Engagement Guide | What to Wear

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT!

 One of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is “Do you have any advice on what to wear and how to best prepare for the engagement session?”. Yes, yes we do!

Let me just hop on my little soap box for a second to talk about how important I feel engagement sessions are with your wedding photographer. Engagement sessions are a chance for your photographer to get to know you both better and to build a relationship with you. They also give you an opportunity to acclimate to being in front of the camera before your wedding day. We also like to use engagement sessions as an opportunity to provide coaching on how to pose and other small tricks that make for flattering imagery and these tips and tricks will come naturally by the time the big day rolls around. Feeling confident in front of the camera and knowing the small posing tips we have given you during your engagement session will help reduce unnecessary stress on your wedding day!

Also, engagement sessions are FUN! Wedding photos are beautiful and sacred, but don’t write off engagement photos. They are one of our most favorite types of photography sessions. They are an opportunity to show who you are as an individual and as a couple. I love the playfulness that they often portray and how laid-back and fun they can be! I would like to have my clients think of them more as a date with each other and a celebration of their love than something stressful or forced!

We want to encourage our couples to be authentic and creative. We are not going to tell you to wear black, avoid bold colors or patterns, or to play it safe. BORING! YOU aren’t boring. Your love story is special and you don’t need a strict list of rules to tell you how to express yourself. Having said that, we are going to give you a few tips to help make the planning process easier, promote confidence during the session, and ensure that you adore your images.

Tip #1 | BE YOURSELF

Cheesy as it may sound, it’s true. The key to feeling confident is wearing what makes you feel comfortable and attractive. If you never wear high heels because they make you feel awkward, then you shouldn’t wear them on your engagement session. If you feel more comfortable in casual clothes and do not enjoy dressing up, then you can keep it casual and still look great. Don’t wear something overly trendy if it doesn’t truly speak to you and your style. Be authentic. Having said that, this is also an opportunity to pull out all the stops and get fancy, if you so desire! You can even rent designer clothing for the occasion if there’s a certain look you want to achieve without breaking the bank! Try out sites like Rent the Runway or Le Tote if you’re interested in renting designer duds for your session!

Tip #2 | Twinning Ain’t Always Winning
Remember that epic photo of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards? Their all denim matching outfits? Don’t be that couple. You are two individuals who absolutely love each other so you should compliment each other, but NOT try to be identical! Check out complimentary colors, color palettes, and other color schemes on the internet if you want some ideas on how to collaborate use of color between the two of you. Having said all that, there should be cohesiveness between the two of you. It doesn’t make sense for one of you to be in a suit and tie while the other is rocking ripped jeans and a t-shirt! 
 
Tip #3 | Colors
Consider establishing a color palette when planning you and your partners outfits for your engagement session. Neutrals help tie in colors between the two of you and also help ensure that your faces get the attention they deserve. They are also classic and safe, and safe is not always bland! My wardrobe is mostly black and I’d like to believe that I’m not bland….
Be aware that fuzz, hair, etc really shows up on black – try to remember to pack a lint roller! Consider pastels and muted colors and avoid neon because it’s just darn right distracting and obnoxious. Accessories are a great place to add pops of bold color. 
 
Tip #4 | Texture + Pattern
I love textures and layers in the scenery that I choose for my portrait sessions and the same goes for clothing. Textures add depth and character. Some great textures are: knits, flannel, lace, tweed, leather, denim, denim, tulle… Patterns also add complexity to outfits, but add them wisely! 
 
Tip #5 | Accessories + Props
Accessories are fun and help add an extra point of interest, and props that coincide with a theme or location add a layer of depth. Hats, necklaces, ties, suspenders… these great showing personality and style and can tie outfits together as well. Roller blades and ice cream cones can set the scene for the summer session. Coffee and blankets for a fall session create feeling of warmth. Props help paint a more complete picture, can keep things from being too pose-y, and can also make sessions more enjoyable. 
 
Tip #6 | Seasons
This probably goes without saying, but embracing the season of your engagement session can help with planning your outfits and telling a story throughout the images. Scarves, knit hats, gloves, and nice coats make winter photos feel cozy. Flannels, jackets, hats, boots, and long skirts are fun for fall. Flowy dresses, floppy hats, and sunglasses look great in the summer. Rainy spring day?! Rain coats, rain boots, and umbrellas can make for adorable engagement photos. 
 
Tip #7 | Locations
Thinking about the location of your session also helps with planning outfits. Are you going to be out in nature? Yellow or blue really pop in a beautiful way when surrounded with greenery. Cityscape? A nice floral pattern or pastel shade looks great with clean, muted architecture. If you’re from St. Louis, you are aware of the abundance of red brick buildings around. Blue and green pop wonderfully against those red shades. 
 
Tip #8 | What are Your Shared Interests?
Both love Blues Hockey or Cardinals Baseball? Grab your jerseys! Both have an extensive hat collection? BRING SOME – hats are a lot of fun. Both love hiking? Bring your hiking boots and let’s hit a trail. Love your dog? We probably will too! Consider having a family member or friend tag along to help with Fido, or consider hiring a professional such as Wedpets to help. Be sure to run your dogs before the session so that they get out excess energy. PACK TREATS. We are very versed in  photographing couples with their pets and are happy to help you plan adding them to your engagement session!
 
Tip #9 | Try it On
 It goes without saying that you should try on your clothing before the session to confirm that you are comfortable with the fit and look. Pro-tip: Also check to make sure nothing is see through and be conscientious of undergarment lines. Engagement photos are also a great time to test run your wedding day hair and makeup, if you so decide. Just make sure you give yourself some wiggle room in case anything takes longer than planned!
 
Tip #10 | Phone a Friend ( Or Photographer)
We are always happy to help our clients out with outfit planning. It’s our job to help you plan out your sessions and provide you with great imagery. Our goal is to tell a story and make art for you. We want you to have an excellent and unique experience, so absolutely reach out to us!

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