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  • Writer's pictureSarah Noel

Top tips for engagement session outfits - from Coeur d'Alene Wedding Photographer

Not sure what outfits to wear to your engagement session? Don't worry! With my years of experience with Wedding photography and couples, I have gathered all of my best tips here to make planning out your engagement session outfits as easy as it can be!

But first off! Congratulations on your engagement!!! I have had the privilege of participating in several proposals and the joy and emotion of the moment when the guy asks the girl to become his wife, is so beautiful. I am sure some of your friends have gotten married and maybe you saw their proposals, but now your turn has come and soon you will get to start a life together of serving each other and becoming one! I truly am so excited for you, and if would give you a hug right now if I could!

Now that you have the ring on your finger, you probably have already begun looking for your Wedding Photographer. Once you have found the best person to capture this special season in your life, you get to plan out your engagement session. I personally love these sessions, because it allows my couples to get to know me and vice versa. If you are one of my couples at your engagement session I would direct you through all of the poses and plan out your session so that it captures your love story in the most genuine way. Because of the time we have to connect at your session, it will give you so much confidence for your wedding day photography. And plus you get a whole gallery of beautiful images to remember this special moment in life before you walk down the aisle. I love these sessions so much, and that's why I offer complimentary engagement sessions with all of my wedding packages because I think they are amazing and helpful to my couples!

To follow that, one of the biggest questions I often get asked as my couples are planning their engagement session is; What should we wear to our engagement session? Because I want to help you out as much as I can, I have compiled a list of things to keep in mind as you are planning out your outfits to make it as easy and fun as it should be!

Engagement outfit tips from Coeur d'Alene Wedding Photographer

1. Start Looking Early

Don’t wait till the last week to plan your outfits, the right outfit is going to take a little bit of time to find. There was one time that I had a session and I waited till the week before the session to try on the outfit I had planned on wearing, and it wasn’t as cute as I had remembered. You don’t want that to happen because it can make it stressful to try to figure out your outfit last minute.

2. Embrace your style

Don't try to copy someone’s style on Pinterest just because it's cute on them. There are so many styles out there and your style is beautiful. Take a moment to think of what style you love to wear the most when you are more dressed up, something that just totally feels like you. For me, it's a flowy garden dress or a cute classy look with little flats. What style is yours? Classy, Romantic, Causal-Chic, Elegant…ect.

3. Flatter your features and dress for comfort

Let me begin by saying that you are going to look amazing at your session. With that said, everyone has something that they might be self-conscious about. It’s only natural. I remember a time when I had a photoshoot, and I found a dress that was super cute with pink flowers on it. But despite how cute it was, I didn't feel comfortable in it and most of the time I was self-conscious of how I felt in it.

Recognize areas that you feel self-conscious about and choose clothes that best compliment those feelings. If you choose your outfit with that in mind, it will help you to feel and look most confident and comfortable in your photos. These next few tips will help prevent you from wearing something you don’t feel comfortable in.

  • Arms: Three-quarter length sleeves add a slimming effect to all arms. So be on the lookout for an option with longer sleeves.

  • Legs: Heels elongate women's legs and really do look amazing on camera. Especially close-toed heels, because you don’t have to worry about getting a pedicure. It’s all the little details that make a huge difference.

  • Height differences: Make sure you’re comfortable with where your shoe height puts you next to each other. If you are already close in height then adding in heels could make a cute pose turn a little awkward. So it helps to test out the shoes beforehand.

No matter the concern, know that you already look incredible, outfits only accentuate that. When you feel comfortable and confident, it shows in a beautiful way!

A couple wearing a perfectly coordinated outfit for their Spokane engagement session

4. Think of patterns and coordinating colors

Okay so we have a style and comfort that fits you, now we need to look at the color and pattern of the outfit. Solid colors tend to photograph best because there aren’t patterns distracting from you both as the focus of the picture. But patterns are also so fun, so if you find an outfit with a pattern on it, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure to avoid outfits with large logos or patterns because you want the focus to be on you both and not an advertisement for a brand.

  • If you find something with a pattern try to avoid very large print (Anything larger than your fist).

  • Avoid too much pattern. If one of you wants to wear a patterned outfit have the other wear a solid outfit to complement each other. Oftentimes, the girl will wear a patterned dress and the guy will have a solid suit to coordinate.

But just because solid colors are best on Camera doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Textures are a really fun way to add visual interest, from lace to sheer polka dots of the same color as your dress etc.

The last thing regarding this section is colors. The colors you choose affect the style and feel of the photo, if you are looking for a more light and airy style then neutrals and soft colors are the best options.

5. Dressy or Casual?

Have you ever wanted to wear a tulle skirt or a long flowy dress, or see your guy in a fancy tux but never had the opportunity? Here’s your chance, dress it up as much as you want! There is no such thing as too fancy for photos. Have fun with it! I always encourage my couples to bring two outfits first your fancy “wow” outfit, and then a more casual “us on a date” one, because this adds a variety of looks and feel to your session. But if you are having a hard time finding two outfits that you absolutely love, and want to get the most out of your “wow” outfit then feel free to stick to one outfit!

6. Add accessories for that extra touch

Even if they are little details they actually add a lot to photos. Like scarves for a winter session, a larger necklace with a simple dress, colorful high heels with a solid outfit, a floral bouquet to hold, or a bicycle to ride on. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration for adding unique elements that will add more fun to your session.

7. Skip the spray tan

I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but I recommend skipping a spray tan even a few days before your session because it tends to photograph with an orange hue. Believe me, your natural skin tone will photograph best!

8. The Ring

We want to show off that bling as often as we can in your photos. So give yourself permission to have it cleaned and have fun getting your nails done too!

9. Hair & Makeup

Go professional for your hair and makeup. This can be your chance to test out the look you are thinking of for your wedding. Or if you enjoy doing your own makeup and hair try out your hairstyle and makeup once before your session, so that you love it and know how much time it takes.

10. Keep location in mind

Don’t forget that the style of the location also adds to your outfit. If you are taking pictures at the beach you probably won't want to wear high heels, or if you are taking pictures in a wheat field you probably don't want to wear a business style of clothing. But if your photos are in an urban spot, then classy outfits would be perfect!

This One's For The Guys

11. Suit and tie

Men look most stunning in a well-tailored suit and tie. Because they are designed to draw out their best masculine features. If he doesn't have one yet, then now is the best time to invest in one he will use for the rest of his life. And if it works out he can use the same one for the wedding! Solid shades of grey or navy often compliment the girl's outfits best!

12. Mix it up

The guys can have fun changing their look too! From dressed up to more casual. Changing the shirt, or pants to a different color adds a lot of variety. And plus they probably don’t want to wear a suit the whole time.

The soft pink and blue outfit tones made this glowy engagement photo so light & airy

13. Don’t forget the little details

Long pants and closed-toed shoes look the most sophisticated on men. Adding a tie, bow tie, colored socks, a watch, and a belt, are sharp compliments to any suit. And changing them out from a suit to suspenders even with the same shirt or pants quickly adds a lot of variety to the guy’s outfit.

14. Will he enjoy it?

Most guys aren’t too thrilled about engagement sessions because they had a bad experience in the past from an awkward senior session or don’t know what to expect, or why it’s so important to you. Take a few minutes to share what you have learned about the engagement session and why you chose the photographer to capture this special season for you both. Once he sees how important it is to you, trust me he will light up the camera for you! And many times they are surprised at how fun it can be especially when they get more time with you!

Things to bring

  • Bring a pair of flats or flip-flops for walking between photo locations (this will be a lifesaver if you’re planning to wear heels)

  • Your Touch-up makeup in a bag

  • Water bottle (for warmer sessions)

  • A little snack before the session (Most sessions are around dinner because of the golden hour)

  • Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions) even if you are already wearing one with your outfit, it is always a good idea to bring another one to keep you warm in between photos.

The best tips for choosing your engagement outfits

Bonus Tip

Make reservations for a fun restaurant and turn the whole event into a little date! Most sessions are around dinner time, because that's the best time for lighting, so you probably will be feeling a little hungry by the end. It will be a fun way to end your session!

I hope these tips are really helpful to you in planning your next photography session! You are going to look amazing! I can’t wait to see what you have put together! Have a blessed week!

Love Sarah


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