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Engagement Style Guide

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

So you're engaged and finally got around to taking your engagement photos! Congratulations. Being engaged is such an exciting time in your life and while you will be married for a long time, you are only engaged for a short time. Which is why you will treasure these photos of this special period in your life for years to come. These photos will most likely be printed on your Save-The-Dates cards as well as hanging in the walls of your home. You want to look GOOD. So as a professional photographer, I created this guide to help you do just that!

Dressing Up

When it comes to your engagement photos, there is no such thing as TOO dressy! The more dressed up you are, the more romantic your images will look. In my opinion, the best and most flattering dresses on women are long maxi dresses or skirts. The long, flowy material adds so much dimension to the photos and looks very whimsical and romantic. When I was looking for dresses for my engagement photos, I had a really hard time at the mall because there weren't many maxi dresses in the stores that weren't $300 prom dresses. So I ordered mine online from Lulu's and Red Dress Boutique. Lulu's is my favorite due to their large selection, gorgeous dresses, ease of return policy (I'm the WORST at guessing sizes), and fast shipping! If you aren't feeling a maxi dress, cocktail dresses are always stunning as well. For men, at the minimum I reccomend dress pants, dress shoes and a long sleeved dress shirt. However, you can NEVER go wrong with a well-tailored suit.


The colors you wear will have a significant impact on your photos! For example, light, airy, neutral colors will create a brighter and softer look to your images. Light pinks, light blues, whites, tans, and light pastel colors tend to photograph really well for bright and airy outdoor portraits. When it comes to coordinating you don't want to wear the exact same shade of a color either. A small contrast between outfits tends to photograph really well. Busy patterns and neon colors should be avoided as they usually take away from the simplicity of the photos. Solid colors or very simple patterns are usually best in outdoor portraiture.

Hair and Makeup

This is the PERFECT time to get a makeup trial or hair trail done before your big day. I used my engagement photos to trail my makeup artist for my wedding day. If you haven't looked at artists yet, Sephora and MAC both offer a "free" makeup service where they will give you a full makeover with a $50 purchase of products. So for $50, you get your makeup done and you get makeup. That's a pretty darn good deal if you ask me. Just make sure you call and schedule it ahead of time. For hair, it's always good to schedule a hair stylist trail before your big day and what better day to do it? If you don't have the time for this, soft curls are a great DIY romantic look for photos. At the end of the day, good hair and makeup really make a big difference and are a must for your photographs!


You will be photographed close-up so details matter here! Don't forget to get your nails done and remove things like hairties, FitBits, etc. Your ring will also be front and center so don't forget to get it cleaned so it's extra sparkly! Want to add extra dimension to your photos? This is the perfect time to rock a flower crown or a gorgeous bouquet! I brought a bouquet to my engagement session for a little extra punch of color and made it for under $20 from flowers and greenery I bought at Trader Joes! If you are wearing heels, it's also helpful to bring some flats or flip flops for walking around outside!

Final Thoughts

I know the wedding planning process can be stressful but try to enjoy it! Plan a fun date night after your session and just enjoy each other's company. You guys are already dressed up after all! Below, I have provided some examples of good colors and styles so that you can see some of the suggestions in this post visually.


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