Engagement Photography

How Long Does it Really Take to Get Your Engagement Photos Back?

how long does it take to get your engagement photos back?


I'm Ali!

I am a chocolate lover, dog mom, avid fiction reader, exercise junkie, get-me-outside girl, and heart-driven photographer.

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Getting engaged and diving into wedding planning is beyond exciting. During this time, many couples prioritize documenting these months (and sometimes years🙋🏼‍♀️) with engagement photos. But how long does it take to get your engagement photos back, and when should you schedule your session in relation to your wedding?

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, many factors come into play when determining how long it takes to get your final gallery. From your photographer’s editing process to their workload and availability.

So, whether you’re eagerly waiting to share your stunning engagement photos with friends and family or planning to use them for save-the-dates, here’s how long it takes to get your engagement photos back.

Why Should You Take Engagement Photos

Engagement photos have become a popular part of the wedding planning process for many reasons. I love working with my couples before I show up for their wedding day because it gives you some practice in front of the camera and helps us get to know each other better before I professionally third wheel one of the most important and memorable days of your life.

An engagement session is also a really special way to document your relationship without the time constraints of a typical wedding day.

When I work with couples to plan their engagement sessions, I think of them as an opportunity to dive into storytelling and completely personalize the session to your relationship, the kind of images you’re drawn to, what is inspiring you during this season of your life, and the unique aspects of your relationship that you want to capture and remember.

Engagement photos are also great for save-the-dates, wedding invitations, and even decorations at your wedding reception.

Factors that Affect the Turnaround Time for Engagement Photos

Several factors come into play when setting expectations for how long it takes to get your engagement photos. These factors can significantly affect the timeframe and vary between photographers. It’s important to consider the following:

1. Photographer’s Editing Process

The editing process is crucial to delivering high-quality engagement photos. As your photographer, I take hundreds of photos during an engagement session and then spend hours narrowing down and editing your final gallery.

The complexity of the editing process can vary depending on your photographer’s style (my style is earthy, filmy, and natural) as well.

2. Photographer’s Workload and Availability

Another factor that affects the turnaround time is the photographer’s workload. If a photographer has multiple clients or is in high demand during the wedding season, it may take longer to receive your engagement photos. Additionally, photographers may have other projects or commitments that can delay the editing process. Discussing the photographer’s current workload and availability is important to set realistic expectations if you’re worried about your timeline!

Average Turnaround Time for Engagement Photos

While the turnaround time varies, it’s helpful to have a general idea of the average timeframe, and I definitely recommend asking your photographer how long they typically take to edit and deliver images—especially if you’re a little late to the planning process and want to use your images for save-the-dates ASAP.

Planning Ahead for Timely Engagement Photos

To ensure timely delivery of your engagement photos, make sure to plan ahead:

1. Book Your Photographer in Advance

Engagement photographers often have busy schedules, especially during peak wedding seasons (May-October). Book their services well in advance to ensure you get to work with your dream photographer and allow ample time for editing and delivery.

2. Schedule Your Session Early

Scheduling your engagement shoot early can also help you receive your photos sooner. By allowing plenty of time between the shoot and your wedding date, you give the photographer more flexibility to edit and deliver the photos without feeling rushed

3. Discuss Delivery Timeframes

During your initial consultation with the photographer, discuss the expected delivery timeframe. I deliver final engagement session galleries within four weeks. Although photographers may differ here, a standard turnaround time is between 2-6 weeks. This can vary depending on the factors mentioned earlier, and some photographers may offer expedited delivery options for an additional fee, which can reduce the waiting time quite a bit.

Utilizing Engagement Photos in Your Wedding Planning

While waiting for your engagement photos, you can start utilizing them in your wedding planning. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Save-the-Dates and Invitations

Once you receive your engagement photos, you can use them to create personalized save-the-dates and wedding invitations. Adding a touch of your own love story to these wedding essentials will make them even more special for your guests.

2. Wedding Website and Social Media

Incorporate your photos into your wedding website and share them on the gram (make sure to tag your photographer!).

3. Decor at Your Wedding and Wedding Reception

Print and share some of your favorites if you’re looking for ways to personalize your reception. Showcase them on a photo wall, incorporate them into table centerpieces, or use them as part of the overall decor.

Most photographers include professional prints and other products as a-la-carte add-ons when they deliver your final engagement session gallery. I usually recommend getting your favorites printed through your photographer. I always double-check cropping and guarantee color correctness when my couples order through me. I have much more control over the final images than if they were printed at Walmart or other online options.

Getting your engagement photos back is such an exciting part of the wedding planning process. While the exact turnaround time can vary, knowing what affects the delivery timeframe is hugely helpful in ensuring a positive experience! Communicating with your photographer, planning ahead, and utilizing your photos in various wedding-related aspects helps you make the most of this exciting time!

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Love stories? Here's mine!

I wasn't born with a camera in my hand and I haven't "wanted to be a photographer ever since I can remember." My passion for photography developed (a bit) later in my life and since then, I would consider it quite the obsession...

a Vermont wedding photographer and Vermont family photographer drawn to imperfect, intimate moments that tell the real story of           . 

dog-obsessed, Cadbury-chocolate-egg-loving, get-me-outside-girl. 

Hi, I'm Ali.



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