Getting engaged is such an exciting time in everyone’s lives and before you know it, and the time leading up to the wedding can be a complete whirlwind. From engagement parties to showers and rehearsals, there are many events that will have brides, grooms and wedding guests staring into their closets wondering, what do I wear? Some of the most difficult outfit decisions happen when events involve photos, because we all want to look good in pictures that will be seen for years to come! So, how can we tackle this clothing conundrum and make sure we’re putting together the most picture-worthy ensembles?
Key clothing tips!
- Comfort. You never know how long events can last, and how much time you’re going to be standing and repositioning for photographs. Make sure you’re wearing something that’s comfortable, because no matter how hard you try to fake a smile, discomfort will show.
- Is it photo-worthy? Patterns can be fun, but you don’t want a striped or zig-zagged pattern shirt that will take away from the other individuals in your shot. Step in front of the mirror or even take a selfie and get a preview of what you’ll look like behind the lens. It might seem obvious, but triple check for stains and wrinkles. (A to-go bottle of wrinkle releaser can really be a life saver!)
- Does it coordinate? If you’re a bride and groom, does your outfit coordinate with your partner? Does it coordinate with the bridal party or others in your photos? Make sure you both are on the same page with how dressed up you are, and make sure you’ve communicated the dress code to others, so they know what to wear and can meet your expectations.
Keeping those points in mind, let’s dive into some of the actual events that couples often get photographed and figure out some photo-worthy outfit options.
- Things to consider: comfort and personality. Popping the question can be nerve-wracking so wear something comfortable. Also make sure your outfit suits your personality - especially if it’s a surprise proposal. Your soon-to-be-fiancé might know something is up if you’re stepping out of jeans and t-shirt and into a tuxedo for a simple walk through the park.
- Men’s outfit idea: You can never go wrong with a colored or patterned dress shirt. Find comfortable dress shirts with a variety of color and pattern options so you can find one that speaks to you, then pair it with a pair of chinos (for a dressy look) or slim-fit jeans (for something a bit more casual). Don’t be afraid to use Pinterest to check out color and pattern combos!
- Women’s outfit idea: Dark wash jeans can be extremely flattering, not to mention how they can be dressed up or dressed down. A bell-sleeved blouse is an adorable top option, or if it’s nice out consider a sundress that will coordinate with a sunny backdrop.
- Added tip: Consider booking a photographer (we LOVE photographing surprise proposals) to capturing that moment as you ask the big question! These photos will be a beautiful keepsake to remember the moment and definitely extra bonus points:-)
Engagement Party/Engagement Photos
- Brides-to-be: Dress codes for the engagement party and your engagement photoshoot usually go hand in hand. Wear something that looks natural for you two, but something that’s also classy. Think “timeless” since these photos are going to last a lifetime. This isn’t the time to test out bold trends - opt for the black dress and flats. Here's a really cool site we share all the time for color palette's in clothing: Design Seeds.
- Grooms-to-be: Dress shirts are the perfect option for engagement photos. You can find a color or pattern option that coordinates with your partner and pair them with dark chinos are dark jeans, depending on what you’re most comfortable with.
- Guests: Guests don’t have to be as dressed up as the soon-to-be bride and groom, but should still be presentable. Opt for dark-washed jeans and a button-up for the men, and a fun cocktail dress for the women.
- Added tip: Don't forget to as us photographers if you need advice on colors, lighting, or time of day we are always happy to help!
- Things to consider: Location, theme and time of day are key. What’s the weather going to be like and are you starting out early in the day when it’s hot or staying out late when the temperature is going to drop? Dress accordingly, so you’re not too hot or too cold.
- Follow the dress code: The save-the-date, wedding website or wedding invitation should give you some details on the wedding dress code. If it doesn’t, reach out to the bride and groom and ask what they’re picturing their big day looking like. If they ask for black tie, invest in the tie and cufflinks. If they say semi-formal, that doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the jeans. Following the dress code is key to making sure you don’t stand out like a sore thumb in wedding day photos, especially if you’re a mother/father of the bride/groom.
- Indoors or outdoors: If a wedding is outdoors, plan accordingly. Bring sunglasses so you can see the couple say “I do,” and layer so you can peel off a cardigan if it gets too hot, but can throw on an extra later as it chills in the evening. If you’re indoors, you can be a little more decisive on your outfit since the temperature will be regulated.
The perfect outfit is going to be different for every person, and every occasion. The most important thing you can do is make sure you’re picking something that you’re comfortable in, so that you look and feel at ease. You also want to make sure you’re communicating and coordinating with others involved to make sure you’re all on the same page with what look you’re going for. At the end of the day, the main focus is going to be the smiles on your faces, since from engagement to “I do” it’s a celebration worth remembering.