This is sort of a follow-up to my last blog post, Why do an Engagement Session? I’m going to boldly assume that you read it and loved it and decided to make the (right) choice to have engagement photography done before your wedding. Your next thought might be – what do I wear?
I know if I was in your shoes I would spend roughly nine hours trying on outfits and throwing them on my floor, until I was buried in a pile of clothes and shoes with no better idea of what to wear than when I started. So if you’re unlucky enough to be an indecisive outfit chooser like me, then hopefully this advice will save you all that time and help you keep your floor clothing-free. However, if you’re not like me and would have no problem quickly picking an outfit - then congrats! But this post will still help you because you'll want to put a bit more thought into your outfit choice for an engagement session than for your day-to-day routine. Obviously this is different because you'll be photographed, and because you need to coordinate outfits with your fiancé – you want to look good together. I’ve seen a lot of couples absolutely nail their outfit choices, but I’ve also seen some engagement photos with cringe-worthy apparel. Here’s how to avoid those cringes:
Look Like You're Going to the Same Event
Whether you decide to go casual or get fancy with your outfits, you and your significant other should look like you're going to the same place. Want to wear a cute cocktail dress? Then your man shouldn't be dressed like he's going to a baseball game. Either outfit might be great on it's own, but when paired together you'll simply look weird.
Wear Colors that Complement Each Other
This does NOT mean that you need to perfectly coordinate every aspect of your outfits - no one wants to look too matchy-matchy. The ideal is to wear outfits with colors that complement each other, so all colors should be within the same color family. Sticking to neutral colors but adding a bit of similar colors here and there is always safe. And don't be afraid to go bold - a pop of bright color or a favorite print can really make your outfits stand out. That being said, neon colors or multiple intricate patterns can get distracting.
Dress to Reflect Your Style, and Be Comfortable
Your engagement photos are meant to capture you and your love as you are, so dressing to reflect your personal style is key. If you're the outdoorsy type, then show it! If you like to keep it classy, let that reflect in your outfits! If you want to get glamorous, go for it! Just make sure that you don't feel awkward in whatever you're wearing - when you feel comfortable in your clothes, you'll feel more confident being photographed, and your photos will reflect that.
Think About Your Surroundings
For some locations, anything goes as far as outfits. We can find a grassy field or walk the streets of downtown Rochester dressed in any type of attire and make it work! But sometimes it can be smart to tailor your outfits to the location. If you want to have your session done in the local ballpark where you had your first date, then your favorite cocktail dress probably doesn't make sense. Consider this when planning.
Props can be great, but they certainly aren't necessary. There are all sorts of fun options when it comes to props and I always welcome clients to bring something if they'd like. A blanket can come in handy for seated poses to create a picnic-like feel - I've had couples bring along a picnic basket to really bring the look together. The possibilities are endless - bring a bottle of wine to toast, a chalkboard sign with your wedding date for Save-The-Dates, or a bicycle to take a ride. I absolutely adore engagement photos where a vintage car is incorporated into the session and I'm not-so-secretly hoping that one of my couples will get their hands on one for photos.
Pets are Always Welcome
If your little family is incomplete without Stanley the Puggle then by all means bring him along! However, it's important to have someone there to bring your furry friend home when he's done with his time in the spotlight, or it can make it difficult to get your session done.
If you're still having a hard time deciding what to wear and what to bring, ask me! I love consulting about outfit choices and am always happy to do so. My Pinterest board What to Wear to Your Engagement Session is also a great place for outfit inspiration.
Here are some couples who absolutely nailed it: