Congrats — you’re ENGAGED!! I bet you’ve been playing with your ring, watching it sparkle in the light and your heart is exploding with love + excitement. Almost immediately, family + friends have been buzzing with questions: When is the wedding? Where’s your venue? What’s the theme? And you’re sitting there, like, “Woah, hold up! I haven’t had a moment to figure any of that out yet…” I TOTALLY get it + that’s why I’m here to help! First things first: engagement photos! More specifically, today let’s chat about what to wear for engagement photos!!
This is a question that I hear a ton from brides & grooms to be. My best piece of advice is be true to your personality. You want to look like yourself in these photos! The more confident you feel, the better the photos will turn out. Usually, my e-sessions are long enough to allow 2-3 looks. A simple place to start is one casual look & one that’s more dressed up. Now, let’s get specific.
Set the Stage
If you’ve chosen a location (or multiple) for your session, allow those surroundings to inform your outfit choices. Shooting in a downtown, urban setting or cool museum? Go for something chic or even edgy (think leather jacket draped over your shoulder & your best sunnies). Or say you’re planning on shooting at the beach — grab something more soft and flow-y that’ll move nicely in the wind. You get the picture.
Play Off of Each Other
I don’t mean match his tie to your dress, this isn’t prom after all! Instead, coordinate your looks — maybe you both choose to wear warm tones vs. mixing a cool color with a warm one. Find commonalities in your outfits that give the photos the same color palette and feel.
You’d be surprised how much a pop of bright color can transform your photos. Accents photograph really beautifully, whether it’s a red dress, a bright maxi skirt, or even a hat or scarf. Also keep in mind that dark colors absorb light, so try to keep your looks on the lighter side. The contrast looks incredible on camera!
A lot of the best engagement images are ones that convey a lot of emotion. One of the tools photographers use to convey emotion is movement in the image. Consider making one of your looks one that is really flow-y and romantic to allow for some great movement as the two of you interact.
Pack some Bubbly
I have known many couples who feel really nervous about having their photo taken. Of course considering safe driving, I definitely do not discourage having a drink before or during the shoot if it makes you feel more comfortable (poppin’ some bubbly does photograph well!)
Since many couples aren’t used to being professionally photographed, an accessory of some kind can help you feel a little more styled and warm you up. I like to use the word accessorize instead of the word, prop, because props can take away from the main subject – the two of you!! Instead of props (i.e. bunting banners, signs, books, etc), think about accessories that can help tell your love story and create lots of natural interactions between the two of you. A few that I love to use are blankets, hats, scooters or vintage cars, sunglasses, floral crowns or bouquets, or even a polaroid camera. Focus on being yourself. Don’t try and be someone else’s Pinterest board.
For the Gents
A few specific words for the men, here. I’d say the most common groom-to-be outfits are fairly neutral and dare-i-say boring? For your casual look(s) try layering. Pick a tee, hoodie & throw a denim jacket over the two or grab your favorite cozy cardigan as you leave. I’ll also say that a new pair of shoes can do wonders for making you look super polished. [I’ve had guys ask me if they can wear flip flops … here is the answer.] Who doesn’t want an excuse to get new kicks, am I right? When you go formal, consider ditching the tie all together – it’ll give you that GQ cool vibe.
Get Ready Early
The single biggest snag I run into at engagement sessions is the couple running late, and feeling super stressed about it (not to mention the arguments in the car on the way there about who made who late). It can make it hard to feel relaxed and affectionate in photos the moment you arrive. Plan to have your hair and makeup done at least an hour before you plan to leave. And plan extra time for traffic + to arrive early even! Most importantly: Be comfortable and have fun with it! You will have a much better time which will make for better photos.
In-between Romantic Looks
Lastly … Do’s + Don’ts
DO Location Inspiration DON’T Wear Heels to the Beach
DO Coordinate DON’T “Matchy Match”
DO Wear Bright Colors DON’T Be Afraid to Stand Out
DO Arrive Early DON’T Arrive Frantic & Stressed
DO Bring a Backup Look DON’T Wear Logos or Slogans
DO Bring an Umbrella DON’T Panic! You’re Gonna Look Amazing!