Engagement Photo Tips: Fashionably Chic

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/22/24
Engagement Photo Tips: Fashionably Chic

Engagement Photo Tips: Fashionably Chic

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/22/24

Part of the Engagement

Engagement Photo Tips: Fashionably Chic

By  Tommy Peske
Updated on 02/22/24

Congratulations on your engagement! What an exciting time to share with your partner. This next year will undoubtedly be filled with planning, adventures, and excitement. Once you have picked out your photographer and maybe even your venue, you can start planning your engagement photos. Oftentimes, these pictures are also used for save-the-date. And while some couples opt to be casual and comfy, others take the opportunity to showcase their Magazine cover level fashion. In this article we will discuss some tips and ideas for that fashionably chic engagement shoot, for any groom.


Why Have an Engagement Shoot?

Engagement sessions are ideal for working with your photographer before the wedding day. You will see the kinds of poses and photos you both enjoy, as well as the kinds to avoid. It is almost like a wedding rehearsal, and you will have photos to show for it at the end. It makes sense that you’d want to dress as the best version of yourself. For some of us, that best version is GQ and engagement shoots are the perfect way to incorporate that high fashion style. So, we have included some dos and don’ts for your chic engagement session. In addition, we will also cover location, and timing of the session.


A polaroid picture of a couple


Do This!

Coordinate but don’t try to match completely with your partner. Go for complementary not twins. Twinning will give a campy, gauche feel which you want to avoid with chic. Try and fit in with your location. Add some accents that have a color pop that will really show in the pictures. We recommend brown shoes and belts except for the more daring who choose black. Then obviously you’ll want to match. Bring an extra outfit, at least, for costume change or even wardrobe malfunctions. You can also layer with a blazer or a colorful hat you love to show off. And progressively take them off. You can also hang your blazer over one shoulder for that timeless romantic look. Do have your ring cleansed and consider splurging on a manicure for these photos. Color is optional.

Speaking of color, this is one of the first elements people notice in pictures so take advantage of the background colors, too.

You should certainly wear your best shoes for the session, however, if they are new or not walking shoes, bring an extra pair. Your feet will thank you, and you won’t look cranky in your photos. This couple above must not have taken our advice and the bare feet pull the eye away from their glowing smiles. Save the bare feet for the beach, gentlemen.

An infographic of how to dress well


Don’t Do This!

Knowing what to avoid is equally important for chic engagement photos. Avoid clothes with mixed patterns or big logos that will distract from you and your partner. Neon colors especially on top are also not very stylish for these pictures. If you happen to get brand new shoes or clothes for this purpose, then make sure you have time to break them in for at least a full day at home. Also, avoid bright white shirts which will pull focus from the rest of the photo. Lastly, if you’re really channeling GQ, then lose the tie, fellas. We suggest avoiding too many props other than champagne (which is the best prop) or a sofa, or table to play with poses. Maybe you can pull off that dusty estate on the off season. Next, we will explore the right chic venue and when you should be taking your photos


What to avoid wearing to look fashionable


Fashionably Chic Venues

If your whole wedding is black tie, then your venue will likely reflect this, and you can explore the space with your photographer before the big day. What better way to showcase the architecture of your dream venue? Maybe you both have your heart set on a specific destination and want to take a trip together for this session. You do not need your wedding photographer if you are traveling. You can likely find one in the location you are desiring. Perhaps it is just a gorgeous view, or where you two first met, or saw it on Pinterest and can’t settle for anything else. Just remember to pack plenty of extras and options that you can sort out based on the venue. The last thing you’d want is an outfit you are not happy with after coming all that way for that sole purpose. Equally important is when you should book your engagement session. We will discuss this next.


When You Should Book your Session

If you’re going for fashionably chic engagement photos, then there are a few things to consider about timing. While there are differing opinions on timing here are some practical guidelines. If you are doing a chic engagement session to be used for the save-the-dates, then we got you covered.

Save the date invite

Using these photos for the save-the-date means you’ll want to have them taken, edited, and delivered about nine months before the wedding date. Seven is cutting it close, but doable. You will still want to send the save-the-dates 6-8 months before the wedding date, so that gives you and your partner at least a month to choose your favorites and design the save-the dates to be distributed. If you are instead having a destination wedding or one over a holiday weekend, we recommend sending the save-the-dates at least nine months in advance, but twelve is ideal.

 Even if you are just planning an intimate engagement shoot for memories, there are a few guidelines to follow, as well. Next up, timing considerations for a fashionably chic Engagement session.


Time of Year

Be sure to consider the weather when choosing a time to schedule the session. If humidity does not agree with you, then you should probably skip July and August. If you have the perfect coif but the wind will interfere, then avoid October and November. If you’re especially sensitive to colds, also consider a summer session and avoid October-April. But also consider the outfits you plan to wear, and how they may or may not keep you warm. That said, if you’re going for a fall engagement season when the leaves are changing colors, then you will want to schedule the shoot far in advance. These are popular times of the year and as such, your photographer may book up fast on a first come first served basis.

It is also important to note here, that choosing your chic outfit should be suitable to the season. Whether you need extra warmth for the snowfall in the background, sleek and stylish well-tailored coats are always timeless. On the other hand if you choose spring or summer, you can bust out that sexy cool, deep, button down shirt.


What Time Should Engagement Photos Be Taken?

Typically, photographers like to use the “golden hour” which is 1-2 hours before sunset. The lighting is nearly perfect and will accentuate your style choices. Remember to consider the sunset based on the time of year including time changes, or not, depending on location. The sun can start setting anywhere from 4:30- 8pm. So, make sure you double check the elements including forecasts for rain, snow, heat, and even storms.

Another option is to do the session early in the morning. Just take into account any dew that might make walking and posing slippery that early. Chloe Bovia of Bovia & Co. Photography, recommends that “you really want to focus on the feelings you want to evoke with your photos. For instance, the time right before sunrise and after sunset is called the blue hour and will allow for a more moody, blue-hued image that is perfect for dramatic and edgy looks.” Let your photographer guide you, they are the professional, after all. For all this planning and fanfare, you’d not want to be stuck with a moonlight silhouette only.

silhouette of a couple


Final Thoughts

Well, we’ve given you the guidelines for a fashionably chic engagement session. While we can’t predict your style, we have given you a good start for considerations of any time of year as well as what to do and what to avoid. Don’t forget to give yourself plenty of time to choose pictures with your partner, even if they aren’t being used in wedding correspondence. But, especially if they are. Limit props to a hat, scarf, or champagne to keep that chic feel. Consider the elements when choosing a date and time to have the session. Don’t forget to book as far in advance as you need to, depending on the factors we have mentioned here. Don’t skimp on the hands and the rings, if you have engagement rings. You’ll want them to pop in the pictures without any chipped nails. Lastly, make sure to coordinate but not match entirely. Complement each other in the photos in the same way you do in life. This is a momentous and happy occasion, let your glow shine through. Even if you don’t smile big for the sake of fashion, enjoy this moment with your partner. It may be a short session, but the pictures will last a lifetime.


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