What to Wear – Engagements | {NY/PA Wedding Photographer}

“You look FABULOUS, Darling”

I get asked a lot “what do we wear for our engagement session”? So here it is. Just a few (okay, MANY) tips on what will make you both SHINE in your pictures.

Repeat after me “dress for YOUR body type, NOT what is in style”. Short shorts may be in season, but not everyone looks good in them, (I know I don’t). Really poufy shirts may not accentuate your figure the way you want. If in doubt, ask your most brutal friend to help you pick some outfits. Don’t wear sleeveless tops if you hate your arms. Wear fitted, but not tight clothing. Baggy clothes make you look larger instead of covering which doesn’t flatter and too tight clothes make you look lumpy even if you are a size 0.

Coordinate your colors. Wear a dark green dress and have your fiancé wear a light green shirt. You don’t want to look matchy matchy. Both of you in jeans and red polos looks a little funny. You can also wear complimentary colors. Remember what your high school art teacher told you about the color wheel? Yeah, didn’t think so. The color wheel shows which colors best complement each other. The colors directly across from each other are complementary. Colors that are next to each other are more subtle, but still work well.  Stick to the wheel. It really does make a difference.

Make sure your overall “style” is the same. Guys, please don’t wear a baggy t-shirt and shorts if your beautiful bride is wearing a dress and heels. I suggest one “casual” outfit (jeans, untucked button down for guys; jeans & a cute blouse for gals) and one “formal” outfit (nice pants, sweater or vest for guys; dress for gals).  In the Fall, jackets, hats and scarves are FABULOUS design ideas. You don’t have to freeze to get great pics!

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Wear bold color solids or simple patterns. Tiny patterns or prints DO NOT photograph well. Small plaids and checkers mix together. A bolder (but simple) print is best. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not wear “logos”. People want to see YOU, not some label. Clothes should not have writing of any sort, unless of course you are going for kitsch with matching tee shirts with your honeymoon destination or favorite band on them. That’s cute. Me likey.

You should have a dressy and a casual look. A cute cocktail dress is always a good way to go for your dressy look. Jeans are a great option for the casual look. Pair them with funky boots, or bold shoes for the best pop.

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Layering is always a winner for downtown settings. For example: Guys: Nice dark jeans, hip shoes, collared shirt and a loose tie or vest. A jacket to finish it off.
Girls: Nice jeans, paired with a dressy top, splashes of color or patterns, funky jewelry and high heels. (or cute cocktail dress).

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Turn up the volume on your outfits! Simple clothes can look stunning with the right accessories. Bold jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, even purses can all really punch up your look!
(note: if you’re going to be wearing high heels, also bring some more comfortable flip-flops or slip-ons with you for walking).


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It is always best to bring a few different outfits so that you can change for your specific location. and if you are REALLY in doubt – we can always decide when we meet what combos will work best. The most important thing is to be comfortable in whatever you choose. If you feel awkward, your pictures will reflect that. You have to love how you look and feel.

“What NOT to Wear (I secretly wish I was Stacy London and Clinton was my BFF)

– Pure White, Black or matching colored shirts.
– Heavily patterned clothes.
– Stripes (especially thick or horizontal)
– Logos. People want to see YOU, not the store you bought your shirt at.
– Anything that exposes too much skin. If your Grandma can’t see it, then don’t wear it!
– Too many bright colors. A little pop of color is ok, but don’t overdo it.
– Really short skirts or super short shorts. I will have you sit and lay down at times for pictures, you don’t want to expose too much!
– Exactly the same outfit. You are individuals. Your clothing should reflect your unique style and personality and how well you fit together.

“Make it Work”

You don’t need to just limit yourself to outfits for your session. Fun props can be a great way to infuse your photos with your own sense of you. If props aren’t your thing, don’t worry, it’s best to only include them if you feel comfortable doing so. Some ideas are:

Love your dog? Bring her! Just make sure you have a “handler” since fur babies don’t usually last too long and you won’t want them in ALL your pics!
Funky Sunglasses, Hats, or logo shirts with meaning (Love Disney? Favorite Sports team?)
“Save the Date” sign on a chalkboard, or with scrabble letters (or anything else you can think of – sidewalk chalk anyone?). These pics are great to use in Save the Dates cards or on your custom website!
Anything else that makes your relationship unique or that is special to you. Have a favorite board game? Love cupcakes? Wine connoisseurs?

“So in Conclusion…”

Ultimately the photo shoot is about capture who you two are together. BE YOURSELF. If you are silly, then laugh and goof around. Don’t try to be serious. If you are introverted and quiet, then roll with it, don’t try to be bold and sassy. The best photos are ones that truly reflect your personalities, whatever they may be.  In short, have fun and LOOK LIKE YOU!

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