When you’re planning your engagement session, one of the biggest things you have to figure out is what the heck do we wear?
And look – I totally get it. I am by no means a fashionista. But I do photograph people for a living. And over the past six years I’ve gained some serious tips that will help you feel amazing in your engagement session outfit.
If visuals are more your thing, then you can just pop over to my Engagement Session Outfit Inspiration Pinterest Board to browse all things outfits.
Quick Tip: Before you commit to your outfit, either take selfies or have someone take photos/videos of you in the outfit from every angle. That’s the best way to see if you like how you look in what you chose BEFORE you get the pro photos taken.
Matching is very…early 2000’s. So if your vibe is quirky and sarcastic, then by all means match away! I love a good satire. But for everyone else, pick a color family and stick with it. Neutrals are always a good idea. They are classic and classy and flattering. But if you are super artsy or love fashion statements then go bold with color! Just make sure whatever you choose doesn’t clash with your partner.
Typically I recommend that only one person wears a pattern. The other person should base their outfit off of a color in that pattern. So, let’s say, one person is wearing a shirt with big flower embellishments. The other person might then pick a dress close to one of the colors featured on the shirt.
Or one person might be wearing flannel and the other person picks a sweater in a color found on the flannel. You get the idea.
That being said, rules are made to be broken and mixing and matching patterns sometimes works beautifully!
Big graphics and logos are great when you are doing editorial style shoots and you want the clothes to take center stage. But the point of an engagement session is to capture your love story. Big graphics and logos are distracting photographically. They grab the eye. So if at all possible, try to avoid graphics and logos and instead go for a simple pattern or neutrals.
Your engagement session is not the time to push the envelope with fashion unless that’s something you do on a day-to-day basis. Instead, make sure you feel comfortable and confident in whatever you choose. How you feel hugely impacts how you look. So if you’re feeling self-conscious in your outfit, it’s going to be difficult for you to relax and enjoy your session.
There are few things that look as strange as when one person looks like they rolled out of bed and stuck on the ballcap they’ve been wearing daily since 2017 and the other person looks like they could hit the red carpet at a moment’s notice. So if you want to go fancy, both of you need to be fancy. If you want to be casual, both should be casual.
Fun shoes, statement jewelry, hats, headbands, scarves are all cute ways to incorporate personality and style into your outfit without overpowering it. It’s also a way to call attention to or minimize attention from areas we may be self-conscious about. Don’t like your tummy but love your hair? Add some cute hair accessories to your hair and wear a flowy top over your stomach. Self-conscious about your arms? Wear a long-sleeved, dark-colored shirt and pair it with some cute statement boots.
I wish this wasn’t a necessary section. But we all have things about our physical appearance we are less than thrilled with. These can often be minimized with the right outfit choices.
Dark colors are flattering on most people.
Patterns – especially medium-small (but not tiny) ones – can help “hide” areas you want to keep hidden.
Oversized clothing makes you look bigger. Instead go for fitted or tailored clothing.
Same can be said for tight clothing – very tight clothing is very unforgiving.
Shapewear can be your friend.
Proportions: pair a fitted shirt with looser pants or vice versa.
If you’re having your engagement session on a windy mountaintop, you may want a flowy dress and sturdy shoes. Heels are the absolute wrong decision for that environment. A flowy dress photographs beautifully and shoes with a good rubber sole will keep you from falling on your face.
If you’re having your engagement session at a downtown brewery then stilettos and a cocktail dress might be the right pick.
Or maybe you are planning on an in-home engagement session and cute lingerie, sweaters and jeans is the right outfit for that environment.
The point is, where you have your engagement session should dictate how you dress for it.
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Looking for inspo? Here are three real engagement sessions to get you excited about your own.
Cole Mountain | Stone Mountain State Park | Shenandoah National Park
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