What to wear – Engagement and Wedding Season!

Engagement wardrobe ideas

Right now we are in the midst of planning engagement photo sessions! Many of you are planning bridal showers, bachelor parties, and all the other fun events that lead up to the big day. As the future bride and groom, not only are you supposed to look amazing at each event, but you want your wedding guests to look their finest as well!

It can be difficult to figure out and keep track of what to wear at each event. Not to mention, what is the appropriate for each. What you wear at the bachelorette party, shouldn’t be the same outfit at the rehearsal dinner. So it’s important to address some of the engagement to marriage dress codes with your significant other, as well as your guests throughout the process.

engagement photo session at Sam Davis Home Smyrna TN

The Proposal and Engagement Photos

I know that these are typically two different events, but I often find that couples are looking for some insight on what to wear for both. The proposal can be done in a variety ways, I think it all comes down to what the couple is comfortable with. If you want to make it an extravagant event, I recommend dressing up your look. For the men, try sprucing up your casual outfit with a blazer. For engagement photos, I love browsing through Pinterest for ideas! I normally recommend doing 2 different looks at your engagement session: one more casual outfit and the second more dressed up. For the ladies, try wearing a dress that fits well and photographs well (and dress it up with a fun chunky necklace!), followed by a more casual outfit with skinny jeans! If you’re wearing heels for either look, don’t forget to bring along a pair of more comfortable shoes to walk in, in between locations. As for the men, try wearing a dress shirt with a pattern, with a pair of chinos or jeans for a perfect casual look. Be sure to consider what colors both of your outfits are, and how they will go together. I have many people choose their own favorite piece of clothing, and then forget to make sure it coordinates with their partner’s. You don’t have to match (PLEASE- no jeans matching white shirts!) but just be sure your outfits don’t clash 😉

Adrienne and Eric Engagement session Nashville TN

Before the Big Day

There are so many events that happen between the proposal and the actual wedding day. It can be difficult to determine what to wear to each event. As wedding guests, it’s important to remember to not upstage the future bride and groom at any event.

Chances are that the future Mr. and Mrs.’s will want to have a bachelor or bachelorette party before tying the knot. These type of events can range from a low-key weekend at the beach to an unforgettable few days in Vegas. Wherever it may be, it’s important to pack versatile options. For the ladies, check to see if there is a theme for your big night out. Whether you’re all wearing a specific color, while the bride-to-be wears white, make sure you and your girls are all on the same page. Pack a blouse that can be worn with a pair of skinny jeans for a casual look or dress it up with a leather jacket and heels. For the men, pack a casual button-down shirt. A shirt like this goes perfectly with a pair of shorts, or can be dressed up for a nice dinner with a pair of khaki pants.

For many of these events, the location helps determines the outfit. I’ve found that both the engagement party and the rehearsal dinner are typically “dressy-casual” events. A little black dress or a shift dress is a great option for the women attending. Throw on a sweater or a statement necklace to uplift your look. For the men, you can never go wrong with wearing a classic dress pant with a cashmere sweater or patterned dress shirt. As for the engaged couple, get creative with your prints and textures. Instead of wearing a simple white dress, add some texture or statement jewelry. Such as a long maxi dress with some added ruffles for fun! For the groom-to-be, instead of wearing a solid color blazer, try wearing one with a plaid patterned. Not only will it elevate your classy look, but it photographs well too.

courtney engagement photo session at Cheekwood Gardens in Nashville TN photo by krista lee

The Wedding Day

The bride and groom aren’t the only ones that need to know the details for the wedding. Their wedding party and guests need to know them as well! If the wedding takes place outside, it’s important to clarify what type of attire is appropriate for your guests to wear. I’ve found that weddings that take place earlier in the day tend to be a dressy to casual event. Find a happy medium between a casual outfit and formal attire. A dress shirt and tie, with a pair of chinos is the perfect outfit for a casual outdoor wedding. If the wedding takes place in the evening, expect to wear more formal attire. For the ladies, a nice floor length dress or a classy jumpsuit is a great option for an evening or “black tie optional” wedding. For the gentlemen, try wearing a nice tailored suit or tuxedo, depending on the theme of the wedding. Everyone looks great in a tux and of course the camera likes them too!

engagement photo session at Cheekwood Gardens in Nashville TN

Figuring out what to wear at each event can be stressful. No one ever wants to be the guest that is remembered for being underdressed or upstaging the bride or groom. Whether you’re planning the wedding or attending, it’s crucial to address the “dress code” for all of the upcoming events. This will allow for everyone attending to feel confident and comfortable in what they’re wearing.

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Krista is a Nashville, Tennessee based wedding and portrait photographer. Visit the "About" section for more info!