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wedding and portrait photographer based out of northern california 

Engagement Session Style Guide


Engagement Session Style Guide

Over the past year I’ve had so many brides asking the same question: What do I wear for our engagement session? I realized this decision can be super stressful. I want your full wedding experience, including your engagement session to be effortless and joyful!

I want to share some some tips with you. From choosing the best time & date for your session. Choosing your outfit, coordinating colors and celebrating every step of the way!


It is probably no secret, that I LOVE natural light. Natural light helps us create photos that are dreamy, bright & airy. That is why I like to start all of our engagement sessions about two hours before sunset. During golden hour or within the first two hours of sunrise. During both times, the natural light is the dreamiest.

Golden Hour is the best time to capture your husband & wife portraits on your wedding day too!!! That is why I always make time on our customized wedding day timeline for Bride and Groom portraits during this time!


Aim to coordinate rather than to match!

Choose a color palette you’d like to work within and find complimentary colors & patterns within that palette. I really like natural colors. Natural, soft color palettes look amazing on camera and will reflect your love beautifully.

In choosing your palette you may want to consider how you’ll use your engagement photos (i.e.: wedding decor, on your walls at home, invites, save-the-dates, etc) and keep this in mind as you select your location and wardrobe. If you’re planning a cheery spring wedding and plan to display your engagement photos throughout your venue, you might like to have a color palette that is cohesive with your wedding design.

You can always bring multiple outfits! A second outfit is a great way to get some variation in your images! If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, and if you’re wearing one, arrive in that.


For the extra WOW-factor, bring fresh flowers, or any other cute little details like confetti, balloons, a picnic blanket & basket, a bicycle & basket filled with flowers or whatever comes to your mind.

Engament Styling Guide.jpg

Say YES to the dress!

Say Yes To The Dress: This is the best excuse to get the romantic gown, flowy dress, or tulle skirt of your dreams!!! Long, full-length dresses and skirts look amazing! They not only flatter every female body, but also bring extra movement for all the twirls and in the wind. Especially in nature, like a field, forest, or in front of a barn.

Consider softer fabrics which allow for beautiful movement in the images. Softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle are just breathtaking – they simply GLOW during the golden hour! Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses photograph beautifully as well. Just keep in mind that you will be sitting in some poses so if something is too short you will be limited on poses. And even if you never wear heels, they simply elongate legs and are the perfect add-on to every dress.

  • Choosing Colors: Softerlighter tones and more muted shades will make everyone look their best, especially during the golden hour. Cameras love shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. Avoid ultra-bright, bold colors… They tend to distract the eye.

  • Hair & Makeup: Professional hair and makeup is always on the top of the list for most of our brides! It looks absolutely amazing on camera and the perfect try-out for your big day. It will give you an extra boost of confidence and photographs like a dream!

  • The Details: Fresh flower bouquets and crowns, stunning necklaces, bracelets or earrings will bring an extra pop to the photos.


Bring a pair of flats to wear when moving from
place to place. Your feet will thank you later!


Don’t forget to get your nails done and get your ring cleaned.


Outfit for the Grooms

Dress it up! Long, fitted pants or jeans and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home, as well as any pants that are loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants, jeans, or fitted colored pants work best on camera. I also recommend staying away from graphics and logos. 

Layering is a big plus and can consist of a vest, suspenders, a sport coat, or maybe a pullover with a collared shirt underneath. And accessories aren’t just for the ladies! Belts, watches, bowties, and an awesome pair of shoes for your guy can be the perfect finishing touch for your images. 

  • Choosing Colors: Solid shades of gray, light blues, or navy are a great complement to our brides’ outfits! Pinstripes, plaid patterns, graphics or logos tend to distract the eye.


Engagement sessions are one of my favorite parts with all of my couples! It gives you both a chance to be in front of the camera before you get married, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so much smoother and more comfortable. My goal is to create images that are natural, candid, happy, and represent you as a couple.

At the end of the day though, the location and outfits won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. I want you to relax and enjoy your engagement session. I will take care of the rest!

I hope these help a bit! Please let me know if you have any questions at all! 

xo Susie