Planning out what to wear to your engagement session is one of the most difficult parts of preparing for it! The advice I always tell my couples is to choose outfits that you will feel comfortable and super confident in. Here are my tips to guide you through the engagement session outfit planning process.
Plan to bring 2-3 outfit options. We might not have time to wear all 3 outfits, but will for sure get photos with at least two different outfits. Also, keep in mind that most of the time you’ll have to change in the back of your car since most locations I use are outdoors and in the mountains.
Most couples bring a dressier option and a more casual option. For dressy options think of a flowy dress and maybe slacks and a button down shirt for the guy.
That being said, I want your outfits to truly reflect you both as a couple and to be outfits that feel natural to you both to wear. If you’re a couple who never gets dressed up, don’t feel pressure to have a dressy outfit option! You can totally have two awesome casual outfits instead. What would you wear on a typical date night? That’s a good place to start.
Make sure your outfits make sense to the scenery and settings we’ll be doing your session in. If we’ll be hiking up trails and navigating our way through rocky areas be sure to either bring or wear shoes that are good for that and have solid grip. For a cold, fall session wear all the layers to stay warm. A snowy, winter session is a great time to wear snow boots and to bring your winter coat, hat and gloves. We can make it look cute I promise!
Pick colors that compliment each other well or provide nice contrast. Stay away from bright, vibrant, fluorescent colors. Specifically bright oranges, pinks, and reds can make skin tones difficult in the editing process. A neutral, earthy color palette is always a safe way to go. Colors like black, creamy whites and tan, mustard yellow, forest green, navy, rust orange, maroon photograph really well. Pastel colors light light blues, light pinks, and lights yellows can look great too if they’re complimentary of your skin tones. If you have a more vibrant outfit in mind it might work for the location and for your skin tone. You can always check with me and send over your outfit ideas!
The general rule is if one person is wearing something patterned then the other shouldn’t! Small patterns are usually best, since larger patterns can be distracting in photos. Flannel shirts always look great and are fitting for most of the mountain settings in Colorado. Also, it’s best to avoid shirts/jackets with big logos. In some cases it can work like if you’re rocking an epic band t-shirt and we’re going super casual (in this case send me your inspo). Solid color shirts are an easy go-to!
Hats, jackets, scarves are fun accessories to play with during a session. We can use them and easily toss to the side. Leather and denim jackets are perfect for adding layers and contrast. As far as props, let’s avoid bringing any signs. *Looking at you Hobby Lobby* Instead think of props as like an activity such as a cheap champagne bottle to pop, beers to crack open, a pretty bouquet, a motorcycle, or pizza for an outdoor picnic. If you have prop ideas let me know and we can plan it out!
As far as an in-home session goes I like couples to have two outfit options. One would be the super comfy, and cozy outfit. The other is casual at home clothes like jeans and a comfy sweater and a causal solid T-shirt. All the basic guidelines above apply. You can want to choose outfits and colors that align with your home and are fitting to the aesthetic. P.S. check out Jackie & Levi’s in-home session for inspiration!
Should you get your hair and makeup done? This is up to you. In the past does getting your hair and makeup done help you feel more confident? Or do you feel like you don’t recognize yourself? Think of the looks you’re going for and what’s going to help you feel your best. If you’re doing your own hair and makeup go a little heavier with your makeup than you naturally would. Thinking about a spray tan? Make sure to get some trial runs done, so you know what looks best on you. Nobody wants to show up to their session with skin the color of a pumpkin. If you do get your hair and makeup done give yourself a time buffer since those things can tend to run late, and starting a session late can cut down on the time we have for great lighting.
Hopefully these tips help you get started with finding the perfect outfits for your engagement session. Still not sure what to wear or debating between some options? Send me an email and photos and we can talk through it!
My advice? I wish I would have gone a littler more casual for some of my engagement photos and did my own makeup. My husband and I aren’t the super dressy type, so it would have been more fun and natural for us to wear jeans, a casual shirt, and a pair of vans. Don’t feel like you need to stick with the “expectations” of engagement photos. The more they feel like you, the better they’ll turn out.
Check out my Pinterest board full of engagement outfit inspiration!