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’, bringing our significant others BACK to the mall and using what precious little time we have to outfit him before he tires of the shopping… There is no shortage of sympathy from us as we help our couples pick the best outfits for their engagement session with us. The outfit selection portion of the photo session experience can be one of the difficulties. BUT it doesn’t have to be.

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.  In fact, we’ve finally come up with a ‘formula’ that any of our couples can follow so that they’ll be perfectly outfitted for any shoot with us:

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. We creatively connect with outfits that allow you to feel stunning and timeless, because let’s face it – your love story itself is stunning and timeless.

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’ve picked some of our favorite outfits that our couples have donned for their engagement shoots to give as examples.


WE LOVE BLACK. 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. We loved Ben and Taylor’s Downtown Del Mar engagement session, where these two didn’t shy away from dressing to the nines.

Ben looked so charming in his black suit. If you weren’t a believer of mixing black and brown, let Ben convince you otherwise. His brown leather shoes and belt are just the right touch to add some warmth to his ensemble.

And can we talk about Taylor’s leopard heels for just a moment? Yowza! This girl knows how to bring just the right amount of sexy, while still remaining classy in her flowy little black dress. Her statement necklace and light bangles bring the whole look together. They are so effortlessly fashionable!

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Casual isn’t all bad if you’re not looking to go super dressy with your engagement outfit, but incorporate the same overall rules to make sure you look great.

Paul and Jenn’s choice in browns and blues for their Liberty Station engagement session is “snappy-casual” done just right. These two are stylish yet informal, and it suits their warm and sweet personalities to a tee. We love her lace fit and flare dress paired with some fun patterned wedges.

The goal is to coordinate without being “matchy-matchy”, and Jenn’s choice in heels perfectly ties in with Paul’s choice in color palette. You can’t go wrong with a light, well fitting button-up like Paul’s. And if nails were considered an accessory, then Jenn is winning in that department with that vibrant pop of magenta!

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They weren’t the only ones to catch onto the combination brown and blue secret. James and Katelyn’s interpretation made for a light, sweet, and GORGEOUS engagement session in Point Loma. We love Katelyn’s choice of airy, light material in a beautiful shade of blue that goes so perfectly with the greenery surrounding them.

And check out her strappy wedges! They provide the perfect amount of “oompf” to take her sweet and simple outfit to the next level. James’ choice in a well-fitted shirt in a simple pattern instead of a solid color adds some personality to the whole look that we just can’t get enough of. Check out his Sperry’s and that awesome watch! LOVE!

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Tailored khakis and dress pants always look nice, but what if you’re not a slacks kinda guy? Take a note from Michael and Sarah’s Little Italy Engagement to see how you can don a pair of jeans and still look crisp and stylish. It’s all about the fit and the choice in wash. We loved Michael’s dark jeans that are just the right length! Paired with his brown laceless boots, he looks casual and comfortable, yet clean and oh-so-handsome.

Sarah’s neutral sheath dress was the perfect choice for their urban, colorful surroundings. That lace embellishment is just the right amount of detailing to give this dress some character. And, hello to those heels! LOVE. Are they peep-toe, ankle boots, or slingbacks? We say all of the above, and we love their uniqueness!

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In Herald and Stephanie’s engagement session in North Park, it’s all about the accessories and the perfect coordination of colors. In the first half of their session, these two kept it bright, light, and airy with the right amount of white broken up with pops of color. Stephanie’s coral statement necklace and matching earrings perfectly complement her choice in light aqua top (and we love the bit of sequins!).

Stephanie proved she’s a master of accessories when she paired this contrasting black statement necklace with her light pink lace dress. Her earrings are simple in color, but bold in shape and size, and we love how it fit with this dressier portion of their session. Herald matched her style so wonderfully by sporting a darker color palette, and crisp, black slacks. Doesn’t he look so handsome?

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If bright colors are your jam, then just stick to the same formula, and you’ll be set. We love Daniel and Christine’s Marian Bear Park engagement session, and boy are they not afraid to mix some bold colors (and we’re so happy they did so)! Christine looks vibrant and beautiful in her red dress! We love the understated cut and fit, and her simple choice in jewelry and brown strappy heels that balance the bold color of her dress perfectly.

Daniel’s choice in warm pink complements the vibrancy of Christine’s look, and both colors stand out in the warmly lit surroundings. These two know how to rock some eye-catching colors tastefully by pairing them with neutrals and simple accessories.

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Daniel and Christine’s sense of style extended to the beach for the second half of their session, too. We LOVE movement in a dress, especially near the waters. 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. The gray wash in Daniel’s jeans was a great choice to complement the rocks and waters. These two knocked this one out of the park!

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We can’t wait to see what you pull together for your engagement session! Stick to the formula, and find ways to incorporate your personalities with color choices, patterns, and cute and classic accessories. You’ll look BREATHTAKING in your photos, and truly capture “you guys”!

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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