Today I am so excited to talk about how to select your outfit for engagement photos. I’ve had a lot of people ask me how we decided on our pieces so I thought I should share a few simple tips.
We actually had a very hard time picking out outfits because we had our photos taken in the middle of winter in Maine. We planned on using one of our photos for the save the dates so we needed to be relatively neutral in theme and outfit choices to avoid confusing our wedding aesthetic and season. So here are a few of the rules I created to follow for picking your outfits for engagement photos:
1. Avoid shapeless, billowy tops and dresses.
Make sure to pick a piece that you can see your best assets in. As a Senior Bridal Stylist at a bridal salon, I’ve dressed every body type out there. I can guarantee that if you select pieces that emphasize your waist, and highlight your figure proportionately, you will look amazing.
Personally, I like to emphasize my legs and waist, and minimize my behind by wearing skirts with a natural (high) waistline. I have yet to regret an outfit where I can see my shape and feel flattered.. yet I have come to regret a few outfits where I tried to be too trendy and ignored what’s best for my shape altogether.
Need tips for picking what looks good on your body type? Check out this article at Real Simple. Always trust your own experience, as you know your body and your level of comfort better than anyone.
2. Mix neutrals and a pop of color.
(to the left my gorgeous best friend Katie and her awesome man Jeff – to the right me and E)
The best engagement photos that I’ve see again and again are the ones where the bride (or groom!) is wearing a pop of a natural color. If you know you wear a certain color best, pick the most rich (not necessarily bright) version you can find, and wear a neutral coordinating top and/or bottom. This will create contrast that will photograph well. I suggest either picking a skirt, sweater, scarf, accessories, nails, lips, etc.. Avoid multiple brightly colored pieces, neons, and having both you and your fiance in a pop of bright color.
3. Pick two outfits: one on the casual side and one on the formal side
(my beautiful best friend Lisa and her amazing fiance)
If you cannot decide between formal or casual – do both! Weddings are an interesting time because it is a formal event in nature, but the modern bride wants her big day to be about the couple and the party – not the stuffy traditions and hoopla that comes with the formality. Engagement shoots set the tone for the wedding, yet are the most casual photos you will have from the wedding. Switching outfits gives you the opportunity to get variety. And well, let’s be real I couldn’t possibly decide on just one outfit. Anyway, we wanted a natural feel for our locations, and a totally formal dress just wouldn’t have worked, so I chose the slimming skirt outfit, and the casual typical-Maine plaid top with skinny jeans. Lisa (above) went for a formal look at the formal location, and a casual (but still trendy and chic) look for the outdoor location. You can go as formal or informal as you want on either look, but I recommend switching outfits to satisfy both.
What do you think? What is your favorite engagement look?