How to plan the perfect engagement photo session

This post is part of a series of real questions, from real brides.  Do you have a question about wedding planning, or any part of the process? Ask me! I want to answer YOUR questions. To submit your questions, email me at

Question: I’m getting ready to take engagement photos for our save the dates, but I have no clue what to wear! Any advice for having the perfect engagement session?

A great question that many couple have going into their engagement session.  I experienced this dilemma myself when my husband and I went to take our engagement photos!  These days, there feels like so much pressure to have the perfect engagement photos, with the perfect coordinating outfits and the cutest props in our Pintrest-obsessed world.  Well, for this question, I went to a pro for some engagement photo do’s and don’t’s.

Many thanks to Lauren Rosenau of Lauren Rosenau Photography for the great advice and tips!


Any advice for what to wear for an engagement session?
I always tell my couples to keep it simple because in photos … less is more. There are great ideas on Pinterest for style options, but I tell my couples to stay away from Pinterest as much as possible! No photographer wants to copy ideas – it’s an insult to the artist. Be yourself!  For example, if the you’re wearing a solid blue dress, then have your groom wear something that accents that. Such as a plaid or striped shirt that coordinates well with the blue, etc. But, don’t go super trendy because you’ll date the photos.


How should couples plan for an engagement session? Should the couple come up with a theme or inspiration?

As far as planning, it’s always great to talk to your photographer about your personal style.  Give the photographer a little bit of background information about what you like to do together, how you met and fell in love, and work with the photographer on ideas so that the session reflects your style.  For example, if the you like to hangout at local breweries and your style is more laid back, then mention this to the photographer, because doing a shoot where you are most comfortable will make both of you feel more comfortable when in front of the camera. If even if don’t have specific places in mind, consider where you might go for a date night, or what you might be doing on a random Saturday.

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I’m nervous our photos won’t turn out great. I’m not very photogenic!
It’s totally normal to feel a little anxious and nervous. The first 20 minutes are ALWAYS awkward! Couples sit there feeling like “what do I do with my hands?!” “Does my hair look okay?” But rest assured, if you chose a good photographer, they can trust them! Take a deep breath, maybe even have a mimosa before hand to loosen up!  These sessions are supposed to be fun! So, remember to stay true to your style and don’t try to emulate something that you’re not or try a new style just for the sake of engagement photos.  And, if brides are planning on getting a trial run for their makeup and/or hair, or know a stylist and have the budget available, it’s so much of a relief on the day of the engagement shoot to know that someone will be doing your hair and makeup. Less stress before the shoot means you’ll be less anxious during the shoot.

How far in advance should I schedule my engagement session?
If couples have a specific season they want to do their engagement session and a certain time frame for sending out Save The Dates, make sure you plan the session with enough time for the photographer to edit and deliver the photos.  Anything worthwhile is worth waiting for!  Ask your photographer what their typical turn around time would be for engagement photos, and then plan your session accordingly so that you can send out your save the dates.

Any other tips and words of wisdom for couples planning an engagement session?
I can’t stress it enough – stay away from Pintrest!  Just like any artist, photographers want to be inspired by their subjects and create unique photographs that capture the love the couple has for each other.  Also, remember to trust your photographer.  If you chose your photographer wisely, you chose them for their style and beacuase you felt confident in their opinion as an artist. Make sure you meet your photographer beforehand to see if your personalities mesh well.  Any photographer can take a decent image, but all couples need to keep in mind that it’s a relationship, and the key to beautiful photos will always start with being comfortable.

Huge thanks to Katie for the great question! Do you have a question about wedding planning that you’d like answered? Email your question to

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