The Engagement Session: What to Wear

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Choosing outfits for your engagement session can be difficult. You ladies know how it is... all of a sudden you hate everything in your closet and nothing is cute enough. Whether you buy new outfits for your engagement session or wear something you already own, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

- Dress up a bit. My favorite engagement session looks are more dressed up. But even if you go with a more casual look, keep it date-night ready. Skip really casual pieces like cargo shorts, worn out jeans, screen print shirts, and plain tank tops.

- Coordinate instead of match. You and your fiance shouldn't wear the same color top or bottom (unless you're both wearing jeans) because you'll blend into each other. You know those old school family photos done in a studio where everyone has a black turtleneck on? It's like one big blob with faces. So if he's wearing a black suit, you shouldn't wear a black dress. Instead, choose complementary colors. If you're wearing a blue dress, choose a complimentary color or a different shade for him. Whether you choose pastel colors, jewel tones, muted tones, or neutrals, pairing two colors of the same tone together always looks chic.

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- Match the location without blending in. If we're shooting next to fall trees, keep color tones warm and deep like jewel tones. An engagement session downtown would be a much better choice if you wanted to wear pastels. If we're doing the session at a park, the only color you'd want to avoid is green. Earth tones and neutrals look good just about everywhere. 

- Layer and accessorize! Scarves, bold jewelry, and cute shoes are all great ways to complete your engagement session outfit. The extra textures and colors help you add personality to your outfits. I especially love the addition of a cardigan, because it adds texture and color, it is super flattering on the arms, and it can keep a peekaboo bra strap hidden without constant readjusting.

- Avoid colors and patterns that don't look good on camera. Neon colors and bright red will often reflect onto your skin. Tiny prints (like checked dress shirts or other dime-sized patterns) get muddled on camera and can look unnatural, and huge prints will pull the attention away from you.

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- Consider an outfit change. Most clients chose to wear two outfits, so they can have both a casual look and a dressy look. Fall is a great time of year for casual layered outfits, and I loved what Maddy and Will chose for their Williamsburg engagement session. Will's look is neutral without being boring, which allows Maddy's sweater to pop along with the fall colors. In their dressy outfit, Will's gray sport coat stands out next to Maddy's dress. And her accessories add interest and texture to each outfit. I love the versatility of having two looks for an engagement session. And in the heat of summer, having a second (or even a third) outfit is a REALLY good idea! We want everyone to look fresh and cool, not hot and sticky. And feel free to bring options for your second outfit! I'm happy to give my opinion. It's also worth considering how you will change, because not every engagement session location has a bathroom nearby and a lot of couples end up doing a quick change in their car.

- While coordinating colors and adding layers are both really important, the MOST IMPORTANT factor is fit. Clothing that fits both of you well will give an instant elegance to the photos. Choosing pieces that don't bunch or pull will allow you to enjoy yourself at the session instead of worrying if your clothing needs adjusting. Instead of clingy fabrics, look for structured pieces or pieces that flow and drape.

Looking for inspiration for your engagement session outfits? Check out my Pinterest board for some great outfit ideas.


Want to read more tips for your engagement session?
Choosing a Location
My Favorite Hampton Roads Locations
What To Wear
What Not to Wear
Shopping for an Engagement Session Dress
What Happens if it Rains
The Purpose
Getting to Know Your Photographer
How I Chose My Outfits
10 Final Tips