What should we wear for engagement photos? A guide to nailing your photo session style

You've decided to have engagement photos with your fiance, and you are so excited! But somewhere in the back of your mind is the thought - what are we going to wear?? You want to look amazing, but you don't have anything that looks like all the Pinterest engagement photos you've pinned sitting in your closet. And even if you do have an awesome outfit in mind for yourself, what will he wear to go with it? Well friend, I get these questions all the time, and I'm here to help! Here are a few tips for nailing your engagement photo attire:


PLAN AHEAD


Schedule your session enough in advance that you will have time to find outfits that look awesome. You don't want to be scrambling and searching through your closet the night before your session is scheduled.


DRESS UP


Engagement photos are a once in a lifetime occasion, so you want them to be memorable and to look your best. Pick out something special, and dress as though you are going on a fancy date, or think of what you would wear to a friend's wedding. Dresses are romantic and look amazing on any woman, and maxi dresses are the most flattering look for engagement photos. Men should dress to match, so you don't look like a million bucks while your fiance wears jeans and a baseball cap (I've seen it happen!!)


If casual is more your thing, plan two separate outfit combinations so you can show off your relaxed and dressed up styles. Most photographers are totally cool with that!


Also, don't forget your ring! That is part of the reason you are celebrating. Get it cleaned or polished before your photos so it looks extra AH-mazing. If you have time, getting a fresh manicure also helps show off your ring!

Can't decide on the perfect outfit for your engagement photos?
That's okay! Choose two!
You can switch up your look halfway through your session

COLOR PALETTE


Plan your color palette and the vibe you are going for. You don't want to match, but you definitely DO want to find colors that complement each other. Pinterest is a great resource for finding colors that look amazing together. If you know your wedding colors, you can also work that scheme into your outfits. Solid colors and neutrals always photograph best, but it's okay to add a pop of color and personality into your photos if it reflects your style. Try to avoid wearing anything with stripes or logos on it.


You don't have to be matchy-matchy, but if you can find colors that go together - great!
Avoid clothes with patterns or logos and stick with solid colors
Choose something that accentuates your favorite features

COMFORT


Try on your outfit before the session and make sure you can move around in it, that it is not too low cut, uncomfortable, or revealing. Try sitting down and standing in your outfit, and make sure that everything stays in place. Nothing is more annoying than trying to pull up straps or cover yourself when you should be focusing on having a great time with your fiance during your photos. Avoid anything distracting that will pull your focus away from where it should be.


You will probably be walking (or hiking!) during your engagement photos, so make sure to wear shoes that are comfortable, or if you want to wear heels, bring a second pair of shoes for walking between shooting locations. Break them in beforehand so you don't end up with blisters at the end of the day.

Comfort is key! Choose something you feel girlie and beautiful in but can easily move around as well
Don't forget those little details like your beautiful engagement ring!
You can dress up without being overly formal or stuffy about it. Bring your own style!

STYLE


Think of the outfits you have that make you feel amazing. What type of cut are they? What length? Which of your favorite features do they show off? Does your partner have a favorite body part that they love? My husband loves my shoulders and neck, so I always try to wear something sleeveless when we have our photos done. I hate my legs, so I will always pick a dress or pants that are full length to avoid a feature that I can't stand to show. Make sure to try it on before you wear it to your session. That may sound obvious, but once I ordered this pretty, lacy top that I thought would look great for photos. I never tried it on, and then on photo day I realized it was way too big and baggy, and looked terrible! It was great in theory, but in reality? Not so much. It may feel silly, but wear your outfit around the house and snap some selfies, or have your fiance take some phone photos so you can see exactly how your outfit fits.


It is best for photos to stick to what you KNOW looks great on you. This is not necessarily the time to try a style that you have never worn before. One time I had photos scheduled with my husband and I decided to part my hair on the opposite side that I've always parted it my entire life. WHY? I have no idea. I think the stress of getting photos done makes people go crazy. We spent a fortune on those photos, and guess what? I never hung them up in my house, and I cringe any time I come across them. I look so NOT ME, and I hate that. Don't do it!


The same applies to your hair and makeup. It is a great idea to have your hair and makeup done professionally before your photos, but stick to your normal look and what looks natural. It might not be a good idea to get a new haircut (see above story) right before your photos. You can make your makeup a little more dramatic and darker than you would normally wear to add depth and contouring, but make sure you still look like you.


What outfit do you feel AMAZING in? What length, colors, and style fit you best?
Pretend your session is a date night - what would you want to wear?
Make sure it is something you can move around and play in!

PROPS


I am not a huge fan of props during photo sessions because I don't like anything that takes you out of the moment. Bringing too many props, signs, etc. can get in the way of creating authentic connections between you. However, if you have accessories that are meaningful to you, like your grandmother's ring, or a special necklace your fiance gave you, those special items can add extra meaning to your photos. Let your photographer know in advance if you are bringing anything special so they make sure to focus in and get detailed photos of those items for you.


One prop I will always say "YES!" to is a furry friend or two. If you have pets who are part of your family, please bring them along! Sure they are distracting, but only in the very best way! They can help you relax, and they are just as much a part of your relationship as you are!

Some props can be distracting, but dogs are ALWAYS OK in my book!
The more, the merrier!

WEATHER


Believe it or not, I have had couples show up to take photos in the mountains in five feet of snow wearing short sleeves. Guess what? They both got the flu after!! Make sure to dress appropriately for the season and the location you are going to. There is nothing wrong with wearing a few layers or a cute jacket if it will keep you from freezing. Or bringing a cozy blanket to wrap up in. You can be creative when it comes to being stylish and comfortable, but at least be prepared.


Keep the weather in mind when you are planning your engagement outfits

Baby, it's cold outside!

YOUR BEST "YOU"


A photo session is an amazing opportunity to be the very best version of yourself. No matter what you are wearing, you will be there with the love of your life sharing an experience and a connection that you will always remember. When choosing your outfit, don't wear anything that you are not comfortable in or that doesn't feel like "you." Select something that makes you feel confident and comfortable in your skin and shows off the things you love about yourself.


If you don't have something in your closet that makes you smile, consider renting an outfit for the day that you can return after. Sites like Rent The Runway, Armoire and Le Tote offer affordable rentals of designer clothes that you can wear and send back. I use a unique service called Style & Select that creates a style profile and selects outfits specifically for photo shoots to make your shopping very simple. My clients can get a code to easily style their session. Other great brands to look to include Free People, Lulus, and Joyfolie. I always recommend finding your outfit first, and then styling your fiance with something to match.


If you still need help, most photographers are happy to help style your session to make it as beautiful as can be. Ask your photographer if they have a Pinterest board you can view, or a style guide to help make your decisions. Your photographer wants your photos to be gorgeous just as badly as you do, so don't be afraid to ask for their help! If you need any more pointers, feel free to reach out to me at jordan@carvedtreephotography.com.


Above all else, BE YOURSELF! Your engagement photos should reflect who you are as a couple

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ENGAGEMENT  | WEDDING | ELOPEMENT  |  NEWBORN  | FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY IN GRAND JUNCTION  |  PALISADE  |  ASPEN  | VAIL  |  TELLURIDE  | FRUITA, COLORADO