Woohoo! You just got engaged!! And now your session is right around the corner, but you have no idea what to wear for your engagement photos! That is okey! For many couples, choosing the right outfit for their session can be such an overwhelming process.
So, if your nerves start to get the best of you, don't worry! This is completely normal! Before you lose sleep shopping online until 4am putting things in and taking things out of your shopping cart on Amazon, take a look at my list of 9 ideas to help you decide what to wear - and what not to wear - for your engagement session. I hope it inspires you to relax and remember that the real focus of your shoot is you and your love.
1. Dress Comfortably.
So, let's talk about comfort. Comfort is so important when it comes to your engagement photos especially if you're wanting an adventure session out in the beauty of nature. Comfort is key, because when you're comfy - it shows through in your photos. When in doubt, it's usually best to go with the things that are tried and true. Something you know moves freely with you and makes you feel your best.
During our session, we'll be moving around quite a lot. The last thing you need to worry about is your new jeans that are too tight to sit down (or get back up) in. Or maybe you bought a super cute top, but it just doesn’t feel right the day of your shoot. I would also consider wearing comfortable shoes. During our session, we'll be doing a lot of walking and standing. I don’t want an uncomfortable pair of shoes to be the reason you didn’t full enjoy your engagement session. With that said, I'd encourage you to wear something that you feel confident and 100% yourself in.
If authenticity is your ultimate goal, you're gonna want to show up as yourself. And if you want to capture this time of your life in all its amazing and wild beauty, then it's about that feeling above all else - being able to look back at these photos down the road and recognize the people looking back.
2. Match Your Outfit to the Location and Season.
Definitely consider the location that you'll be having your engagement session at and try to compliment the location. Wear something that makes sense and works with the location and the terrain. For example: I would not recommend wearing high heels out in the Tennessee back-country or the Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Instead I would suggest wearing a cute pair of boots or Chaco's (or barefoot if you're up for it) along with a pair of jeans and a nice top and statement jacket. The goal is to select an outfit that makes you look natural in the environment while also standing out in the best way.
3. Incorporate Texture and Movement
Be sure to pick fabrics that move and flow with you on our shoot. Ones that add a cozy texture, or get picked up by the wind, or filter in the golden-hour sun. Natural fibers like linen, cotton, or wool are amazing for this. I would avoid stiff-seemed tops with collars as they'll look a little bit too formal and often get tucked into weird spots and need constant adjusting.
My shooting style focuses on capturing candid moments. During your engagement session with me you'll either be running, spinning, picking each other up, jumping and really just celebrating your love in every possible way. I'd encourage you wear something you can move freely in, but also something that looks beautiful when you do move.
For example: flowy dresses, skirts, shawls, knit cardigans, really anything that is fun to move in! Also, adding in texture from a sweater, jacket, hat, or skirt can add depth to your photos. I encourage my couples to bring multiple outfits so one can be more casual (jeans, overalls, ect.) and the other can be something more formal so you can get the best of both worlds.
4. Be Careful with Patterns and Prints.
Oh...Patterns. Patterns can be tricky. But - if you find the right one, they can be a beautiful accent to your photographs! Try and avoid large or bold patterns, as they can take the attention away from your beautiful faces. Usually, subtle smaller patterns work best. A flannel or a "ditsy" floral print are great when they compliment the location. But less is more when it comes to patterns, so try to limit yourself to one pattern at a time.
Matching patterns to the location of your shoot and to each other can be a little tricky, as well. If you're not quite sure which category your patterned pieces fall into, simply shoot me an email or text me and I'll be happy to help!
Consider wearing layers to prepare for any type of weather. Not only will layers help you stay warm if the weather turns, but it also allows you to have a variety of different outfits and looks! You can add or remove layers throughout the session to create diversity in your engagement photos without needing to bring along additional outfits that require a full-on outfit change.
Think jackets, cardigans, button downs, hats, scarves, tights, hair scarves, etc.
6. Compliment Each Other.
Now, I'm not saying you have to show up to your session looking like twins on their way to Sunday school, but coordinating and complimenting each other’s outfit really makes for beautiful photos. Choose a color palette you might like and choose outfits that work within that color palette. Neutrals are always a great choice when it comes to this because they offer so much versatility. Sometimes it helps to select your statement piece first and then build your outfits around that as well.
Don't forget to ensure you are using a similar color palette with your lover before the session. This can be one of the most challenging parts of deciding what to wear for engagement photos. If you want to know if something will photograph well or if you and your partner will compliment each other, just ask, I really don't mind!
7. Makeup and Hair.
When it comes to makeup I really wouldn't recommend drastically changing it up for your engagement photos. You want to look back on these photos and feel like yourself and also recognize yourself. The night before your engagement session is not the time to mix it up.
As for hair, I adore the way a wild mane blows in the breeze. Up-dos are perfectly fine, and gorgeous in their own right - but when it comes to saving a moment and savoring it for years to come, letting your hair down is the way to go, in my opinion. With your hair down, you get movement, interest, and some perfect slices of imperfection in the best way possible.
8. What not to Wear.
1. Florescent Colors
Florescent colors can not only be distracting in your engagement photos but depending on how the sun hits your favorite neon pink blouse, it may alter the color of your skin tones in all your photos. With that said, I think it's best to save your neon and florescent colored clothes for a date night or your best friend’s party.
2. Trendy Clothes
Try to avoid wearing “trendy” clothes. They will date your engagement photos much faster than you realize. Stick to something classic and simple that will stay timeless 10 years from now. Consider a softer color palette that won’t be so distracting such as tan, cream, or nude colors. Neutrals are always a great bet when it comes to engagement sessions.
3. Avoid Distractions
I recommend that you avoid any logos. These can be distracting and can take away from the important part of the images, which is you! Steer clear of any sports logos, words or large graphics on your clothes. When it comes to your engagement photos, the simpler, the better.
9. Other Helpful Tips.
Get your engagement ring cleaned up the morning of your engagement session. We'll be taking lots of pictures of it, so make sure it's ready for its close-up, too! (Windex and a soft-bristle brush do wonders.)
Have FUN!! Your engagement session is meant to be an exciting time for you and your lover to commemorate your love and celebrate your upcoming marriage. When you have fun, it shows through your photos.
Consider making the whole day a date for just the two of you. Grab a bite to eat at a local café before we meet up for photos and then enjoy the rest of the evening doing whatever you love to do as a couple. Whether it be a hike or happy hour - simply use the day as an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.
Relax: The more relaxed you can be, the more fun we will have. Our session will be candid and capturing what makes your love story so unique. There's nothing to worry about because this is a safe space! Trust that I will do your love story justice when I capture these photos!
Planning Your Own
Looking to plan your own engagement session and need a little inspiration? Check out this dreamy engagement session at Rock Island State Park, TN!