1. Consider the location. The colors you choose and styles for the looks should all fit with the backdrop. We took our photos at The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Palm Springs-esque design of the hotel mixed with colorful Mexican accents led to careful consideration for our outfit planning. If you have a neutral background, be sure to bring color into the look through your outfits. With a colorful background, you can make the photos pop by wearing a contrasting color or a neutral.
2. Don’t try trendy. Your engagement pictures are going to be something you look at for years to come. This is not the time to try a new trend. Stick with the classics, khaki pants for guys, oxford shirts, pencil skirts, and tailored dresses will never go out of style.
3. Solids, Solids, Solids. Patterns are fun, but big, bold patterns can be distracting. Incorporating patterns on a smaller scale, such as a gingham oxford for guys, or sticking to solids is best. I chose a J Crew polka-dot dress as one of my looks. The bold pattern was less than appealing in photographs.
4. Bring at least 3 different looks. The more looks your photographer will allow, the better off you will be. You may have a total photo-bomb outfit (like my polka-dot dress) and you do not want to have to eliminate half of the pictures just because of what you were wearing.
5. Layer it up. Don’t be afraid to layer your look. Belts, jewelry, cardigans, jackets, and scarves are all great tools to easily tweak your look. Incorporating accessories like these in and out of the photographs can extend your looks from 3 to 15 without having to spend time changing.
6. Coordinate, don’t match. If you are going to wear jeans and a white oxford, don’t have your Fiance wear the same look. Coordinate by picking two colors that go together, but aren’t the same. For our casual look, we coordinate a grey/teal combo for my Mr. and a Navy/white combo for myself. With both colors in the blue family, the look creates contrast, yet appears coordinated and finished.
7. Be true to your style. If you don’t wear heels and dresses then don’t wear them for your pictures! A good guideline for picking your looks is to choose a casual look you would wear on an ordinary day, a dressier more formal look, and a look that falls somewhere in-between the two. After all, the best complement you can receive after showing friends and family the pictures is that the photos look so “you”.
8. Consider the details. For guys, make sure the belt matches the shoes (we clearly forgot about this!). Color your hair, it may look acceptable face on, but photographers capture every angle and you certainly don’t want your roots to show (as mine were). Paint your nails, your hands get a lot of action in the photos. Have everything dry-cleaned before the pictures to ensure you are wrinkle free.
Our photos were taken by the lovely Michelle Herrick.
What are your tips for coordinating engagement picture outfits? Did you wear something you regretted? What was your favorite look from your photos?