I photograph engagement sessions all year around and the most commonly asked question I get is, “What should I wear for my session?” So I’ve compiled some of my TOP styling tips and my FAVORITE Amazon finds to help you select beautiful, coordinating outfits (at an affordable price!) for your Engagement Session!
Let’s chat styling tips!
1) First and most importantly, your job is to feel 100% yourself in what you’re wearing. If those cute heels in your closet give you blisters, or your favorite blouse is super itchy, those are signs that you should select something else to wear for your session. You want to wear something that is comfortable, beautiful and true to you. Your session is a reflection of who you are as a couple, and you want your outfits to reflect you as well.
2) I recommend one outfit being fancier or “formal” and one more casual or “date night” outfit for your engagement session! This adds a ton of variety to your full gallery, and gives you the opportunity to pull that long lost sequins dress out of the back of the closet! Make sure that your outfits are at the same level of “fanciness”. If the bride-to-be is wearing jeans and a sweater, it wouldn’t make sense for the groom-to-be rocking a full suit.
3) Against popular belief, don’t try to match! Instead try and select outfits that coordinate with each other! If everyone wore the exact same color, the images would be kind of boring. I recommend picking several “dominate” colors (i.e. Blush and Dusty Blue) and pairing them with a few “accent” colors (i.e. Cream, Navy and Leather Brown.)
4) Don’t be afraid to accessorize! Layers add interest and dimension to the images. I love it when a client brings along a fun hat, cozy scarf, a fab pair of shoes, adds a vest, a fur shawl, etc. You can even accessorize with things other than clothing! Bring your dog, a bottle of champagne, or let’s go out on your boat for your session!
5) Try not to wear anything too distracting. Most people think that neutral colors or solid colored clothing is boring, but the truth is that it allows the focus of the image to be on my favorite part….YOU! Wearing a neon orange shirt can not only reflect orange onto your skin tone, but also can be very distracting. Words and graphics on your clothing can be hard to read and distracting, so we try to avoid them.
6) The easiest way to create a complimenting look when wearing a pattern, is to have the other person wear a solid color that is incorporated in the pattern. Women, if you’re wearing a subtle floral dress, have your man wear a solid colored top in one of the colors in your dress! I’ve shared an example of this below!
7) Keep in mind your location and the weather! You might think that formal dresses only look good in urban settings, but they look amazing surrounded by foliage and greenery too! It’s 80+ degrees during your summer engagement session? Go for the shorter dresses or something lightweight and flowy!
8) Don’t forget to be mindful of any problem areas. You don’t like your knees? Wear a long dress! You have a weird mole on your arm? Wear long sleeves (or else just tell me, and I’ll make sure to position you in a way where you can’t see it!) And the same goes for the areas that you do love! You are proud of those arms you’ve been toning? Wear a short sleeved dress to show them off!
The best part? Most of these options are Prime and include free returns! Let’s get started!
Short dresses are great options for Spring and Sumer Engagement Sessions, but adding a jacket or a cardigan and some boots make it a great option for Fall Engagement Sessions too!
I personally love long dresses! They make you look and feel fancy without breaking the bank! Also, most of these are a stretchy cotton fabric, making them super soft and comfortable!
These are examples of what I would consider more formal options! All of these pair so nicely with a suit for your man! I actually own several of these exact dresses myself and LOVE them! The maxi skirt alone I have in several colors!
This dress deserves it’s own spotlight because it’s so dang pretty! This dress is perfect for a formal Engagement Session! You can even re-wear it for your Rehearsal Dinner, Honeymoon, etc. When my husband was in Law School I went dress hunting every year for the Law School Ball. This dress caught my eye, but I was so skeptical with the $50 price tag. I’m here to tell you that I’m not sure why it only has 4 stars and not five! It’s affordable, gorgeous, runs true to size and comes in several different styles and colors!
I purchased this dress myself for my husband’s Law School Ball in 2019 and have worn it several times since! Our Anniversary Session with my friend Cassidy Alane Photography (pictured below), and I wore it to a Destination Vow Renewal. I’ve already gotten so much wear out of it, and always get tons of compliments on it each time! It has a little bit of stretch to it, which allowed me to squeeze into it for our Anniversary Session when I was 15 weeks pregnant! My personal fav is the rose gold color because it looks so great with a simple black suit!
I cannot recommend this more. Get your man a suit! There are so many affordable options (and colors!) out there, and you will get your use out of it. This Kenneth Cole Suit is my current fav and I can’t decide which color to buy for my husband next, and it’s LESS than $100!
Well, I’ve shown you lots of great options for women’s dresses and a few suit options for your man, but the tough part is coordinating them to look great together! I’ve compiled a few examples to help you out and give you some inspiration!
I love these two outfits paired together! They are equal in their “formalness”, and have lots of neutral accessories. The skirt comes in a variety of colors and most of them would match a neutral suit combo! You could probably pair this skirt outfit with kakis and a collared shirt.
I think this is an amazing look for all seasons, but especially winter! I could see this outfit being worn at a park with lots of greenery, or at a Historical Museum, or at a Christmas Tree Farm! So many good options for this, and you could definitely rewear this outfit to Holiday Parties! This sequins dress is the same one as listed above, just in a different color!
This dress is not only beautiful, but super comfy! It is absolutely possible to be both comfortable and dressed up at the same time! If your man doesn’t want to rock a full suit, pairing a nice blazer with dark jeans, colored pants or khakis looks almost as good! Blazers and jackets add so much to a man’s attire for the Engagement Session!
Pairing a soft floral pattern with a nice blazer is always a winner! Soft sweet and perfect for a spring vineyard location!
This dress has a sweet spot in my heart. I needed a dress to wear for my own maternity photoshoot, but I was struggling to find a maternity dress that I loved and didn’t make me feel like a giant blob. I ordered it in a panic because not only was it gorgeous, but it had an elastic waistband and I was hoping it would work with my baby bump. AND IT DID! Here’s some photos (below) wearing this exact dress for my own Maternity Session taken by our sweet friends Chelsey and Jordan Photography! And I can’t wait to wear it again (being non-pregnant) this winter!
Some couples aren’t into the formal look or want to do a more casual look for their second outfit. I wanted to provide some options for that! I love the look of colored pants paired with dark clean jeans. And you can never go wrong with neutral layers!
Another great option for couples searching for outfits for their Engagement Session is to look at Renttherunway.com They have tons of amazing options that you can RENT for a fraction of the retail price. They even send you a backup size too!