Friday, July 11, 2014

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

This Wednesday, Ben and I headed into the Columbia gorge to take engagement photos with our amazing photographers. They drove down from Seattle in between weddings around the globe and states to snap some photos of us on a warm day. We hit up a few spots on the Columbia River highway - two waterfalls, some historic bridges, and then meandered back into the city to end our shoot at the Rose Garden for some formal looks. 

I spent about three weeks freaking out about what to wear. I decided I had nothing in my closet and spent countless hours shopping. I ended up buying one outfit and working within my closet for the rest and wanted to relay some wisdom to any of you undergoing this process (or with an upcoming photoshoot). My guidance from the photographers was to wear some lighter colors, solids instead of prints, not be too matchy-matchy with Ben, and to bring 2-3 looks that spanned formal to casual.

I ended up realizing that the point of the photos wasn't a fashion shoot. It was to get some personal photos with my fiance. The clothing should not be the focus, instead, like good make-up, it should enhance your natural features. I ended up going with colors that compliment my skin tone: navy, lavender, white. Ben went with colors that complimented him as well, and complimented my outfits: white, grey, light blue. For shoes, I picked a nude, modest heel that wouldn't detract from my outfit or look out of place outside, and a simple braided sandal.

I wanted to give you some ideas for what to wear for three different outfits - two semi-casual, and one dressy look!

1. Dressy


I tried on a dress nearly identical (in price and shape) to the first dress above and loved it! Perfect for a more formal shoot where the breeze can blow your chiffon-y pleats. I wore a dress similar to the two white dresses for my formal shoot. The key to wearing white or ivory to your shoot is to avoid floor length, otherwise you look like you got married! I also tried on the last dress at Macy's and almost bought it! Ultra-flattering and brightly colored. I highly recommend it. Finally, remember that a nude heel or flat elongates the leg and matches with everything!

2. Semi-Casual


For my semi-casual outfit I wore the first pants above, a nude heel, and a button down in lavender. I brought a tie-blouse like the one on the right with me but ended up wearing the long-sleeve top similar to the one on the bottom left. I'd also recommend a white pant if you're comfortable in them! They reflect light nicely.

3. Casual


Kylie CropCanalasso Skimmers; Gap Always Skinny; Fitted Boyfriend Linen Shirt
Linen Stripe Tee; Eyelet Short; Veranda Sandals

The casual look was tough for me. I ended up wearing a navy shirt-dress with a braided sandal and opted not to wear my jeans (the jeans pictured above) as I wasn't sure how flattering they'd be in photos. If you're comfortable wearing shorts, they could be very cute for an outdoors shoot with a simple linen button down and nude flat or strappy flat. Overall keep in mind that you want your photos to be different but that the outfit palettes should be similar so the photos aren't jarring or all over the place. 


  1. Great choices, and I'm sure your pics turned out wonderfully!


  2. I would definitely go for the dressy one. I love the pieces that you chose especially the shoes at the bottom :)


  3. Floortje van CootenJuly 13, 2014 at 6:06 AM

    Great selection dear!


  4. That's a good idea, having more outfits for the shoot rather than just one. If it were me, however, I'd definitely go with the dressy one :)

  5. Love the casual looks for everyday outfit inspiration as well. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Really amazing selection! I love this color



  7. Perfect timing for this post! I am in the midst of picking out my outfits now!

  8. congrats! let me know what you pick!


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