Hi, fellow brides-to-be! It’s Ali from Love You, Mean It. I’m so excited to share our engagement photos with you today! Planning our e-sesh has been one of my favorite parts our engagement so far. We've used these beautiful images captured by Leslee Mitchell and Tarin Frantz on our wedding website and also printed a few for gifting to family. That said, it can also be stressful when deciding where to shoot and what to wear. So, I’ve put together a list of five tips to make the “what to wear” part a breeze.
The first element to consider should be where you will be taking your photos. Will you be outside? What will the temperature be? Thinking through the locations will ensure you dress appropriately for the weather and will help inspire your outfits. If it will be chilly, you don’t want to be freezing the entire day. If you’re uncomfortable in your setting, you won’t be able to properly relax for the photos and be able to have fun. Will you be taking photos on a horse farm (like me!) or on grass? Don't forget the appropriate footwear!
2. Number of Outfits
Once you have the location (or locations!) set with your photographer, it makes it easier to envision the appropriate outfits. Personally, I had two venues that I wanted different outfits for. I knew that I wanted to take more casual photos as well as dressier ones, and a few right in between. For me, it made sense to do the more casual photos when we were at home in Kentucky and take fancier ones in front of Perkins Chapel at SMU (just a few feet away from where we first met!). If you’re worried about coming off as “cheesy,” wear a typical Saturday outfit and it will make the photos look less staged and more real-life. On the other hand, I think it’s special to have photos that are a little more dressed-up to celebrate this exciting time. Ultimately, however, this is not the time to go completely out of your comfort zone when it comes to what you wear which leads me to my next point: deciding on the outfits!
3. Coordinate and Prepare Your Looks
It’s definitely necessary for both of you to think through and try-on your outfits before the day-of. You want to make sure you “match” each other when it comes to the level of dressiness. You also want to make sure you and your fiancé won’t clash and that everything is clean, pressed, and ready to go. If either of you have bought something new for the photos, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to receive the item and try it on so you can make any necessary alterations– you don’t want any surprises on the actual day! For our casual photos, I wore a solid color sweater and jeans and Ben wore a button down and jeans. Easy and comfortable! For the pictures we took in front of Perkins Chapel, I wore an ivory tulle skirt and embellished sweater from Jenny Yoo. My skirt felt bridal and super special. It’s actually from the same fabric that my bridesmaids dresses (also Jenny Yoo, of course!) will be made from which I thought was a special touch!
4. Test Your Wedding Hair/Make-up
If possible, engagement photos make a great occasion to test out your wedding hair and/or make-up. Luckily for me, I was able to meet with my wedding stylist when I was home in Kentucky for our photos. It allows you to get to know each other a little bit and, not to mention, your hair and make-up will be looking great in the photos! Because I wanted to look super natural, I asked for "my everyday look, just a little better!"
5. Be yourselves and have fun!
It’s a fact, staged photos can be AWKWARD. What you will wear should be the least of your worries! If you plan your outfits out ahead of time and feel good about them, it will be one less thing on your mind the day of the shoot. Also recommended: packing a cooler with snacks and champagne to celebrate as the day goes on!
I've also included a bunch of my favorite pieces for engagement sessions below, starting off with some beauties from Jenny Yoo!