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I'm Hannah B, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I'm a lover of intricate details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, mama, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!

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Engagements, For Brides, Portraits

April 23, 2020

How To Dress For Your Engagement Session

It’s no secret that I LOVE engagement sessions. They are arguably one of my favorite parts of the ENTIRE wedding planning process. The truth is, I adore the process of learning all about people on a personal level, and these sessions give me a chance to do exactly that! My husband always makes fun of me for the amount of questions I ask and how dig I deep into people’s lives and stories when I’m getting to know them, but I truly can’t help it! I just find the significance of everyone’s life so fascinating!!! So as you can imagine, I love the way engagement sessions allow me to get to know my clients AND the way they allow my clients to get to know me. I love the way they break down the awkwardness of posing in front of a camera and help the bride and groom to get comfortable being photographed before their wedding day. I love the freedom they offer so that my clients can really have fun on a photo shoot, away from the stress of every day life or even the pressure of a wedding day! I just love them… alright?!?!

Over the years, countless couples have told me how nervous they are for their engagements, and I truly believe it can steal the joy and excitement from something that should be SO much fun! A ton of that stress comes from simply not knowing what to wear! And since many couples have plans to use their engagement portraits on their save-the-date cards, guest book, wedding website and more, not knowing what to wear can lead to some serious pressure!

The good news is this: I’m here to help! I may not be able to dig through your closet and be your personal stylist, but I can offer some SUPER helpful guidelines that will help you determine the perfect style for your session! 


Tip #1 — Coordinate!

Coordinating doesn’t mean you have to wear matching outfits. In fact, looking extremely matchy-matchy is kind of a terribly outdated trend. But your looks should “fit” together. There are two main components to coordinating:

A – Level of formality. If she’s in a formal gown, he definitely shouldn’t be in jeans.  And if he’s dressed to the nines in a tailored suit, she shouldn’t be in a tee shirt, shorts, and sandals. (These are extreme examples, but you know what I’m saying, right?!) 

B – Color Palette. Drawing from the same color palette is a great way to coordinate! Remember: colors should be complimentary, not matching! I always tell couples to opt for neutrals with pops of color. Personally, I love MUTED tones such as blush pink, light blue, light yellow, pastel green, lavender, etc…. Paired with khaki, white, navy, brown, tan, etc! 


Tip #2 — Embrace (some) color and pattern!

I know, I know — you’ve been told for years that black is slimming and white is classic. But free your mind and your wardrobe from these constraints! I already mentioned the way color can be used to help coordinate. Well, pattern is a perfect way to FIND these colors. Choose an item of clothing with a subtle pattern and then draw colors from within it to create the palette for your outfits. 

One word of warning! Small, tight patterns, like very narrow stripes, aren’t the best for photos. But large, obnoxious prints and florals can also be very distracting! Try to find a happy medium!


Tip #3 — Layer and accessorize!

Layers and accessories can add depth and dimension to your photos! They can also turn a decent outfit into a perfectly styled one! 

Tip #4 — Get fancy!

Engagement photos are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get dressed up and go all out! Why waste it on an outfit you wore to the grocery store last weekend? I love the idea of choosing a dream dress from Rent the Runway for your session. Most engagement shoots offer time to change your outfit, so you can have one fancier outfit and one more casual. (If you choose!) 

The most important suggestion I can offer is this: Be yourself, but be the BEST VERSION of yourself. Elevate your outfits beyond the everyday so that you’ll have engagement photos that you’ll want to show off for years to come!

For more inspiration and examples of photo-ready outfits, take a look at my “Engagement Session Inspiration” board on Pinterest! OR if you are already a Hannah Bryerton Bride, be sure to reference your Engagement Session Style Guide! You might spot an outfit idea that would be perfect for your own engagement shoot!!!

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