*DISCLAIMER* None of the images below are my own. Credit belongs to the original photographers, the below section belonging to Katelyn James Photography and the first section belonging to the corresponding retailers. I only include these images to give examples of what photographs best as your engagement session outfit, but the choice is really yours!
If you are a bride in the midst of wedding planning, odds are you’ve maybe thought about booking an engagement session with your fiancé. If you haven’t prioritized booking one, you just HAVE to read my post on why I think this is an important step in the planning process! (Read here.)
Engagement sessions can be really enjoyable! It’s a chance to get to know your wedding photographer better, let them get to know you, and have a sweet time away from the busyness of wedding planning to just focus on you and your fiancé. But if you’re like me, you are anticipating standing in front of your closet thumbing through every dress and outfit you own trying to decide what you want to wear for the photos.
Put down the hangers! I am here to help.
I always suggest choosing two outfits for your session. The first, the outfit you should show up to your appointment wearing, is your formal outfit. The second is your casual outfit, and you will have a chance to change in the middle of your session while I take close-up shots of your ring.
The reason I recommend you come to your session wearing your formal outfit instead of the casual one is two-fold. First, it’s likely your least comfortable outfit. We will get all of the awkward stages of learning to pose over with first, so that the second half of the session is comfortable, easy, and more enjoyable. (End on a good note!) Secondly, when you end the session, you’ll be dressed more casually and can go enjoy a celebratory coffee date or dinner date without having to go change again!
Opt for a dress or skirt! These allow for beautiful movement shots and make your photos look really high-end. I also recommend choosing maxi-length skirts/dresses to achieve the most “flow” look. Choose colors that are light and neutral, to avoid unnatural color casts on your skin (beware of jewel tones, red, green, and orange; neutral colors like pastels, light grey, or beige work best here). Also try to avoid black unless previously discussed. You likely chose me for my more light and airy photo style, and black can photograph extremely heavy especially if our location does not allow for a lot of light colored backgrounds.
I am attaching photos of some looks that I LOVE and you can draw inspiration from! I will also include links to where to buy those exact dresses (going in order of price, greatest to least); but please note that stores may sell out or change their inventory so even though I link here, it may not always be available the further into the future you’re reading this post. In such cases, it’s best to use the photos as inspiration for similar looks you might find in these stores or other boutiques.
This dress is gorgeous for the cooler engagement session days. It is super flowy, feminine, and neutral colored (though it currently comes in two other colors as well: blush and a blue-ish grey). Super gorgeous and romantic, with embroidered floral patterns and a flattering waistline. Find it at BHLDN for $275!
The next dress is from one of my favorite online stores: JessaKae! JessaKae is a Utah-based boutique and they release new dresses almost every other week. They just recently launched their “high-end” line of dresses, which range somewhere between $65-90.
One of my favorites from their line for engagement sessions is pictured below. It’s called the South of France Maxi, and it currently comes in two colors for the floral print, and 6 colors in solid. 3 of the solid colors would be gorgeous for fall sessions, but keep in mind they are bolder colors so make sure we are scheduling your session for a sunrise/sunset time to make sure the light doesn’t bounce color onto your skin as much.
It is currently being sold for $85, but this boutique recycles their collections through FAST. Be sure to check their site for other dresses, because they truly have a lot of gorgeous options.
Lastly, here is an adorable option for a shorter dress. It’s from Amazon and has amazing reviews! The “wrap” style would be flattering on most body types and the high-low skirt would add some gorgeous “flow” into your images. What’s more, it comes in SO many colors/patterns! It’s only about $40.
For more ideas on formal outfits, check out my Pinterest board here!
Ok I am going to dip into Katelyn James’ Pinterest for this one. Katelyn’s clients have worn some BEAUTIFUL casual outfits and I would love to show you some looks that are easy to achieve within your own closet (or with limited shopping trips).
This first outfit idea is perfect for those spring/fall days because of the choice for booties and dark jeans. But she chose a top that was light colored and had feminine details (if you look close, it seems to have a lacey front to it). GREAT option for a casual outfit and easy to replicate at most stores!
The second outfit is SO perfect for colder days! The use of layering can really take your casual outfit to the next level, but don’t overdo it. This girl did a great job choosing a soft textured cardigan over a simple top/jeans combination, and a pair of boots.
Lastly, this outfit is one of my favorites! A simple, cute top with light-wash or white jeans, and a pair of strappy sandals/wedges make for a really versatile casual outfit.
For more inspiration for casual outfits, visit my Pinterest board here!
Shoes do matter for your shoot! Not only do you want to choose shoes to match your outfit, but you will want to be mindful of the fact that sessions will have you on your feet for at least 1.5 – 2 hours. Granted, since the session allows for you to change your outfit midway, some ladies might still want to rock a pair of pumps or heels! If you are that brave, I recommend considering wedges. They will be easier to walk in when we take some of our poses onto less solid ground. For your casual outfit, still consider a pair of nice flats or cute strappy sandals (maybe a pair of adorable booties for cooler months) to compliment a casual but put-together look!
A statement necklace or scarf can go a long way. Or for a really elegant look, opt for dainty earrings or pendant necklaces. The rule to keep in mind here is: keep it simple. Too much can distract from the subject of the photo — you and your fiancé! When it comes to accessories, I like to quote Coco Chanel.
“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”Coco Chanel
It’s probably one thing more than you really need.
I love helping my clients out, even with little details. If you still aren’t sure what to wear for your engagement session outfit, feel free to send me photos of outfit pieces you are considering! I would be so honored that you want my opinion, and I can help point you in the right direction as far as what photographs best.
At the end of the day, ask yourself if that outfit makes you feel like you. Do you feel beautiful? Are you comfortable? Do you like the way you look in it? That’s always most important.
And if you haven’t yet scheduled your engagement session, feel free to contact me! I would LOVE to get you on my calendar!
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