Prepare For Your Engagement Session | Tips For Choosing Your Engagement Outfits

When it comes to having professional engagement photos taken it can feel intimidating. Many couples have never had professional photos taken, individually or together. Understandably, this can lead to some stress. Couples worry they will look awkward and fret over what to wear and how to look their best.  Please know that this is perfectly normal and something that most couples talk to me about. I wanted to put your worries to rest and share some of my top tips for choosing your engagement outfits so that you look and feel your best as you prepare for your engagement session.

Prepare For Your Engagement Session | Tips For Choosing Your Engagement Outfits

Tips For Choosing Your Engagement Outfits

Tip 01.  Embrace Your Style And Dress Comfortably

It is most important that you wear whatever makes you feel like you! Comfort really is key. Trust me when I say that if you feel uncomfortable in your clothing, it will show on camera. Listen to your gut when it comes to what you feel good in- if something is a smidge too tight in an area and you feel slightly self-conscious, that will show. Instead select an outfit you can move freely in that makes you feel good without any hesitations! Some couples love an excuse to go all out on a fun, dressy outfit, while others prefer to keep a casual, but polished look. This is your engagement session and you should embrace your style and vision for your engagement session!

Tip 02. Wearing Two Outfits 

While it isn’t a requirement, many of my couples choose to wear two outfits at their engagement session. One look is usually a cute, casual date night vibe, and the second outfit is typically more formal and dressy. Bringing two outfits gives your session two different looks, and adds variety to your final gallery, as well as options if you plan to use your engagement photos for things like Save the Dates. I recommend beginning with the more casual “cute date” outfit first, as this will help you to feel more comfortable and natural as we all warm-up.

Tip 03. Dress it Up or Keep it Casual

If it is your style, don’t be afraid to dress things up! Your engagement session is the perfect opportunity to rock a dressed up or formal look that you might not normally wear. Use this session as an excuse to bust out the fancy wear if that is what you like. Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera as it adds movement to your photos which tends to be very flattering and natural-looking. On the flip side, if you’re a very casual couple that hates to dress up, or it just doesn’t feel natural, don’t feel pressured to dress up or wear anything that you don’t actually like. Your photos are going to be gorgeous no matter what! If you show up comfortable, your body language will be less rigid and your confidence will radiate on camera. 

Tip 04. Coordinate Colors – Not Match 

When it comes to selecting the colors of your outfits, focus on coordinating colors, not matching them. If you both wore the same exact color tone to your engagement session, your images would be boring and bland. Not to mention, it is REALLY hard to find the exact same color. More often than not,  you will end up clashing with two off shades of a similar color. 

Instead, coordinate your colors. For example, if you wear a dusty pink dress, with soft blue accessories, and nude heels, then your partner might wear a navy suit jacket with khaki or gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. In this example, the main colors that the other is wearing coordinate with each other, and create a look that complements one another and isn’t too matchy-matchy.

Tip 05.  Wear lighter, neutral Clothing

Light, neutral clothing always photographs well. For that reason, I highly recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades for your engagement session outfits. Avoid bright, bold colors (think hot pink, cherry red, or neon colors) as they can be distracting. When someone looks at your engagement photos, you don’t want their gaze to go straight to your clothing instead of your faces. Your engagement photos are about you, and that should be the focus.

Tip 06.  Select Outfits That Flatter Your Features 

Before I dive into this section, please know that you are going to look incredible at your session -100% you will look stunning! However, after years of doing this, I hear many comments about features that make people self-conscious. We are all human, and it is perfectly natural to have features about ourselves that we are self-conscious about at times. This section is meant to help those who are nervous about selecting outfits that flatter their features and make them feel confident. If you suspect that you may be apprehensive about how you or a certain body part is going to look in photos then this section is meant to help you – BUT again you will look GORGEOUS. 

Timeless engagement portraits in New Hampshire

It is best to recognize those feelings of self-consciousness and choose clothes that best complement those feelings. As I said earlier, when you wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, you’ll look comfortable and confident on camera! Here are a few common areas of concern I hear about:  

Arms: 

If you are worried about what your arms will look like in photos, I suggest choosing an outfit with three-quarter length sleeves, as this helps to create a slimming effect on all arms. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer, or cardigan along that you can throw on. Skinny straps or strapless dresses can have the opposite effect on arms, so I recommend avoiding those if you find yourself focused on your arms a lot.

Legs: 

Wear heels! Heels tend to elongate the look of women’s legs (especially closed-toe heels!). Remember to paint your toenails before your session if you do wear open-toe heels!  

Height differences: 

This can go both ways! Know what shoes you are both wearing and try them out before the session to make sure you’re comfortable with where that puts you next to each other if this is something you’re self-conscious about. This is important as overcompensating with a subtle dip down or a tiptoe up can turn a cute pose into an awkward look.

No matter the concern, know that you look incredible and your images are going to be stunning. When you feel comfortable and confident, it really does show!

Tip 07. Opt for Professional Hair + Makeup

Please hear me out! I feel this is super important and can totally transform your engagement photos. When you go with professional hair and makeup,  it not only looks amazing, but it removes ALL the stress of getting ready on your own. This is such an exciting moment in your life and relationship. Take this time to get pampered. I want this entire experience to be as stress-free for you as possible. Professional hair and makeup will remove your worry of waking up with a bad hair day or rushing to get done in time. It is also a great way to get an extra boost of confidence! 

This is also a perfect time to do your makeup trial for your wedding if it is local. It is normal to feel like your makeup is too much at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a normal day, but know that a good makeup artist knows how to get it just right for the camera! Doing this for your engagement session, you’ll get to see how the makeup photographs and if there is something you want to change. There is NO going back on your wedding day, so take this opportunity to know for sure that you love it.

Pro-Tip: Don’t forget that your ring will get some attention too at your shoot. Take this opportunity to get your ring cleaned and maybe treat yourself and get your nails done, too!

Outfit Tips For Men 

Tip 08. Wear ‌Long pants and closed-toed shoes

Selecting long pants and closed-toed shoes will give you a sophisticated and masculine look for your photos. In contrast, shorts and open-toed shoes can draw attention to your legs and feet.  Suit pants, dress pants, or colored pants work best along with brown leather dress shoes, which complement almost every look, whether you’re wearing a full suit, blazer, or simply a collared shirt.

Tip 09. Make sure you are on the same page

Be sure to talk to each other first and make sure you’re both dressed on the same level and in a similar style. Sometimes one partner likes dressing up more than the other, so it is important to find common ground and agree on your outfits ahead of time.  

Tip 10. Add Layers

Layers can add a ton of interest and dimension to your photos – think blazers, vests, and coats! These allow you to have multiple looks without changing your outfit. Likewise, ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, and watches are all fun accessories to consider as well. Accessories like these are a great way to pull in each other’s coordinating colors.

Tip 11: What To Bring To Your Engagement Session  

Here are a few things I recommend my couples to bring along to their engagement session:

  • Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo locations (especially if you’re planning to wear heels). You will thank me later! You don’t realize how much walking you will do!
  • A second outfit with shoes and accessories, if you’d like a second outfit
  • Compact mirror and touch-up makeup
  • Water bottles – always a good idea, but a must for warmer sessions
  • Coat or cover-up for colder sessions

I know this is a lot of information to think about, but don’t let this overwhelm you! These are tips to help guide you through some of the decisions you will make on what to wear to your engagement session. Remember, the most important thing is to wear something that you’re comfortable and confident in, as that alone will make ALL the difference in the world.

One last tip for planning your engagement session before I wrap this up – make a date night out of it! Make a reservation to a new restaurant you’ve been dying to try, or plan to go out for a celebratory drink afterwards. This is such an exciting moment in your lives and you should enjoy this time together and celebrate – it really is fleeting. Even though there are a lot of decisions to make, have fun, make memories, and enjoy being engaged!

Please contact me today to learn more about my engagement and wedding photography! I can’t wait to hear all about your love story and how I can preserve your beautiful memories!

View my portfolio to see gorgeous weddings and engagements I’ve had the honor of photographing and follow me on Instagram to keep up with the latest from Breonna Wells Photography! 

April 25, 2024