One of my favorite things about working with my couples on their wedding is planning their engagement session! This session is when I get to really know my couples through exchanging texts of different outfit ideas, choosing a location, and learning more about them on the day of the session.
With so many Pinterest ideas, how do you even know where to start for session? Hopefully by the end of this post, you'll have an idea of how to style your engagement session.
1. Don't Be Afraid To Go All Out
Some of my shorter brides worry that they won't be able to pull off a maxi dress, but end up loving their photos when they see it! Most of my couples haven't gotten professional photos done before, so I encourage you to try something you love.
2. Get Your Hair & Makeup Done Professionally
I always recommend professional hair and makeup because it's a good chance for you to see how it looks in photos before your wedding. A few blogs have suggested to do your makeup trial on the day of your engagement, but I actually recommend to get it done before. I've had a bride who did her trial on our engagement session day, and hated how it looked. Her tip is to do it before, so you're not scrambling to re-do it on the session date if you don't like it.
If you're unsure if you like how the professional makeup looks, take a selfie! If you don't like the selfie, chances are that you won't like how it looks in your session.
3. Well Fitted Solids
When in doubt, well fitted solid colored outfits are always flattering. Before I was a photographer, I thought that our outfits needed to match in color. However, it's best when the colors complement each other instead of being the same.
4. Large Prints
If you love floral prints (like me), I recommend going for dresses with a few large flowers instead of a bunch of tiny ones. You'll want to look for dresses that are mostly solid, but have large prints like in the examples below!
I love when my couples bring props! They can complement the outfits, and add more of a story to your engagement session. My favorite props are bouquets and flower crowns because they're so elegant. One of my couples brought balloons to their engagement because they loved Up!
6. One Formal One Casual
I tell my couples they can do one formal and one casual outfit to give the shoot some diversity, but I also love when they have two formal ones as well! My bride told me that they felt they wanted to go all out since they don't usually get photos done, and did two maxis.
7. Highlight and Hide
Choose an outfit that highlights your favorite features while hiding places you might feel insecure about. For example, if you love your back tattoo, wear a backless dress. If you're self conscious about your arms, a long sleeve dress will help cover up.
You want to choose an outfit that you feel confident in, so you can feel good during your session! Here are some dress styles that are generally flattering on most bodies. The grooms also matched really well in these examples too!
I love that both of her dresses were well fitted solids.
Victoria's swishy skirt on the left highlights her curves while her dress on the right was a gorgeous neutral blue color.
8. Bring Extra Shoes
Since we're walking from spot to spot, you might not feel comfortable walking around in heels. I always suggest bringing a pair of flip flops to walk between locations.
9. Arrive 15 Min Early
Since we're working so close to sunset, every minute counts. If you arrive late, it'll be dark by the time you arrive and we won't get a chance to shoot the full session.
10. Have Fun!
Once everything is planned out, don't forget to have fun! You can think of the engagement session like a date, but I'm there third wheeling and capturing the moment.
If your groom isn't the type that likes photos, don't worry! You can prepare him by showing him my blog, and the types of photos we'll be taking. My boyfriend James is the same way about photos, but it always helps when I tell him I'll be wearing a beautiful dress and he will be rewarded with a dinner of his choice after!
The engagement session is super important because it gives me a chance to get to know you, and you'll get to practice posing with me before your wedding day!
For more engagement outfit inspiration, check out my Pinterest board here.
Interested in learning more about the wedding experience? Click HERE!
Want to know what an ideal wedding photography timeline looks like? Click below!