This is also valuable time to practice being in front of the camera for an extended period. There's no stress, you're not rushed, and you can totally be yourselves without the massive pressure you're going to have on your wedding day. If you've planned your wedding day schedule too tight, and you inevitably run late, you will wish you had taken the opportunity to capture romantic, and intimate portraits like the ones typically taken during the engagement session.
Can't afford a "destination" wedding? I bet you can do a destination engagement photo shoot with no problem at all. Pick a location, Your photographer will very likely jump at the chance to shoot at a location that is different from what he/she already has in their portfolio. You can try different looks and different poses. You get to see just how creative you can be, all while learning how to be comfortable in the presence of the camera.
Taken far enough in advance the images from this session have a number of uses. Both sets of parents and grandparents will likely want images of you before you truly set out to begin life as a new family-to-be. You will also likely want “before” images. Even if you don’t make prints to frame, these images make a wonderful addition to your wedding album.
Pay attention to the no-cost engagement photo offers, but only if they come with no purchase obligation. They aren’t exactly free, as the photographer retains the right to use any images from the session for promotional purposes. If you’re not comfortable with that, then don’t take the offer. If you are, then take advantage of the offer, and the situation. Give the photographer and their talents a test run. Give yourself a test run in front of the camera. If you do nothing else, have fun.