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April 26, 2022

The Beginner’s Guide to Engagement Session Outfits

I have a confession – fashion choices do not come naturally to me. From my middle school days with a white puka shell necklace and bermuda shorts to today, being “in style” has been something I have to research (I know…nerdy). Maybe it’s because I just can’t click with the current trends (let’s be real, Target’s dresses today either look like 1990’s nightclub wear or 1870’s prairie woman attire) or maybe because I just don’t have the “eye”. Either way, I usually end up putting my research brain to work, surveying Pinterest, Instagram and other social media to decide what I want to wear.

Thankfully, you only have a few choices to make for your wedding dress. You know you want a white dress, it’s just a matter of which one! But choosing an outfit for your engagement session can be a little more complicated. Lucky for you, I’ve done the social media research and photographed enough engagement sessions in the Louisville area to know what you should look for in your outfit selection. There are 3 main outfit “rules” that I recommend you use when choosing your engagement session attire.

Stick with natural neutrals

The last time most people had professional portraits taken was when they were graduating high school – senior photos are easy to dress for, because there’s only one person involved and the goal is to showcase YOU and your STYLE. Engagement portraits involve two people and are meant to showcase your relationship and love for one another! When you choose your outfits, stick with classic, neutral colors and patterns. This may not be the time to wear your leopard print blouse or your bright coral dress. It can often be difficult to create a cohesive look between a couple when one outfit overwhelms the image. (That’s NOT to say that you should not use color or patterns at all – just be careful that you coordinate with each other)

For men, try to stay away from tight patterns. These can often create a strange effect on screens (and if you want to share your images on social media, it might not be the best option) and if you wear khaki pants, try to choose a color that’s more tan than orange. So many of our Louisville locations have heavy greenery too, so busy patterns in your outfit can clash with the background for your engagement session.

Use a variety of options

louisville engagement session outfit

I’ve never encountered a couple that had TOO many outfit choices. If you bring five outfits to a session, we’ll probably only shoot with three at most, but it is great to have options to choose from! I typically recommend bringing a dressy casual outfit (blouse and jeans for women, button-up and jeans for men) and a more formal choice (long dress for women, suit jacket and slacks for men). We love getting text messages with these outfits in advance. I am always happy to give an opinion on what will look good from behind the camera (just don’t ask me to choose my own outfit!!)

Choose comfort over fashion

louisville engagement outfit photos

If you’re considering wearing a pair of heels that you hate or a pair of pants that are 2 sizes too small, consider making a choice of comfort over fashion. If you want to look natural and relaxed with your fiance, you want to be comfortable and not thinking about how much your feet hurt or how you can hardly breathe. Engagement sessions can also include a fair amount of walking (especially in some of the beautiful parks in Louisville), so if you want to include the gorgeous 4 inch heels with your outfit, consider bringing a pair of sneakers for the “in-between” moments.

louisville engagement photos

Bonus tip: your engagement session is an excellent time to do a makeup test with your makeup artist. Not only do you get to build that trust in that relationship as you see them work, but you also get the opportunity to have your makeup professionally done for your engagement portraits as well.

Bonus links: there are some great vendors to utilize for your engagement session – we recommend The Fenley Studio for makeup/hair and Peacock Boutique for women’s clothing

If you’re looking for other engagement session tips, check out my other blogs on Choosing a Location and understanding Why is an Engagement Session Important?

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