What to Wear for Engagement Pictures

My top recommendations to help the true you shine through…

Its hard, right? Figuring out what you and your fiancé should wear for your engagement photography session take some thought. These pictures will be in your Save-the-Date communications, your wedding websites, your home's walls, and the wedding day slideshow. They're important and high visibility, so you want to get them right. I want you and your partner to look your best, so here are my go-to recommendations...

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#1 Be you, very well

My primary piece advice, that overrides everything else, is to wear what you are comfortable in and feels like you! When you feel good, YOU shine through in your photographs.  Stick with your own style, and work within that space!

• Casual dressers: forget the cocktail dresses and suits; instead, stick with casual outfits and we'll create a fun photo shoot around what you like to do

• Formal dressers: don't wear something just because it’s the new Pinterest thing.  Dress-up snazzy and we'll deliver a sophisticated look.  

#2 Whatever it is, it needs to fit you perfectly

Whatever the style, the clothes should fit your body type. They should be the correct size, the hems needs to be the right lengths, and the waists needs to be fitted because they will make you look your best. The right fit matters so much more than brand or fabric when it comes to photographs.

One note on dresses… go long or mid-length. We'll do some movement during the session that can make short dresses more of a challenge.

#3 Same palette, without matching

Matching outfits don't work, but try to stay in the same color palette as your partner. Think about the location of your photo shoot, as well, and its colors. If your engagement session will be at a park with green trees and grass, blues and yellows in your clothes will complement extremely well. If your session will be in the fall with changing leaves, then warmer earth tones are spot on.

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#4 Do it together

Spend time with your partner looking through your old pictures, and select your favorite images together. Why are they your favorites? What is it about the clothes, the poses, the light, and the backgrounds that speak to you? This creates a sort of "mood board" that we can use to guide the engagement session and create a look that you love and represents the two of you.

#5 Add pop with layers, textures, and accessories!

- A colorful scarf or a chunky necklace lend a nice pop to an image. If you like loud colors and shiny things, here's where it goes:)

- Select a bold texture like fur, leather, or lace to create visual interest

- Layers like sweaters, jackets, and vests add depth and character

- Bouquets communicate the special nature of the occasion, and are a perfect time to evaluate a wedding florist

- Write a secret note to your partner, and have them read it at the session. The calligrapher for your wedding could really make it memorable.

- Bring a big bunch of balloons, or one really big balloon

- A dog = best accessory:) Just make sure you've got someone to manage them for parts of the session where its just you two

#6 Hair and Make-up make a difference

Getting hair and make-up done for your wedding? If so, consider it for your engagement shoot as well. Professional hair and makeup look amazing in photographs. This is the ideal time to test your stylist before the wedding day. Quick tips:

- Go slightly heavier on cheeks, eyes, and lips. Make-up looks more subdued in pictures

- Matte finish powders and eyeshadows work best, and wear a powder over your makeup, to avoid the oily look

- Men, make sure your face is freshly washed to avoid the oily look

- Fake eyelashes… look incredible in pictures

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#7 Can't decide…pitch a change up

If you've got it down to two outfits, and can't decide… bring both! I'm glad to shoot a portion of the session with you in one outfit, and then wait for a quick change into a second outfit. Do consider how the outfits will complement each other, so that your finished photo shoot has a common element - like color - running through it. This common element will look great when the collection of images is seen in a slideshow or album later.

#8 Pick a location that feels like you

If you want your pictures in your backyard because that's you, then lets do it! If you love the outdoors, then let's do a champagne and strawberries on a mountain top or a waterfall. If you're always trying something different, lets rent a couple vintage scooters or rent a sail boat and make a memory. I'm up for it!

#9 Polish the rock

Your ring is the symbol of your engagement, so it will get a few close-ups during the engagement session. Make sure its looking its best, all clean and polished. We want to show off every facet of its cut, color, and clarity. Oh, and your hands will get a close-up along with the rock… get those nails done - red, pinks, and neutrals are great choices.

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I hope these recommendations help you. If you have questions, or want to go over a specific outfit, I'm glad to talk! Engagement photos celebrate the feelings between you and your partner, before the pageantry, glamour, and hustle of the wedding day. Celebrate the love you have for each other in your engagement session, follow the tips above, and you'll have timeless images that you'll cherish for the rest of your life!

For those that have already done engagement photography sessions, any recommendation that you'd add? I'd love to hear!

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