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Engagement Photos: The Dos and Don’ts


A picture is worth a thousand words. You’ve probably heard this countless times already, but it’s important to drive this home: Your engagement photos are a big deal. Out of all the possible reasons why, this is probably the best reason yet: Your engagement photos speak volumes about you as an individual and as a couple. They’re, in a sense, your announcement to your friends, family and world about your upcoming marriage. They also mark the beginning of your new life together. You and your fiancé will look at these photos for many years to come.

To help you get the best engagement photos possible, we’ve put together a list of dos and dont’s. Here are our top suggestions:

DO: Be authentic.

Nothing is more original than being yourself. As cliché as this probably sounds, no one else in the world is like you or your partner. Your love for each other is also unique—it’s a special connection only you both share. Simply put, both of you have interests as individuals and shared interests as a couple. Engagement photos are a great place to showcase the intricacies of your personality and your relationship. Whatever your passion as a couple might be whether that’s surfing, reading or riding bikes, find a way to incorporate that into your photos, or at least some of them.

bride in fur coat and groom watching fireworks

DON’T: Select a random place for the photo shoot.

Settings are everything. Yes, places with an appealing backdrop make for beautiful photos, but try to think beyond that. Engagement photos featuring significant settings tend to carry more meaning, especially for you and your fiancé. Maybe it’s the place where you met or had your first date. Or perhaps it’s a place the two of you regularly frequent like a coffee shop or a Saturday farmer’s market. Either way, a location with meaning allows you to re-live your memories, creating passion-filled photos.

Keep in mind, your location doesn’t have to be anything out of the ordinary either. It can be as natural as cooking a meal together or cuddling in bed. The options are endless. Of course, be sure to discuss all location ideas in advance with your photographer for input and preparation.

DO: Ask for a mixture of posed and candid shots.

Unless you have a clear vision of how you want your photos to look, requesting both posed and candid shots will give you more choices to select from. Sometimes the best photos taken are during unplanned moments. On the other hand, formal shots may be able to capture the look you’re seeking.

DON’T: Rush the process.

There’s nothing worse than over-scheduling yourself and not being able to enjoy the present. The same holds true for an engagement photography session. You don’t want to be stressed. Instead of piling everything into this one particular day, place your focus on the shoot and the experience as a whole. This will be your first and last time taking engagement photos. Have fun and take your time. Consider making a date day out of it and arrange something special to do with your fiancé afterward.

closeup of bride and groom in blue suit

DO: Prepare the look.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Choose your outfit selections as a couple. Ideally, your attire should complement your partner’s look and the location, but not match exactly.
  • Use a steamer or an iron to remove any wrinkles from your clothes.
  • Book an appointment with a professional. Meeting with a barber, hair stylist or a makeup artist on the day of your engagement shoot will enhance the appearance of your photos and help you look your best. It’s most beneficial to come prepared with an idea of what you’re seeking or better yet, schedule a test run sometime prior to the session.
  • Stay hydrated. It improves the appearance of your skin.
  • Avoid drinking or eating items that are more likely to stain your teeth, especially if you’ve whitened them for the shoot. This means no coffee, tea, strawberries and so forth. Keep in mind that you generally want a two-day buffer at minimum after you whiten your teeth with an at-home kit. If you have your teeth professionally whitened; however, the wait time will be much longer, like two weeks.
  • Get a good night’s rest and don’t eat a heavy meal before your photoshoot. The better you feel, the better you’ll look.

DON’T: Forget to include pets or anything else of importance to you and your partner.

If your dog is your fur baby, make sure to include her in a few of your photos. Or maybe you’re a parent and want your child to be a part of the shoot—that’s okay, too. Whatever your ideas are, make sure to discuss them with your partner first to confirm you’re both on the same page.

kate mckinnon and zach galifianakis in the movie masterminds
From the movie Masterminds.

At the end of the day, these are your and your fiancé’s engagement photos. You all get to decide what works and what doesn’t. They can be serious, or they can be as silly as the engagement photos we’ve seen of Zach Galifianakis and Kate McKinnon in the movie Masterminds. Okay, okay, maybe not that eccentric, but you get the idea!

There are so many small details that go into creating your dream wedding, but that doesn’t mean you should have to stress. Generation Tux lets you sample your clothing before the big day, in the comfort of your living room. See what we have to offer to make your union extraordinary.

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