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  • Writer's pictureDonnna Coulon

What Do I Wear? Inspiration for Styling Your Engagement Session!

Soon after booking an engagement session, I get two texts most often. “How many outfits?” “What do we wear?” Figuring out how to style your engagements is completely and totally up to you, but we’ve put together a few ideas for guidance.

How many outfits?

The simple answer is, we recommend two outfits for a standard two-hour engagement session, one on the formal side and one dress casual. But the complicated answer comes with the reason behind that recommendation. Our mission is in our brand, we try to accomplish stories evermore. The objective is to tell your story in your engagement session, allowing you to spend some time enjoying each other, cuddling, talking, and taking a walk together. Our photos during your session are merely meant to document that time together, while also giving you the chance to share a few memories with Grandma! While I cherish my childhood, quick-click, LifeTouch school photos, that is not our style. We do not want to rush you through pose after pose of “grin and bear it” photos looking at our camera, while the groom grumbles or the bride is stressing over having enough time for her next outfit change.

Since our sessions are time-based and the clock starts with our first click, we recommend arriving in your first outfit and changing once halfway through. Doing it this way means that most of your session is spent with your fiancé and in front of our viewfinder; not in the back seat of a pickup while I hold a blanket so you can change modestly at your perfect remote photo location (that never seems to have a bathroom!)

Certainly, there are occasions where two outfits aren’t enough. We understand you may need one more for sentimental reasons or because you need that “one quick photo” in (1) the outfit you met in, (2) hunting clothes, (3) your cap and gowns, (4) team t-shirts, or ________________(insert any random couples costume of your choosing). By this point, we’ve seen a pretty hefty variety in terms of that must-have third outfit - and absolutely believe that it should be included if it will add to your overall experience. We just want you to avoid spending a fortune on 5 boutique dresses with coordinating menswear just for you to spend the entire session rushing in and out of pants and jewelry and worrying over if your hair still looks alright. Fewer outfits mean more time together and less time changing. You get the idea!

What do we wear?

I wish I had a simple answer. I personally struggle with this same decision any time my husband and I step in front of the camera. Make sure your outfits are true to your personalities. If you never wear heels, for example, showing up in stilettos will only make you nervous the entire session. Men shouldn’t wear skinny slacks if they’d feel more comfortable in a nice pair of jeans. With that being said, if you hang out in yoga pants like I do 90% of the time, it doesn’t mean you can’t slip into a nice dress for a couple of hours!

Elegant Engagement Outfit

A classy formal type of outfit is a great option for wedding frames at the reception or to print in the paper as an announcement! Make sure it’s comfortable and suitable for the weather. Unfortunately, in Louisiana, even the spring can be too warm for a sport coat. If you want to go fully formal, planning for a fall engagement shoot might be helpful!

Simple and Casual

I was afraid to wear jeans in our engagement photos for fear of being too casual, but the truth is, we are super down-to-earth and simple people. Why wouldn’t we be ourselves in our engagements? Besides, the more comfortable our couples are, the more they can focus on the experience. That effortlessness will show through in the form of laughter and happiness in photos.


I tend to love natural colored outfits. We recommend avoiding any logos or writing unless it’s done well and with intent! Band shirts or fun graphic t-shirts can be cute when styled, but be aware of the lettering, as shirts tend to fold and shift - spelling words you hadn’t intended. When I first started one of my little ones wore a shirt that said Fire Truck, only all the letters were hidden but the Capital F and the u-c-k. Seeing that framed at a birthday party was a little mortifying! (Admittedly, for the sake of this blog, I’m incredibly sad that I was a beginner and that my only copy now lives on a failed hard drive. Mistakes were made - we are better now, I promise).

Engagement Inspiration with Patterns

Patterns are tricky because sometimes lines and dots do strange things in the camera. A couple of tips; wear your dots medium to large and your stripes vertically. Floral prints are a great way to dress up your look and compliment your partner's outfit! You don’t have to avoid them altogether, just keep in mind the places you plan to be photographed and try to keep the colors complimentary when you can. While we love loud colors from time to time, neutral prints naturally have become our favorites.


Don’t overthink the accessories. Jewelry should complement the look, but shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Heavy earrings for example, always tend to get ditched mid-session. Hats and sweaters are fun because you can change the entire look and feel of your session by getting cozy or striping down, hiding behind hats, or snuggling inside of baggy jackets together!

The main takeaway: keep weather and location in mind and choose something comfortable, authentic to your personality, and did I mention comfortable! Engagements are meant to be enjoyed - but that topic is one for another blog . . . to be continued!


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