Thursday, May 5, 2016

10 Tips for Choosing Your Engagement Session Outfit | Wedding Thursday | Phoenix Arizona Wedding Photographer

I've been so excited all week to write this blogpost! Why you ask? Because I got to do the best homework assignment in preparation for it--spending half an hour on Pinterest pinning, pinning, pinning! It was so relaxing! Anyway, this question is one I get a lot!

What do you suggest I wear for my engagement session?

And I love it when I'm asked that because I think knowledge is power and the more you know the more amazing your engagement session will be.

Today I want to share with you my personal preferences for engagement session apparel! These tips will help anyone planning their engagement session, but are definitely specific to my brides and my tips and suggestions are things that I know will highlight my style and provide timeless images for my brides.

Again, these are my preferences! And they don't just go for engagement sessions! I feel like many of these tips can carry on into family portrait sessions, senior sessions, maternity sessions, and even children's sessions!

Are you ready? :)  If you want to see my fabulous Pinterest board with engagement session outfit inspiration, click here! I'm going to illustrate this post with images that are pinned on my pinterest board to show you exactly what I mean by each section, as well as to help you see why I pinned each particular pin.

Tip 1.  A Dressy Engagement Session 

So, confession. I love, love, love when my couples dress up. I completely get the idea that you want to show who you really are as a couple off in pictures. That is totally fine! But when do ever get to really dress up for things? And can we show that off by the way you two interact?  I think engagement sessions with more casual outfits can be so cute, but I would just opt for at least one dressy outfit. Why? From my experience, the dressy outfits create more timeless images as well as those types of images (you've seen them) where as see as you see it you think "wow, that's gorgeous." And then you still think about them as time goes on. That's what I want to create for my brides. So that when their friends scroll through their feed and they see their engagement pictures, it's a jaw dropping "wow" response and one they won't easily forget.

This photo would have been a lot less "wow" if she were in jeans :) Photo: Michelle Boyd Photograhy |

Tip 2. Dresses Accentuate the Women's Figure

Another reason I love dressy engagement sessions? Because that usually means the bride will be wearing a dress! I have found that dresses really accentuate the women's figure! It's easier to hide problem areas and, if chosen right, they highlight the smallest part of their waist. And again, it adds that wow factor!

Tip 3. Heels Elongate the Leg

I love this tip and have to say I use it every time I get my pictures taken! I never wear heels in real life. Maybe once every 3 months to church....maybe. But, I love them in pictures! First, because my husband is nearly a foot taller than me, and second because it makes my legs look so good! I've never been fond of my calves, but heels just do all the right things for the body and can make you look like you have legs for days!

Photo: JoPhoto |

Tip 4 - Types of Dresses, Fabrics, and Colors

So, yes Trisha, we get that you want us to wear a dress! But what type of dress? There are tons of options out there! I definitely agree! I think most dresses will look amazing in pictures. My absolute favorites to photograph though are below:

Dresses: I love photographing dresses that are soft and loose. It gives my brides something to play with, with their hands, I can add twirls in there, and it's easier to hide any trouble areas.

Favorite Fabrics -- Flowy and soft
- Chiffon
-(plus fabrics like this)

Tulle Skirt:
Lace dress:
Chiffon pink dress:

Colors: My favorite colors to photograph are usually more neutral colors.  Those colors really highlight my style! But, if you look through my pinterest board you'll see a few bold colors in there too! Both options will add a wow factor.

Tip 5: GO BOLD!!

One thing that I've found that really helps take an engagement session to that next level is by going  a little more bold than you usually would. So that means the dress is a little more fancy,  the style is a little more fashion forward, the skirt is a little more fluffy, the accessories are a little bigger and bolder, and that's just the outfit! Go to tip 9 for the hair and makeup tips :)
Left Image:
Right Image:

Tip 6: Accessorize

One thing that can add a lot of interest to an outfit is to accessorize. Depending on the style of outfit you choose, you can add a hat, bracelets, necklaces, flower crowns, scarves, earrings, boots, headpieces, etc to add visual interest. Sometimes simple is best, but sometimes those pieces can make an outfit that much better!
Photo: Janelle Marina Photography |


I feel funny calling this section "THE MAN" section, but it was easier to break it down that way....and let's face it, there probably won't be as many men reading this post as women ;). Haha.

So, what I love to do with my engagement sessions is really show the love between the couple. However, my bride is definitely the show stopper! My favorite thing to do with my men is to dress them in more neutral colors and basics. It always looks classy and sophisticated. Not only does the guy look great, those colors really highlight my style, aaaannnnnddd last but not least, it allows the bride to shine!

Left Image:
Center image:
Right Image:

Tip 8:  THE MAN SECTION: Fitted Clothes

When it comes to dressing your man, if they're like my husband, they could usually care less how they dress and are mostly going for comfort. So for our photo sessions, I'm always trying to find more fitted outfits for him to wear. This goes for suits, pants, and shirts. I've found that, in pictures, baggier clothes tend to look less sharp, more casual, and less high-end....even if the shirt did cost a pretty penny. :) Guys, just trust me on this, and definitely check out my pinterest board if need be. It doesn't have to be super tight, just fitted.  Do what your fiancé says. Make her happy. It's just one photo session. And I promise you'll look like a stud.

Tip 9: Hair and Make up (Back to the ladies!)

So, I loooooved this tip that my sister in law told me (she went to beauty school and is AMAZING). She said that in school they taught them to do hair a lot bigger than normal, and the makeup a lot darker than normal. She said they had them do it super dark! I've found this to be so true! When the hair is a little bigger and the makeup is a little darker, it comes off really well on camera! It's harder for the camera to pick up on the little details. My other recommendation: consider getting your hair and makeup professionally done for pictures. I've had several brides have their  practice session for their makeup for their wedding day done for their engagement session. Those false eyelashes may feel weird, but they will look good in camera too :)

Tip 10: Resources!

So I've given you all this information, but now I wanted to give a couple resources! Feel free to leave more tips in the comments if you have them! I love hearing them and it is so good to pool knowledge!

So, here's a confession. I love looking up gorgeous dresses online. I have this dreamy gold/blush lace/tulle dress all lined up for my anniversary pictures this year! But from all those late night google sessions, I've learned a couple tricks!

A. Rent the Runway ( is a great resource for those who don't want to buy a super fancy dress but want something fashion forward, gorgeous, and fun. Plus they send you two sizes and have dresses that fit most budgets!

B. Amazon actually has some pretty amazing deals on dresses! I remember in high school looking for prom dresses and they were all so expensive! Now, I'm finding dresses that are way nicer for much less expensive. The key is to be careful who you order from and read the reviews! There are usually some cheaper knockoffs that look terrible --I've fallen victim before--so order ahead of time just in case.

And that's it!! I hope you found that super helpful! And for my brides....I absolutely love when you give me sneak peeks before our session of your outfits! I'm a girl and I just love to "ooooh" and "aaahhh" over them, plus it helps me get some ideas before the session of the fun things we can try!

Well, happy Wedding Thursday!!



P.S. If you're looking for more outfit inspiration, my friend Marquette just wrote a fabulous blogpost. Click here.

If you liked this post, you might also like:


5 Tips for Choosing a Getting Ready Room


15 Detail Shots Not to Miss on Your Wedding Day


Polet + Angel | Sedona Engagement Session


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