Before we begin, we must tell you that we’ve been there

Pulling outfit after outfit from the closet… wandering the mall with a vague-but-vital picture in our heads of the perfect ‘look’… There is no shortage of sympathy from us as we help our couples pick the best outfits for their engagement session with us. It can feel like a PUZZLE.

BUT we are here to say — this seemingly difficult process can actually be SIMPLE! 

We’ve seen enough outfits that work and don’t work over the years, that we believe we’ve cracked the ultimate code for our couples. And HERE. IT. IS:

Girls: Cocktail dress + one cute accessory + heels = STUNNING
Guys: Tailored shirt + one great accessory + nice shoes = CLASSY

If you follow these basic formulas, you’ll be in perfect shape to land in front of our cameras with grace AND style. 

Of course, there are so many variations on this formula, that you can use your particular taste and personality to make the shoot feel like ‘you guys.’ We’re sharing our TOP FIVE favorite outfit-picking principles to tailor this formula perfectly to you! 

Happy outfit-picking! 


 

1. Black is a NO. BRAINER. 

There’s a reason black has been a staple for decades – it’s the most timeless and classic color that exists! It works well for anyone, and looks dynamite in photos!

If you can’t decide what color to pick or what’s going to work with the shooting location, you can always land on black and know that you’ll be great. ANY version of the LBD (Little Black Dress!) is always a win! (Plus, you get the chance to show off your personality with a unique fit. Each of these gorgeous gals below NAILED their black look!)

Santa Monica Engagement | Jessica & Jimmy

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Presidio Park Engagement | Sabrina & Thomas 

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Laguna Beach Engagement | Kate & Nathan

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Sunrise Highway Engagement | Doris & Jon

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2. Keep it FRESH.

If you’re not looking to go super dressy with your engagement outfit, that’s okay! You can still go casual, but incorporate the same rules of thumb.

The goal is to coordinate without being “matchy-matchy” – so opt for a FRESH, simple color palette with pops of interesting details. The right nail color (like Jen’s!) or strappy sandals (like Katelyn’s!) could be the perfect addition to your outfit to make it stand out! And we love when the guy brings a little interest with a subtly-patterned button-up or a rad accessory (like James’ watch!).

We LOVE how each of these couples brought together a cohesive casual look.   

Liberty Station Engagement | Paul & Jen

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Point Loma Engagement | James & Katelyn

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Santa Monica Engagement | Jessica & Jimmy

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Little Italy Engagement | Sarah & Michael 

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3. Add a POP of Color! 

Just as much as we love the soft, fresh look, we LOVE-LOVE-LOVE when our clients include a BOLD pop of color!

Don’t be afraid to pull out that hot pink dress or that vibrant blue jumpsuit — we absolutely adore how these bold colors shine in photos!  Just be sure to match your vivid colors with understated shoes and accessories so that your statement piece stays center-stage. 

(PS – Guys can TOTALLY get in on all the colorful fun! Mixing bold colors is a-okay with us — just be sure your colors are complementary, not clashing!)

Presidio Park Engagement | Corey & Jen

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Balboa Park Engagement | James & Julie

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Del Mar Engagement | Katie & David

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Marian Bear Park Engagement | Christine & Daniel

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4. Flowy FOR. THE. WIN.

We LOVE a little movement in a dress, especially for an engagement session near the water! Give us maxi dresses allllll DAY for their flowy, wind-blown magic! 

Christine’s choice in color blocking with more neutral colors in her dress makes for a serene and soft look that matches her surrounding wonderfully. And we lurrrrve the bold and bright pattern of Stephanie’s maxi dress – it really made a statement against the soft backdrop of the water! 

San Diego Engagement | Christine & Daniel

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Torrey Pines Engagement | Stephanie & Amir

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5. When in Doubt, Dress it Up! 

Who says you need to wear everyday clothes for your engagement photos? Why NOT take incredible photos with that sparkly dress (or that tailored suit!) you’ve always wanted to take on the town?!

There’s something so fun about dressing to the nines and taking supes-fancy photos. These couples NAILED this romantic, dressy look and looked SO. DARN. GORGEOUS.     

Del Mar Engagement | Katie & David

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Imperial Sand Dunes Engagement | Mike & Ellen

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We can’t wait to see what look you pull together for YOUR engagement session! 

Looking for more resources on how to plan the perfect wedding? Check out all of our tips, tricks, and wedding inspiration here!

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