engagement style with kate + jacob

As a special #WeddingWednesday post, I wanted to talk about how to choose the perfect look for an engagement shoot.  Whether you’re engaged or helping a friend out, this should guide you in terms finding of what to wear.  I’ll be using my sister, Kate, and her fiance’s shoot as an example.  I’ve linked all of their looks below so you can shop the post.

Kate’s Engagement Look:

Jacob’s Engagement Look:


Consider Your Setting

Where are you getting your pictures taken?  Is it in the mountains, at the beach, or in a metropolitan city?  Your look needs to be appropriate for the setting.  For example, Kate and Jacob chose a mountain location where they have spent a lot of time together.  We knew we wanted to incorporate the lake and a meadow, so there were multiple outfits that we pulled together.  For the lake we wanted something easy and romantic.  The subtle floral pattern was pastoral and the sheer quality of the dress gave it an ethereal feel that was perfect for being on the water.  With so many masculine elements around them, Kate’s dress softened the scene.  Jacob wore navy to complement the cool undertones in of the lake.  Black would have been too harsh in the shirting material and could have taken attention away from the bride.  We can get away with the black in Kate’s dress because it’s a soft material and doesn’t read quite as harsh visually.  Jacob is in jeans so the look stays more casual.  This simple detail affects not only him, but also the overall combination of their two looks together.  We weren’t going to put him in dress pants on a canoe; that would be crazy!  Meanwhile, Kate in a dress is completely practical haha!  Their looks balance each other out so they’re able to look nice, but not out of place.

Kate’s Outfit:  wrap dress // tassel earrings // layered necklace // wedge sandals
Jacob’s Outfit:  navy shirt // boot cut jeans // boots

Fashion is Key, but Not the Focus

Regardless of your location you always want to make sure that your outfits are fashionable.  However, you don’t want them to take over the shots.  I always advise people to stay with more classic looks so that the focus can remain on you as a couple and not what you’re wearing.  Perhaps you have an over-the-top sense of style!  If you want to accentuate that because it’s part of who you are, then you absolutely should.  I just recommend choosing a plain backdrop like solid concrete buildings or brick.  Here are my key points to staying on trend without distracting from the exciting moment:

  • Avoid stripes.  For whatever reason bold, high contrast stripes can be challenging to capture on camera.  They can cause issues with lens focus and ultimately not read as crisp in shots that aren’t close-ups.
  • If you want to choose a print, go with something soft and romantic like the floral we used above.  I recommend keeping it to one print in the picture so it isn’t too busy!
  • Busy backgrounds need more solid outfits.  Basic backgrounds, like concrete or brick, are perfect for bright colors and fun prints!
  • Brides: white and pink are your friends!  They’re perfect for making the “bridal” statement and standing out.
  • If you can’t decide: keep it simple.  You can’t go wrong with a classic shirt and jeans or a great little white dress.
  • I highly recommend finding inspiration for your look on Pinterest!  Search by engagement shoots for your type of location (i.e. beach, mountains, etc).

Kate’s Outfit: pink dress // gold earrings // sandals
Jacob’s Outfit:  chambray shirt // boot cut jeans // boots

Kate’s Outfit:  white top // tassel earrings // skinny jeans // sandals
Jacob’s Outfit:  chambray shirt // boot cut jeans // boots

It’s All About You

At the end of the day, this photo shoot is all about both of you as a couple.  You want to make sure you’re not only looking your best, but also looking like yourselves.  Don’t do something that is out of character (like taking beach pictures when you hate the sand) or wear something you would never step out of the house in.  If you like jeans: wear jeans!  Don’t force a nightlife shoot or a super girly dress if you’re a tomboy at heart.  These photos should capture who you are as a couple so that you can enjoy them for the years to come.  Most importantly: HAVE FUN!


Photography & Styling by Trent Russell & Logan Russell

Looking for an engagement photographer or stylist in the Charlotte, NC area?  Contact me at thestylelodown@gmail.com if you’re interested in our services!

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