May 19, 2020

What to Wear for Your Engagement Session


What to Wear for your Cleveland Engagement Session, plus a little help planning your perfect look

One of the most intimidating things I’ve found couples face when planning their engagement sessions can be choosing what to wear for their photos. Our couples range from the most fashion-savvy among us to the work-from-home yoga pants messy bun queen or in reality, most of us probably fall a little into both categories. At least I know, I tend to. Add to that challenge, when you’re planning in a place like Cleveland, Ohio, we have this fabulous thing called WINTER and the element of weather to contend with. There can just be a whole lot to think about as far as clothing choices go.

I see your struggle.

To begin with I am a HUGE fan of the engagement session which is why we include one in every wedding collection we offer. You can read about why I think [they’re important here] and something you cannot afford to miss. How to plan your [engagement photos here], plus season-specific guides to planning gorgeous ones here: [Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter] if you need a little inspiration in that realm. In this guide, we’re going to be chatting about what to wear once you have your engagement session all ready to go. Something that nearly everyone needs a little help on.

Below you’ll find a set of ‘rules’ that I think pretty much work every time, for every couple.

Can they be broken? Of course. Are you a fashionista? If yes, run free. I can’t wait to see what you come up with. If not, sometimes it’s best to have a few rules to follow to help you stay on course as you chose your look. Personal style is only helped when we have a little guidance along the way.

Something you might not know is that not all fabric photographs the same way, or as well as others. You can actually tell if a garment is quality much more easily in photographs. Which is another reason that starting with the rules and moving from there can be really helpful.

So let’s consider this a beautiful jumping point.

5 Tips for Looking Amazing for your Engagement Photos

1. Dress it Up:

I officially give you permission to DRESS UP! Wear that amazing black dress you’ve always wanted to take out on the town. I love cocktail dresses, refined suits, great heels, and tailored outfits. Black is always a great option for photos – it’s slimming, polished, and elegant! But at the same time, don’t be afraid of color! Rich deep colors can add a beautiful look to your photos and maybe be a bit more you if black isn’t your thing (pick colors that work well with your skin tone, hair, & eyes). Nothing is too dressy for photos, even if we’re photographing in a meadow in the middle of nowhere – a classy dress and a tailored suit look great anywhere we go!

2. Keep it Simple:

For women – pick a great solid colored dress, add a fun accessory like a beautiful necklace or earrings, then pair with some great heels. For men – pick a suit that is tailored to fit you well (or a really nice pair of dark jeans) and pair with a collared shirt in your favorite color and add a watch, pair of shoes, or a tie that you love (not if you’re wearing that collared shirt on obviously).

3. Get it Tailored or Make Sure it Fits Like a Glove:

Pick outfits that you feel amazing in. A general rule is that if you feel really great in something that’s going to show through on the camera.  Show off your best features (legs, arms, shoulders, abs, curves, etc.), and make sure that any dresses, jackets, slacks, or collared shirts have been tailored to fit both of you well. The better your clothes fit, the more gorgeous you’ll look!

4. Pick One Outfit for a Natural Engagement Session and Two for a Styled Session:

I recommend one outfit for most of our Natural Engagement sessions because we don’t want to use our photography time changing looks. On our Styled Sessions however we have so much room to play, I LOVE having couples bring two looks. Generally, I recommend going for something dressed up like above and then something maybe slightly more relaxed. Summer sundress, type of feel. You always want to start with the dressier option FIRST and make sure your second option is something that can be easily changed into at our chosen location (think back seat of a car… in case we can’t find a better option)

5. Wear Fabulous Shoes:

A great pair of heels makes anyone feel (and look) extra great. (Yes, that means you get to go shopping!) Basically, I just want to give you permission to go buy shoes. You’re welcome. However, you may want to bring a second pair to walk around in if they’re not comfortable because we’ll probably do a bit of that.


Lastly Hair & Makeup…

1. If possible hold a run-through with your makeup artist.

This is the perfect opportunity to get to know your artist for the wedding day and hold a mini practice session. They will know exactly how to prep your skin and eyes for photography. If you need recommendations for makeup artists in your area, let us know and we’re more than happy to help you out. If you’d like to do your own makeup, pay attention to your eyes! Your eyes will be the most important factor in many of your images, so spend extra time making them look beautiful!

2. Have your hair blown out or styled for the session.

Avoid flyaways with a good shine serum and bring along a brush for mid-shoot touch-ups.


That’s it! If anything we are overly committed to all things love story and just plain romantic over here so if you want more specific direction don’t hesitate to send an email to the studio… If anything you’ll find me or one of the team on the other end ready to shoe shop with you.


Below you’ll find a few beautiful couples who managed to pull off ‘what to wear’ quite perfectly for their engagement sessions, which hopefully will give you some inspiration for your own engagement!






More Engagement Reading

We have engagement guides for all four seasons! This one will give you some tips and tricks for what to prepare for and how to plan the perfect fall engagement session.

Why an engagement session is more than good fun and whether you really need one at at all and the 5 things you might not know about them.

Everything you need to know about planning your engagement session and what you can expect the first time you're in front of the camera. Plus! Some fun Cleveland locations ideas are included in this guide.

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