engagement style guide

Read ALL of the info below to get our best style guide, outfit tips, and much more.

This will ensure you have the best experience possible with us!!

everything you need to know, for breathless & dazzling
engagement photos

Soufflé tootsie roll tart lemon drops brownie macaroon. Gingerbread cotton candy powder toffee chocolate cake gummies chocolate candy. Gingerbread halvah caramels oat cake. Brownie tiramisu chocolate jelly beans bear claw chocolate cake sesame snaps sweet cupcake. Chocolate bar macaroon cookie chocolate sweet danish cookie. Fruitcake cotton candy topping ice cream sweet roll dessert bear claw. Candy cotton candy croissant chocolate muffin.

Bonbon biscuit lemon drops dessert chupa chups toffee. Gingerbread tiramisu icing jujubes cookie pie.

Tart lemon drops brownie macaroon. Gingerbread cotton candy powder toffee chocolate cake gummies chocolate candy.

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what every

Lux Light Bride

needs to know

The engagement session is one of our favorite parts of our time together because it gives you both a chance to be in front of our cameras before you get married, which is going to make your wedding day experience feel so smooth, seamless and comfortable. Not only that, but we get to create something so special together. You’re going to be married for over fifty years, but you only get to be engaged for this short period of time. We’re so excited to capture the only time in your life when you get to be each other’s fiances. We created this guide for you, and packed it with all our best secrets for getting the best out of your engagement experience, so let’s dive right in! 

We’re natural light specialists because we believe that natural light, from the sun and its reflections, create photographs that feel fresh, timeless and true to you as a couple. We begin all engagement sessions two hours before the scheduled sunset during “the golden hour,” when the light is the dreamiest. Use a sunset calculator online to determine the scheduled sunset for the date and location you’d like to do your session. Then, just subtract two hours to figure out your start time. Remember, the sun sets much earlier during the colder months of the year and much later during the warmer months, so make sure to factor that in when choosing your engagement session date, especially if you’re taking off work or have evening plans afterward. To get the most out of your session, please plan a buffer when getting ready so you can arrive a few minutes early to your session and be ready to start on time. We’re only able to shoot when natural light is still in the sky, so we’ll want to take advantage of every minute we have together before the sun goes down. If you’re wearing two outfits, save your favorite one for the second half, and if you’re wearing one, arrive in that.
QUICK TIP: Our weekends fill up fast and far in advance. You can get a Fast Pass to the front of the line by scheduling mid-week. 

Want your engagement images to look more editorial? Bring a little extra something with you! A freshly-picked bouquet for you to hold, or fresh flowers to put on something else, like a bicycle basket, tree swing, picnic basket, car bumper or rowboat, is a fun way bring a little extra romance to everyday objects. 
Whether it’s larger items like classic cars, or smaller ones like blankets or hats, even incorporating just one extra styled item, could be a fun way to make your session more unique. 

Choosing Time & Date 

styling your session

STYLE TIPS FOR HER!

Because you’ve been waiting your whole life for this. 

dress it up!

say yes to the dress

one or two, it's up to you

choosing colors

Coordinating the Looks

Flattering Your Features 

make a statement

go pro with hair & makeup

Have you thought about rocking a sequined gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new permanent piece to your collection, a lot of our brides love Rent the Runway for their engagement photos because you don’t have to spend a lot to feel like a million bucks. Plus, you can send the outfits back when the session is over. Other brides love having a great excuse to bring a new permanent piece (or two!) into their closet!
Quick Tip: There’s no such thing as too dressed up.

Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature, like the desert, forest, plains or beach. Cute, shorter-length dresses photograph beautifully as well. Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! We recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress or two! 

Most of our brides who choose two outfits will bring one “wow” dress, and then another shorter sun dress or cocktail dress for a more casual “us on a date” feel. But if you want to bring two “wow” dresses and forgo the more casual dress altogether, give yourself permission to do it! The camera loves runway-esque apparel and so do we! Remember, though, you don’t have to bring two looks if it’s too stressful or you’d rather just stick to one fabulous look. One outfit that you love will be so much better than one outfit you love and another you’re not very excited about. So, one or two? It’s really up to you!

When choosing colors for your outfits, we recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments, and especially compliments the desert.

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your finance’s, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match.” You should each aim to wear a different dominant color, but stay within a similar color palette family. So if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now he has his own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your color palette. Most of our brides choose their dress first, and then put together their fiance’s outfit based on that. That’s why we have a section for each of you.

In our experience, every woman, regardless of her shape has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about, so recognizing what that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that compliment your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos. Three-quarter length sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along, too. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is a set of slimmer-looking arms. Heels elongate women’s legs, making them look fabulous. Closed-toes heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show. These little tricks make all the difference!
Quick Tip: Bring a pair of flats to wear when moving from place to place. Your feet will thank you later! 

Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of our brides’ checklists because it looks amazing and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. Whether it’s lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Most of our brides feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than you would wear on a normal day, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera — and our brides always love the final result. If you need a recommendation for hair and makeup, we work with the best in the business and have a go-to team! They’re sweet as pie, talented as heck, unbelievable professionals and wonderful people. You’ll LOVE them! Just let us know and we’ll send you their information. We know they’ll take good care of you!
Quick Tip: Confidence. It’s always the best accessory.

Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not be as noticeable on camera. Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention. Fresh florals in a crown or bouquet can be a really romantic touch as well.Quick Tip: Bring a pair of flats to wear when moving from place to place. Your feet will thank you later! 

A Little Extra Polish: Don’t forget, your ring will be center stage, so give yourself permission to get it cleaned and your nails done, too!

STYLE TIPS FOR HIM!
Because dapper and debonair never go out of style.  

As Long as He’s Got That Suit & Tie

Layered Looks 

Mix It Up 

It’s All in the Details 

How to Prep Your Man

After the Session

One Final Note

Engagement Session Checklist 

From James Bond to Don Draper, men look most striking in a well-tailored suit. If he doesn’t have one, now’s the perfect time to invest in something he’ll wear for the rest of his life! The best part? It’s a lot less expensive than you might think! While custom suits can cost thousands of dollars, some of the most well-known brands have off-the-rack suits in their stores for a fraction of the price. Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye.
Quick Tip: There’s no substitute for a well-tailored suit. 

Next time you walk by a store like J. Crew, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust us when we say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look. If the temperature permits, he could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!

Many of our grooms love to mix a suit coat, blazer or sport coat with a different pant color. It adds some extra visual interest, and can be more fun than wearing two full suits in a row. We’re big fans of this fresh take on a timeless classic.

Long pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine lookS for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on the face you fell in love with. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and jeans at home, too. Suit pants, dress pants or colored pants work best. Brown leather dress shoes compliment almost every look, whether he’s wearing a full suit or a blazer and colored pants. Ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any suit. If you bring two suits to the session, you can start with a traditional necktie and belt, then switch to suspenders and a bow tie for your second look. If two suits are too stressful, no problem! One look will do the trick! You can still mix and match accessories to compliment both of her dresses without doing a full change during the session. So, either way, you win.

Most men aren’t overly excited to take photos for two hours, because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you. Take fifteen minutes to educate and empower your guy. Tell him why you chose us and our style of photography. Show him your three favorite sessions that we’ve done, explain why you love them and express to him how much it means to you. Trust us, once he knows it’s important, he’ll light up the camera for you! The most common thing we hear from guys before photo sessions is this: because of a bad experience in the past, they don’t like taking photos or don’t think they’ll be good at it. By the time we’re done, though, they can’t believe how fast it went and just how much fun they had! 

Don’t forget to plan a dinner date. You’re already going to be all dressed up! Why not take advantage of it? We know the wedding planning process can feel all-consuming, so take some time after the session just for the two of you to relax and have some fun together.

We know we just gave you a lot to think about. We created this guide to help make your engagement session experience something you’ll look back fondly on for years and years to come. At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. Your future marriage is the most important thing to us, and we want your engagement session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it. Have fun together. Laugh a lot. And we’ll take care of the rest!

1. Set date, time and location with Melissa 
2. Review guide for style tips 
3. Schedule hair and makeup appointments 
4. Choose your outfits 
5. Get your nails done 
6. Clean your ring 
7. Pack a bag with: 
- Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots 
- Outfit two (including shoes and accessories)
- Touch-up makeup
- Water bottle (for warmer sessions) 
- Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)
- Pick a fun post-session date night spot 

connect with us

We only choose a few dozen amazing women to work with, photographing the most amazing day of their lives, per year! Because of this, we want to make sure you know, how VALUED & LOVED  you are! Use the following hashtags to keep in contact and to display this luxurious experience with the world! 

#luxlightbride
#luxlightcouple
#lux_light_photography

Go on, get excited about your day!

Interested in working together?

"OMG Melissa!! Thank you thank you! I can't wait to look at them all! You are by far the greatest photographer in my book! Your photographs will be what we keep for a lifetime to remember our day and you have gone above and beyond to make every moment perfect.
Thank you for an amazing wedding gift!”

Contact me below for a FREE quote on wedding photography packages and collections! We also offer custom designed packages for those brides looking for unique features.


Traverse City Wedding photography by Lux Light Photography, captures beautiful and fine art portraits for your wedding and engagements in all of northern Michigan, including Traverse City, Petoskey, Frankfort, Glen Arbor, Charlevoix,  Mackinac Island, Bay Harbor Village Hotel, Crystal Mountain, Homestead Resort, Castle Farms, Grand Traverse Resort, Arcadia Golf CourseVisions Centerpointe, and other favorite venues!

Contact us below for your FREE Quote!
Lux Light Photography
800 Cottage View Drive
Traverse City Michigan 49684

melissa@luxlightphotography.net
231-633-9410

Soufflé tootsie roll tart lemon drops brownie macaroon. Gingerbread cotton candy powder toffee chocolate cake gummies chocolate candy. Gingerbread halvah caramels oat cake. Brownie tiramisu chocolate jelly beans bear claw chocolate cake sesame snaps sweet cupcake. Chocolate bar macaroon cookie chocolate sweet danish cookie. Fruitcake cotton candy topping ice cream sweet roll dessert bear claw. Candy cotton candy croissant chocolate muffin.

Bonbon biscuit lemon drops dessert chupa chups toffee. Gingerbread tiramisu icing jujubes cookie pie.

Tart lemon drops brownie macaroon. Gingerbread cotton candy powder toffee chocolate cake gummies chocolate candy.

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get in touch!

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