This is your style guide; What every couple needs to know… The engagement session is one of my favourite parts of our time together because it gives you both a chance to be in front of our cameras before you get married, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth and comfortable. Not only that, but we get a chance to hang out and get to know each other a little more!
You’ve probably already read my post on how to Rock your engagement session. Now i’m going to help you look your best for those photos too! If you missed that post follow the link at the bottom of this guide.
Let’s dive right in…
Dress It Up… Have you thought about rocking a sequinned gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun!
Say Yes to the Dress… Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Cute, shorter-length dresses photograph beautifully as well. Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! I recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress or two!
One or Two? It’s Up to You!… I love to start my couples in something a little more casual. But that doesn’t have to mean a pair of joggers and hoodie. Why not try a sundress, or a cute pair of jeans with wedges!
You don’t have to bring two looks if it’s too stressful or you’d rather just stick to one gorgeous look. One outfit that you love will be so much better than one outfit you love and another you’re not super excited for. Totally your call!
Choosing Colours… When choosing colours for your outfits, I recommend selecting lighter tones and muted shades. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like grey, creams, brown and white. That softer colour palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments, and compliments my editing style.
Coordinating the Looks… As you’re coordinating your outfit with your fiancé’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the colour palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant colour, but stay within a similar colour palette family.
So if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and beige heels (blush being your dominant colour), then he could wear a navy coat with grey pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now he has his own dominant colour (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your colour palette. I recommend you start with your dress and accessories and coordinate your partners from there.
Flattering Your Features… In my experience, everyone , regardless of their shape has an area of their body that they’re self-conscious about, so recognizing what that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colours that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos.
Make a Statement… Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not be as noticeable on camera. Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention.
Go Pro: Hair & Makeup… Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of our brides’ checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. Whether it’s lash extensions or hair extensions, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs amazingly. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy.
That’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best idea of how it will look on camera. Most of our brides feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a normal day, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! A good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera, so don’t worry!
If you need a recommendation for hair and makeup, we work with the best in the business and have a go-to team! Just let me know and I’ll send you their information.
Skip the Spray Tan… Although it might seem counter-intuitive, we recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session, even a few days prior, because it tends to photograph orange. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most beautifully.
Dress for Success… From James Bond to David Beckham, men look absolutely striking in a tailored suit. If he doesn’t have one, now’s the perfect time to invest in something he’ll wear for the rest of his life! The best part? It’s a lot less expensive than you might think! While custom suits can cost thousands of dollars, some of the most well-known brands have off-the-rack suits in their stores for a fraction of the price. Solid shades of grey or navy are a strong complement to most women’s outfits, but avoid the pinstripe and plaid, they can be distracting to the eye.
Mix It Up… Many of my grooms love to mix a suit coat, blazer or sport coat with a different pant colour. It adds some extra visual interest, and can be more fun than wearing two full suits in a row. I’m a big fan of this fresh take on a timeless classic.
Layered Looks… Next time your at the mall you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
It’s All in the Details… Long pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on the face you fell in love with. For your session keep the baseball hats and flip flops at home.
Dress pants or coloured pants work best. Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether he’s wearing a full suit or a blazer and coloured pants. Ties, bowties, pocket squares, coloured socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches all complement any suit. You can mix and match accessories to complement both of her dresses without doing a full change during the session. So, either way, you win.
How to Prep Your Partner… Let’s face it most men aren’t overly excited to take photos for two hours, because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you. Take fifteen minutes to educate your guy. Assure him he’s going to have fun and he will get a couple beers at dinner after. 😉
The most common thing I hear from guys after a session is done is that they’re surprised at how fast the time went and how much fun they had!
1. Set date, time and location with me!
2. Review this guide and “How to Rock your engagement session”
3. Schedule hair and makeup appointments
4. Get those outfits all sorted
5. Get a mani/pedi
6. Get your ring cleaned and all sparkly
7. Pack a bag with: – Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots – Outfit two (including shoes and accessories) – Touch-up makeup – Water bottle and or champagne 😉 – Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
8. Keep the ball rolling and make plans for after the session, dinner and dancing sounds like fun!
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