What to Wear – Engagement Session | St. Louis Wedding Photographer

I love engagement sessions and getting to know a couple a little better before their big day. I find many couples are unsure what to wear for these sessions and come to me for suggestions. Since I’m a very visual person, I thought it might be helpful to put a few ideas in writing along with some images from fun engagement sessions I’ve done in the past.

There are a few general rules that apply to any photo session:

  • Wear something you love that fits well, flatters your figure, and enhances your best features.
  • Choose colors that work well for your complexion.
  • More fitted clothing with clean lines, nothing too bulky or baggy usually works best. However, avoid anything too tight or uncomfortable.
  • Layers always look great – vests, ties, jackets, scarves, hats, and accessories.
  • Keep the focus on you by not wearing anything too distracting.
  • Be sure the outfit fits your personality.
For your engagement session:

  • Coordinate, but don’t get too “matchy”.  Pull a color from your dress into his shirt, vest, or tie. Think of your two outfits together the way you would if putting together one outfit for yourself.
  • Keep the same “feel” for your outfits. For example, dressy, casual, vintage, cowboy, or high fashion. You want to keep that same feel in his and her looks.
  • Shoes – match your shoes to your outfit. Heels always look great and make your legs look longer, but you may want to bring some flats for walking between shots. And guys don’t forget to coordinate your shoes as well, including socks that might show.
  • Mani/pedi – if your wearing open toed shoes, plan some barefoot shots, or would like a shot with your ring on your hand you might want to consider a manicure and/or pedicure prior to the shoot.
Things to avoid:
  • A Purse – Unless it is a part of your outfit you might want to leave it behind.
  • Busy prints – don’t be afraid of patterns and color, but do avoid busy prints and large logos that can be distracting.
  • Shiny makeup.
  • Bright white shirts – if you’re going for a specific look with maybe a white sundress and white shirt on your guy that’s great. However, try to avoid matching white shirts and jeans which can be a little boring or a white shirt on your guy when you have an outfit full of great colors.
  • Super short skirts or shorts – these will not only be uncomfortable for posing, but usually are not flattering in photos.
  • Wearing something you wouldn’t normally wear – remember to be yourself!



How many outfits:

Most couples bring 2-3 outfits. Mix them up – for example, one dressy, one more casual, and one “about you”. This could be  anything from  sports jerseys, to vintage      clothing, or something to showcase your professions or favorite activity together.

Keep in mind, depending on the locations, you may be changing in the back of the car. Have a brush, mirror, hairspray, etc. handy for these changes.


Speaking of locations:

  • Choose a place you always want to remember.
  • Think about what best fits you as a couple – a park or field of wildflowers; an urban location; a coffee shop; the place you had your first date or were engaged; a sports venue?
I love props! Feel free to bring anything that completes a theme about the two of you, coordinates with your outfits, or has special meaning to the two of you. A few ideas – bikes, picnic baskets (don’t forget the food, wine and wine glasses!), musical instruments, books, mugs of coffee or hot cocoa, your favorite chair.  The possibilities are endless.
A “Thank You” or “Save the Date” banner or poster. These shots are great to use for your Thank you or Save the Date cards.
If you have an idea for a theme, but are not sure how to carry it out, let me know. I am always glad to bring props for you.
Pets are always fun to include, but you might want to make plans for a friend to come along to care for your pet when those shots are finished.

More ideas for your engagement photos:


  • Your going to have some many wonderful shots, you’ll want to share them with family and friends. A few ideas you might not haveconsidered for your engagement photos – Thank you Cards, Save the Date Cards, newspaper announcement, an image for your wedding website, wedding program, framed prints as gifts,  a guest book for your wedding, or a coffee table album to display at your wedding.
  • A canvas artwork piece for yourselves as a remembrance of this special time in your life.
Most Important:
These are just some suggestions – feel free to break the “rules”. What is most important is that you dress comfortably so you can be  yourself and enjoy the session spending time together cuddling, laughing, and having fun!

3 Responses to “What to Wear – Engagement Session | St. Louis Wedding Photographer”

  1. Lauren Hardgrave says:

    hi i was wondering if you could send me your packages and pricing list for weddings. i am getting married september 29, 2012.

  2. Great advice – I learned a lot of tips. THANKS!

  3. admin says:

    Yes, Lauren I am available for September 29, 2012. I’ll send you a separate email with information.

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