to hold our hands and our heads, but otherwise, we did get an “A” for our first photo shoot.

As a side note, doing the engagement pictures also gave me a deeper level of trust in JDK Images and Jackie as a vendor.  We chose her based on an in-person meeting with her as well as reviews online, and I knew I felt comfortable with her, but there’s always that mini level of panic in working with someone new.  This session showed me that she really is extremely efficient, and it made me feel good that we won’t be wasting any more time than necessary on pictures. (After all, with 4 families to juggle and a big bridal party, time is of the essence!)

I would recommend that if an engagement session comes with your photo package, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take it!  There are a lot of fun things you can do with those pictures, and the comfort level we experienced as a result is really priceless!