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Engagement Session Style Guide: What to Wear

You're engaged! You've got the ring, an amazing fiancé, wedding planning is underway and now you're ready for engagement photos. You've been looking forward to being engaged for what feels like FOREVER... and you want these to be perfect almost as much as you want your wedding to go off without a hitch - so I've laid out some style tips for you and your man to help you nail your session and have a little fun while you do it!

Style Tips for Her Dress It Up

Engagement sessions are so fun! If you've always wanted to wear a fancy dress or take pictures in some extravagant or crazy beautiful place or with a crown like the princess you are - girl, now's the time! "We were too dressed up..." said no one EVER after their engagement pictures were taken. There is no such thing- go all out and have yourself a little fun! You deserve it.

So add something new to your closet! If you don’t want to add a new dress to your collection but want something stunning to wear for your session, check out Rent the Runway. You rent the dress of your dreams, leaving you feeling all kinds of beautiful and your bank account all kinds of full!

Wardrobe Changes

I encourage my brides-to-be to have two outfits. One that is a little more "date night" or “this is us” and another that has a bit more "wow - that dress!" BUT, if the idea of planning two outfits stresses you out - SKIP IT. Seriously! Just one outfit that you love and feel great in will be so much better than one outfit you love paired with another you’re not very excited about. It’s 100% your choice.

Accessories Are Your Friend

Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really bring some extra dimension to your images. A big statement necklace brings a lot of pop to photos. Scarves add a little something flowy – and let’s face it, will give you something to do with your hands. A belt, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, often adding a little sparkle or breaking up the outfit. If you’re anything like me, your favorite accessories (outside of your ring, of course) are your watch and your trusty sunglasses!

Punchline: try choosing one or two accessories that don’t compete for attention – like a scarf and your favorite watch!

Flatter Your Features...

Let’s be real for a minute – every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about. Choose flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features. This is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos.

Here are some friendly figure flattering reminders:

  • Belts help draw attention to and create the sense of a slim waist

  • Three-quarter length sleeves (or my preference long sleeves rolled or pushed up slightly) create an awesome slimming effect on everyone.

  • Cute jackets, blazers or cardigans add some dimension with their layers.

  • Skinny straps or strapless dresses draw attention to your arms – if you're self-conscious about your arms avoid these (or add a cardi or jacket and get the best of both worlds)

  • Heels elongate your legs and lift your butt, making them look amazing. I love to pair heels with a dress or extra-long pants.

Final Thoughts

  • Your engagement session is a great time to test out your hairstyle and makeup for your big day. Plus, being professionally done up will reduce the stress of having to do it yourself.

  • Add a manicure (and a pedi if your toes will be showing) to your to-do list a day or two before the session!

  • Don’t forget to get your ring cleaned! And as much as you want to look flawlessly tan, if you’re not a regular – skip it!

  • Lastly… be you!


Style Tips for Him Suit Up

I think we can all agree that a man in a suit isn’t terrible to look at. Whether you like the James Bond look or something with a little more flare, a suit or jacket can be a great addition to any outfit. The best part? If you don't own one, there are amazing rental companies where you can rent the look you’re going for. If you plan to rent your wedding tux (usually for you and your bridal party) from Men’s Warehouse, they may throw in a new suit for you to keep.

Fun Fact: Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong compliment to almost any outfit. Traditional black pulls off a more formal look well.

Or Not…

If you feel like a suit doesn't suit you (pun intended), try dress pants and a nice button down. Looking for something a little less every day but not quite to a suit? Slacks and a button up hit the spot and easily allow for dressing up or dressing down. On the other hand, there is something fiercely masculine about a man in dark jeans and a button up shirt. Maybe roll the sleeves a bit.

Accessories for Him

It’s all in the details! A tie, cool socks, belt, tie clip, suspenders, vest or a watch are sharp additions to any outfit. You can mix and match accessories to compliment both of her outfits without doing a full change during the session. Winning!

Be sure to include anything uniquely “you” in your outfit, too.

Quick Tip: Be sure to eat before your session. Even better, consider grabbing a drink beforehand (or include it in your session – think picnic in the woods). A beer or your favorite cocktail might be exactly what you need to calm any nerves.


Ladies, Prep Your Man!

Generally, men won’t get excited about taking photos for 90 minutes, because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come or why it’s so important to you. Take fifteen minutes to get him on the same page and empower him a bit.

The most common thing I hear from guys after engagement sessions is something along the lines of: Wow. That wasn’t so bad, and it went so fast!

Pro Tip: Make your engagement session a date day! You’re planning to look amazing – why not capitalize on that and take some time for the two of you. Got a morning session? Plan brunch at a hot spot in town. Sunset session? Dinner and drinks someplace as a reward for both of you!

Final Note

The idea of this guide is to help make your engagement session experience one to remember. At the end of the day, your location and what you wear won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you create together. Be yourself. Have fun together. Laugh a lot and I’ll handle the rest!

Have other questions or would like some additional suggestions?

Email me: molly.schmick@gmail.com

xoxo, Mols

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