Ohh Pinterest. I have such a love-hate relationship with you. I love how inspiring you can be but I hate how time-wasting you are and how you can set our expectations way too high. Am I alone in this??
OK, I’m being a bit dramatic but I really do love Pinterest for planning your wedding and engagement shoot if used in the correct way. Let me say that again: I love Pinterest for planning your wedding and engagement shoot IF USED IN THE CORRECT WAY.
What’s the correct way? Inspiration.
What’s the incorrect way? Copycatting.
I know. I get sucked in, too. I see the most perfectly styled bedroom or outfit and I want to copy every single detail so I can have it, too. But when this happens with planning your wedding or engagement shoot, this is where things can go south very quickly.
Pinterest, of course, boasts the best of the best. Using Pinterest as a way to copy every detail of another wedding leads to two problems: one, the wedding is not your own, and two, you have no idea what kind of budget the couple with the beautiful flowers and stunning designer dress had. Pinterest can quickly lead to feeling bad about yourself and your wedding.
As a professional photographer, I love and loathe Pinterest. I can’t tell you how many brides have sent me photos from it wanting the exact photo or replicating an exact moment. Those images made it on Pinterest because they were unique to the couple or wedding — just like your wedding will be unique and beautiful.
Picking your outfits
I can’t remember where I heard this tip (or if I conceived of it in my mind — who knows at this point!) but the idea is to pin whatever you find inspiring and beautiful and then go back and look for themes within your pins. Then you use those themes to inspire your own wedding or shoot.
I do this personally, when redecorating a room or planning my seasonal wardrobe. I wish I had done this with my own wedding instead of trying to copy everything. Instead of looking for images to shoehorn into what you think you want, look at what you already have because chances are, you love it! I mean, you did pin it, right?
So how does this apply to your engagement session? Well, instead of searching for “engagement photos” or “engagement photo outfits,” I would go to your fashion/style/clothing board and look at what you’ve been pinning recently. Do you see any themes? Color consistency? Vibes?
Maybe you’ve got a lot of Free People and Anthropologie and you lean toward a laidback, carefree bohemian vibe. Pick your top 5-7 images and study why you love them. Is it the flowing skirt? The texture in the hair? The funky jewelry? Go to your closet and pull out things that match that vibe. Fill in the blanks with a shopping trip.
Maybe you’ve got a lot of J.Crew and Nordstrom and you lean toward a clean, sort of preppy, put together look. Perfect! Take note of colors. Do you see a lot of blues and greens? I’d wear those colors and not go buy a red dress “just to be different.” You want to look and feel like yourself in these images. I personally don’t wear a lot of red so if I wore a red dress in photos, I think I’d look back and regret it.
Also look at the fit and proportions of the clothing you pin and look for consistency. Do you see a lot of flowy tunics with fitted jeans and booties? Or maybe you see loose, trapeze style dresses with Grecian sandals, long necklaces, and cropped jackets. Again, go raid that closet to see what you already have and then fill in the blanks with shopping.
Dressing your dude
So we’ve got your wardrobe down, now what about your sweet groom-to-be? I can speak from years of experience of dressing my husband for photo shoots that it can be downright difficult to choose outfits for guys, even more so than choosing yours!
If you’ve got a guy style board, go through the same method. My guess is you don’t so here’s where we get creative. I always tell my brides (and mamas!) to pick their outfits first and then pick their fiance’s (or the rest of their family!) outfits. His vibe should match yours. If you’re going to be dressed in your Sunday best, don’t put him in a T-shirt and ripped jeans. Again, I’m guessing he has pretty much everything he could wear already in his closet. Look for similar vibes but be careful with color: you don’t want both of you to be dressed in head-to-toe blue. If you’re wearing blue, look for complementary colors (Google “color wheel” and pick the color opposite yours on the wheel). In this example, maybe something orange or brown would work for him.
This might be the one spot we go look at engagement and wedding photos of couples that you have pinned but I’d also recommend looking at your Pinterest account on the whole. Do you gravitate toward outdoor nature scenes or do you have a more urban, downtown vibe? Or maybe a mix of both? With the outfits you picked, where would someone *reasonably* wear them? I personally think it’s a little odd when brides wear cocktail dresses and heels in a big field. Who would ever do that in real life?! That outfit, to me, is more of a city vibe. Your flowing skirts, moto boots, and wild hair would be perfect romping around in that field.
I hope this helps with the Pinterest overwhelm. I know it’s soo tempting to recreate someone else’s vision but you will be happiest when you stay true to you and your aesthetic over anything else.
PS: I regularly pin outfit and wedding inspiration to my Pinterest account. Follow along!