Couple holding hands and walking down the beach in Malibu, CA

You’ve booked your photographer and now wondering what to wear for your engagement session. It’s such an exciting time, and you probably have a million and one ideas going through your head! But I’m guessing the biggest one is, “what in the world am I going to wear?!” Trust me, I know exactly how you feel, so that’s why I am here to help guide you and to give you a few tips and trick in the form of a style guide for your engagement session!

Should we dress up?

My answer is always OF COURSE! Your engagement photos are going to reflect such a beautiful (and short) part of your life, so there’s no better reason to make it a big deal. It IS a big deal. It’s the perfect time to get your hair done, get a manicure with your girlfriends (or fiance), do your makeup, and go all out!

For this post, we will be focusing on her…

Ok, ladies, this is your time to get that gorgeous flowy dress you saw at the store, rock a color that matches the feeling you’re going for and that you ADORE, or buy that statement piece of jewelry you’ve been dying to wear! There really is no such thing as being too dressed up! Dresses are always a great go-to because they tend to really compliment the female body and all of your beautiful curves. Long dresses are my favorite, they add a little flow and can really make the images whimsical and classic. I love outfits from Lulus or Morning Lavender, they always have pretty dresses.

Couple walking holding hands and dancing.

So many of my brides ask me if they can bring more than one outfit to a session. The answer is an enthusiastic “YES!” You can bring a glam dress, and the next minute, change into a pair of jeans and a flowy top! It’s all up to you. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and beautiful! Just make sure to let me know so that we can plan accordingly.

Ok, let’s chat colors! You always want to aim for those lighter neutrals or pastels to blend well together, rather than bright/bold colors like orange or magenta. The bold colorful options don’t tend to translate well. Neutral or pastel colors tend to be light blues, muted tones of pink, heather grey, shades of sand, cream, and whites. Basically, think of a pink San Diego sunset on the beach! Neutrals are always going to blend well with any background.

Couple walking on the beach in La Jolla beach, CA

How to find the best fit.

Finding clothes that fit and compliment our bodies can be so hard sometimes. Over the years, I have discovered a few quick tips to make sure you feel your best during our session.

Strapless dresses or spaghetti-strap tops don’t tend to look that great on camera, so I recommend avoiding them. I would opt for a long or 3/4 sleeve. What’s also fun is to add a cute jacket in the photos, which can also make for an extra look (which is my favorite)! Heels are always good, but make sure to bring a pair of walking shoes if we are heading to a place that may require some walking. Closed-toed shoes are always best, as it elongates the leg!

Couple sitting on the beach and flower bouquet

Let’s talk accessories!

Bringing a cute leather jacket, jean jacket or cardigan can really make for an entirely different look. Hats, neutral scarves (although San Diego is usually pretty warm), and statement necklaces are other great additions to change up your look for your session!

Feel free to also bring accessories that represent your life together. Maybe you met while sharing your favorite craft beer, or when he was playing the saxophone at a jazz club. Those things can add a layer of depth to your photos that represent your history together!

I always like the idea of adding in some flowers and sometimes a cute bouquet is just the right touch! If that is something you’re thinking of doing, you can let me know and I can guide you to a florist I usually work with.

Couple walking at the Ferry Landing overlooking San Diego skyline.

A few other quick tips for her…

  • Go professional with hair and makeup for an extra polished look (plus its just super fun to be pampered for a day)! It really does make a difference.
  • Try to avoid artificial tanning for about a week prior to your session.
  • Pay attention to little details, because it’s a great excuse to get your nails done!

BE YOURSELF. I can’t stress this enough. It’s SO important to me that my clients feel their absolute best on your session day.

Compliment your partner without being too “matchy-matchy.”

The fad of wearing matching white shirts and jeans are gone (thank goodness)! What I suggest is that one if you choose an outfit, and then build the other outfit to compliment it. So basically, if the woman is wearing a ball gown, the guys shouldn’t be wearing ripped jeans and a band tee. You get where I’m going with this.

To help out with an outfit for the guys I have a blog dedicated just for that!

What to wear for your engagement session – For Him!

Couple walking on the beach in Malibu, CA

Fun tip at the end of the session…

Plan a fun night out and celebrate each other with a romantic dinner! Enjoy being dressed up and make an entire evening out of it! You’ll be glad you did!

Feel free to email me any questions you may have about your outfits ahead of your session! I love being involved in the planning process with my sweet couples!

Couple kissing on a hill on the beach in Torrey pines beach, CA
Couple walking on the beach in Malibu, CA
Couple walking on the beach in Torrey pines beach, CA
Couple on a hillside on the beach in Torrey pines beach, CA
Couple walking at the Ferry Landing overlooking San Diego skyline.
Couple on the beach in Torrey pines beach, CA
Couple on a hilltop facing each other and dancing on their engagement session in La Jolla, CA
Couple on their engagement session in Point Loma
Couple on their engagement session in Point Loma with Champagne
Couple walking on the beach in La Jolla beach, CA
Couple walking on the beach in La Jolla beach, CA

To get more inspiration on what to wear to your engagement session check out these engagement sessions:

Sharon + Tommy: Point Loma Engagement Session

Lauren & John: Coronado Engagement Session

Sarah + Chris Engagement | Spanish Landing Park

Couple facing each other the beach in Malibu, CA

What to wear for your engagement session – For Her

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