10 Tips for Timeless Engagement Session Outfits

February 13, 2020

Grey Loft Studio
We met online 10 years ago, fell in love, 3 babies, lots of cameras, and here we are. Want to know more about our story? 
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Here are some of our best tips and advice that will help guide your outfit choices during an engagement session. This list is something you will simply be able to devour as we added some fun links to timeless outfit ideas.

Are you approaching your engagement session and looking around in your closet to find the right outfit? Here are some tips and advice that will help guide you on what to plan for, so grab a glass of wine and read on!

1. Don’t show up in matching outfits

The first thing to consider is that you and your fiancé are in almost, if not all, photos together, so make sure your outfits compliment each other. Fortunately, the time for old-fashioned matching white t-shirts and stiff jeans is long gone. Bringing multiple outfits is fine, but many wardrobe adjustments can swallow your session time. Our best tip is to try to limit it to 2 outfits, but you can always add and remove layers/accessories to change the appearance. If you are not sure which one is best for you, please bring a few options and we can help you choose.

beautiful sunset during an engagement session at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club. Best Tips
Shot at the Royal Ottawa Golf Club during an epic sunset in the summer!

2. Don’t underestimate the Glam

We say this because trust us it’s worth it to have your hair and makeup done professionally. This shoot is an investment and you want to love the photos, so getting your makeup & hair trial is a great option, but if not, still splurge.

Fake eyelashes are really fun and pretty. Note that any photos you have taken while wearing lots of makeup won’t make you look less…you. Promise! The reverse is also true. If you don’t wear enough makeup it might look like you have none.

Don’t forget to feel good too. Things like hands, feet, legs, teeth are all things that will be in photos. So if you’ve been wanting that mani/pedi go for it. Don’t forget to shave and tell your man to get a fresh haircut. Remind him a few days out to plan when he needs to shave his face.

If you must fake tan, our best tip would be to make sure you do it at least 3-5 days before the session so that it will look natural. In summer try to avoid having big tan lines in photos or bra straps showing.

Couple wearing cute winter outfit with glam makeup during a cold winter engagement session at Pine Grove Trail Ottawa
Shot at Pine Grove Trail in the south end of Ottawa.

3. Accessories

Carry or bring options. A necklace, a set of bracelets, a scarf, a hat, and beautiful shoes … the list goes on. Boys can also wear accessories such as hats or scarves if it’s cold. Remember if you don’t like your Apple Watch don’t bring it.

Get your ring cleaned is key as we love to take a few photos of your ring during the session, usually while you are getting changed.

A fun bottle of bubbly is also an added bonus, which we love to incorporate into a session whenever possible, but don’t be afraid to get creative and try other ideas. If coffee, tea, or beer is really what makes you guys you, bring it. Just don’t forget to bring us one too 🙂

couple toasting champagne during an engagement session at mer bleue bog in ottawa east end wearing cute blue outfit with white dress
Shot at Mer Bleue Bog in the East End of Ottawa

4. Choose a classic look instead of a trendy look.

You may like this long black-and-white dress now, but next year you might regret it. We adore a fun flowing dress where you can get some movement from the wind is truly breathtaking. Remember the softer the colours you wear (such as pastel pinks & blues) the more it won’t take away from what’s really important, you guys! We are trying to capture the real you as much as possible, but slightly enhanced.

Grey loft studio wedding photographer ottawa wedding videographer ottawa wedding photographer kanata bright and airy true to colour photography couple dancing and kissing in front of parliament hill
Shot at Major’s Hill Park downtown

5. Be inspired by old photos.

Browse old photos of you and your partner together, as well as individually. Now choose the absolute best aspects of these photos (maybe it’s a pose that you like, beautiful background, or the outfit) and create a style board on Pinterest to plan the direction of your engagement session and share with us. Note that we will absolutely guide you in a fun directional way that doesn’t feel super posy regardless of your Pinterest board.

cute winter wonderland photo of couple during an engagement session in the dominion arboretum with cute accessories for winter
Shot at the Dominion Arboretum in Winter.

6. Consider the season.

Embrace the seasons and wear the fun romper in summer, leggings with boots and comfy sweater in fall. Our best tip is to really invest in an adorably cute toque, mittens, and jacket. If you are planning a winter engagement session keep this in mind as you may never take off your jacket! Remember if it’s going to be cold, think layers as we don’t want you to look cold during the session.

In summer, anticipate bugs. We almost always bring bug spray but remember to keep this in mind whenever choosing the location as we usually schedule them before dusk at golden hour.

Couple scrunching noses during an engagement session in back yard in Carp Studio Grey Loft Best Tips
Shot in our backyard at Grey Loft Studio in Carp.

7. Wear colours that you like, but avoid super bright colours.

Unless you love bright colours, we don’t usually suggest them. Don’t forget to compliment your complexion! Wearing tan colours , pale blues, or soft pinks that bring out your eyes are really what we are going for overall. A nice pair of jeans with a cozy tanned sweater with little boots are nice. In summer a nice pair of sandals or a real flower crown can be creative. Do what makes you feel good!

beautiful portrait of a couple very in love during an engagement session with beautiful outfits Best Tips
Shot at Mer Bleue Bog in the East End of Ottawa

8. Choose comfort.

Make sure you feel comfortable in your clothes and wear comfortable shoes. Please, try on all the clothes before arriving at your session. Nothing is worse than feeling bummed out because those pants aren’t fitting like they used to.

Ladies, if you choose to wear heels (which we love), our best tip is to bring a pair of flat shoes to change into while we walk from one location to another. Also, make sure to help your man pick an outfit that flatters him. A nice crisp ironed shirt and chinos are classic and please tell him to leave the running shoes at home and go for a dressed-up feel with some fun penny loafers.

couple interacting on a family farm in Carp during an engagement session
Shot on the couples private farm in Carp, Ontario.

9. Take your location into account.

The first decision you need to make when planning your engagement session is where you should do it. Once you understand this part, try to keep it in mind that if you have chosen a park, you may not want to wear stilettos.

When possible, try to match the clothing of your outfits with the location you have chosen for your photoshoot. If you are downtown perhaps going with an outfit that’s less casual as an example.

If you aren’t sure where you want to do your session, we’ve rounded up the most beautiful locations Ottawa has to offer here.

couple walking during an engagement session having fun in the Ornamental gardens ottawa Best Tips
Shot at the Ornamental Gardens beside the Experimental Farm in May

10. Be yourself.

Don’t feel like you should look like someone you aren’t. If you haven’t worn a dress since you were in kindergarten, don’t do it for this! The general idea is to wear clothes that represent a slightly more dolled up version of yourself.

If you live in jeans, wear your best ones with beautiful shoes and combine them with a more chic top. Best of all, just have fun. We promise you’ll have a blast!

well dress cute outfit couple dipping during and engagement session
At the Dominion Arboretum in Summer
couple playing with dog during an engagement session in Carp
Shot at a private farm in Carp, ON.
couple dancing during an engagement session for fun outfit
Shot in Tremblant Village

In case of rain we always look at scheduling a backup day for your session while booking, but this couple decided to go ahead and we did the engagement session in the rain last fall, so check it out here!

Ready to pick your Engagement Location?

We’ve rounded up Ottawa’s most beautiful engagement session location and we can’t wait for you to check them all out here.

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