The engagement session is one of my favorite parts of our time together because it gives both the bride and groom-to-be a chance to be in front of my camera before they get married. It makes the wedding day photography experience feel so much more comfortable.
The question I get asked the very most when planning an engagement session is: What should we wear? Because you’ve been waiting your whole life for this, I want to offer some tips to help you look and feel your very best in your engagement photos.
1. Coordinate your color palette.
As you’re coordinating your outfit with your fiance’s, keep in mind your color palette. Your clothing choices will look more cohesive on camera if you choose colors that coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” Aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color family. For example, if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels, he could wear a navy jacket with gray pants paired with brown leather shoes and add a blush pocket square. His outfit will then have its own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a touch of your main color palette (blush). I recommend that the bride chooses her outfit first and then puts together the groom’s based on her choices.
2. Dress it up!
Have you thought about rocking a sequined gown, a full tulle skirt or a flower crown but just never had the occasion for it? Well, this is your chance to do it! Remember that there really is not such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement photos, so don’t be afraid to have some fun. It’s time to wear that one outfit you’ve always wanted to wear. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to buy a cute new outfit? Or two… or three.
Dresses and skirts are my very favorite because they really flatter any female body type– especially on camera. That’s probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses! Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera by adding extra movement to the photos. Consider a softer fabric like chiffon or tulle for extra flowiness. It will look so beautiful when juxtaposed with natural surroundings like the desert, the forest or the beach.
3. Get your hair and makeup professionally done.
Professional hair and makeup is at the top of my clients’ checklists because of how amazing it looks on camera. A professional can really elevate your look and as a bonus will remove the stress of getting ready on your own. This is a great time to book a hair and makeup trial for your wedding day. Have your makeup artist apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, for a look that is fresh and not too heavy. Don’t forget that your ring will be center stage during your engagement session, so give yourself permission to get it cleaned and give your nails a little extra love, too!
4. Make a statement.
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can add so much style! Big statement necklaces will bring a lot of “pop” to your images and will show up great on camera. Belts, bracelets and earrings add great visual interest as well. Choose one or two so your accessories aren’t competing for attention. Bring fresh florals in a bouquet or flower crown for an extra romantic touch.
5. Add layers.
Next time you walk by a store like J. Crew, you may notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers look great on camera for both men and women. Adding another layer like a jacket or cardigan or blazer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos.
6. Pay attention to the fit.
Anything too loose or baggy or also too tight is going to distract from your beautiful selves in a photo. Long, fitted pants and closed-toe shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men.
7. Stay solid.
Shirts in solid shades of gray or navy for men are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits. I recommend staying away from graphics and logos on any shirt. Patterns can also sometimes be distracting to the eye. However, if you do choose to wear a pattern, choose a larger one. The camera will have a hard time picking up very small patterns like pinstripes or small plaids from far away, and it can cause some problems in the image.
8. Be YOU!
My last tip is to remember that while you do want to look nice for your engagement photos, we still want you to look like…well, you! Don’t compare yourself to other couples you have seen on my blog or elsewhere. This engagement session is about YOU and YOUR love story. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and wear something that is unique to you. If you have a unique style, be sure to show it off!