5 Tips for Planning your Engagement Session Outfits
What Every Bride Needs to Know
The engagement session is one of my favorite parts of our time together because it gives you both a chance to be in front of my camera before you get married!
It also lets us really get to know each other and how we each work, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth, seamless and comfortable.
You’re going to be married for over fifty years, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time!!! Take advantage of that and celebrate it to it’s fullest!!!
I’m so very excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiancés.
I created this guide with 5 tips for planning your engagement session outfits just for you, so let’s dive right in!
5 Tips for Planning your Engagement Session Outfits:
Tip #1: Choose 2 Engagement Session Outfits
Most of my couples have two outfits for their engagement session. One outfit is normally dressy and one outfit is more relaxed and casual. The more outfits you have, the fewer portraits you’ll receive BUT you’ll have more variety in your engagement portraits, which is great too!
For Her – Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos! Especially when photographed in nature, like the forests, plains, the beach, or desert!
Cute, shorter-length dresses photograph beautifully as well! Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body!
I highly recommend having at least one beautiful dress for your engagement session!
For the casual outfits it’s great to do layered looks and texture: knit sweaters, scarves, cute jackets, blazers, and cardigans all work well!
I recommend choosing three-quarter length sleeves to create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve.
Skinny straps or strapless dresses or shirts have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is a set of slimmer-looking arms.
Don’t forget the gorgeous shoes! Heels or boots with heels elongate women’s legs, making them look fabulous.
Closed-toes heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe.
If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show. These little tricks make all the difference!
Quick Tip: Bring a pair of flats to wear when moving from place to place. Your feet will thank you later!
For the gentlemen – suits or vests, layered tops with dress pants or colored pants, or layered tops with a nice dark dressy pair of denim jeans will look great on the guys!
Next time you walk by a store like J. Crew, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once.
Layers on men look GREAT on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust us when we say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime!
Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos.
If the temperature permits, he could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
Long pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on the face you fell in love with.
So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home! For the guys shoes brown or black leather dress shoes compliment almost every look!
Quick Tip: If one of you is wearing something with a lot of color and pattern, sometimes it’s best to have the other person wear a neutral to tone it down a bit.
Tip #2: Choosing Your Engagement Session Outfits Color Palette.
When choosing the colors for your outfits, I recommend choosing colors that aren’t too bright. Selecting lighter tones and more muted shades will help bring the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other!
While darker tones also go well to make sure you really stand out together against the backdrop of the location you choose but may distract the focus from your faces to your clothing a bit more than the muted or lighter toned colors.
Ultimately you want to make sure that the clothing you choose fits your styles as a couple but doesn’t take away from the emotion and relationship that we’ll capture during the engagement shoot.
Tip #3: Coordinate Your Engagement Session Outfits, Not “Match” Them.
As you’re coordinating your outfit with your fiancé’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.”
You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family.
Most of my brides choose their dress (and possibly second outfit) first, and then put together their fiancé’s outfit based on that.
Tip #4: Don’t forget about the details for your engagement session outfits!!!
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images.
Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not be as noticeable on camera.
Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention.
Fresh florals in a crown or bouquet can be a really romantic touch as well.
For the guys bow ties, ties, tie clips, watches, colored socks, belts, suspenders, and vests are all great added details!
Tip #5: Get Your Hair and Makeup Professionally Done!
Well this tip doesn’t necessarily relate to clothing specifically, it is a VERY important part to complete the look of your outfit for your engagement portraits!
Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of my brides’ checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of getting ready on your own.
Whether it’s lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream!
If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera.
Most brides feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a normal day, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera — and our brides always love the final result.
Extra Tip: Give Your Engagement Ring A Little Extra Polish and Get Your Nails Done!
Want more Engagement Session tips?
Be sure to check out the “Should We Wear Formal Engagement Outfits For Our Engagement Session?” blog post and sign up for the awesome KIP Resource Library below to get access to more amazing wedding planning tips and goodies!!!!
Get instant access to the KIP Resource Library!
You'll get access to ALL of these amazing freebies to help you make your wedding day perfect!
- Printable wedding planning timelines to help you stay on track while planning your wedding.
- My own personal KIP wedding day shot list.
- Tips on how to plan for your engagement session for the best photos!
- Questions that you need to ask wedding photographers to see if they're the right fit for you.
- Sample wedding day timelines for the best photos on your wedding day!
- How to plan a destination elopement!
- And so so so much more! New content is always being added just for YOU!