What to wear for your engagement photos

Hmmmm... what to wear? If you're like me, you'll stand in front of your closet asking this very question... and I'm sure you're thinking "I have nothing to wear." I do this too but when I take a step back and pretend I'm dressing a friend of mine up in my clothes for a photo shoot, all of the sudden there's that cute dress that makes me want to dance and those awesome shoes I found at that vintage store downtown... and that cute jacket that I wore on my first date with my husband... etc. I encourage you to take a step back and pretend you're dressing someone else if you're having a hard time deciding, be your own personal shopper in your own closet. Play dress up and see where it takes you. I promise that you'll find some things you forgot about and perhaps even reinvent some old things too. 

Here's a list of 5 tried and true tips for engagement portrait outfits.
They're simple and to the point. And if you have any questions at all don't hesitate to ask!

1. Be true yourself: This is number one because it's the most important advice I can give for choosing your outfit for engagement photos. I don't recommend wearing something you saw someone else wear or replicate a cute engagement portrait on pinterest. Wear things you own and love. By sticking to things you already own and love, you'll feel comfortable and feel great, and save a little money too. If you want to buy something special for your photos, go to a store you love and ask a sales associate or personal shopper for ideas. They know their store and will be able to help you find something perfect. You could even buy a cute dress and wear it for your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or on your honeymoon. I'm all for multipurpose purchases. My favorite place to find dresses are vintage and thrift shops, but that takes time and it's often hit or miss, so if I'm on a mission I head to Anthropologie, although I tend to only shop their sales rack. Just make sure that whatever you wear makes you happy and feel beautiful. Lauren and Jake (above) did their engagement photos the day of their rehearsal dinner and they wore those same outfits later that night. I thought it was a great idea and they looked awesome!

If you want to use props in your portrait, I'm all for it, let's do it. It's a fun way to incorporate the area you live in, things you like to do and a great way to add your personality to your photos. Just make sure it's true to who you are and the location you're doing your portraits in. For Christine and Aj's photos we added a surf board because these two love living in southern California and the beach lifestyle. Then Bethany and Roland wanted to do a travel themed portrait because their wedding was travel themed and they're spending their first year of marriage traveling the world. Years from now when they look back at these photos, they'll have these artifacts of who they are here and now. I think that's pretty cool. 

2. Dress for the same occasion: Make sure to pick outfits that compliment not only in color but also in formality. Don't show up for a night out on the town if your fiance is going for a hike. Some ideas; dress for a picnic, an adventure in the snow, a walk along the river, a beach barbecue or a night out on the town. Where are you going on your photo date?

Plan ahead for the location you've chosen when you're picking your shoes as well. Heels aren't great for a trail in Boulder, neither are men's dress shoes with slick soles. If you're up for rocking those heels in a field, right on, let's do it, you may just sink a bit. 

3. Compliment but don't be matchy-matchy. You don't have to match perfectly, in fact I like it much more when your individual styles are represented. Sticking to complimenting colors and colors in the same family help tie a look together. Speaking of color, many of my brides pick dresses that create a fun pop of color in their portraits. If your fiance isn't into wearing colorful clothing let him wear what he's comfortable with and you can shine with color for the both of you.

I love how Sarah and Steve (below) are wearing different shades of red and button ups that match their individual styles. Then Danni and Bryce went with shades of blue and denim, and Brooke and Rob wore outfits that complimented our urban look.

4. Don't be afraid of patterns. The old school thought is that patterns aren't great for photos, but I love patterns. I love them big time and I think they look great in photos. I especially like floral dresses and plaid shirts. But make sure to stick to something that lets you be yourself. Patterns can sometimes over power you if you're not used to wearing them.

5. Make a day of it: Create a day that is special for your photos. It's great practice for your wedding day. Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water the day before, everyone photographs better when they're well rested and hydrated. Get your make-up done if you have time, so you can relax and arrive refreshed and ready to go. Plus, it's fun to have an excuse to get pampered right?  In regards to make-up, I suggest staying rather natural, enhance your features but don't over power them. I also suggest avoiding spray tans at all costs, they tend to turn orange in photos. 

After your photos, plan to go on a date somewhere fun or special. Or try a new restaurant near our photo location. If you don't know the area, I can usually recommend something. Try to limit the wedding talk (linens, RSVPs, flower arrangements...etc.) on your date and focus on the two of you, the day you spend gazing into each other's eyes and your marriage. There's plenty of time to think about the wedding, it's good to take a little break together and just be.

Remember that engagement photos should be fun. If you're standing in front of a pile of clothing without any idea of what to wear or what looks good on you, call me. I'm be happy to help you. When all else fails, just wear something you love. I'd rather you show up in your favorite jeans and t-shirt if it means you can be yourself and be happy. Above all else, be yourself. Wear the outfit, don't let it wear you. 

Love and Light,

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