The hours before Blue and I took our engagement photos were not my finest fashion moments. I remember agonizing over my closet, trying to find an outfit that best complimented my physique and style. Finally, my chosen engagement outfit on, I walked into the kitchen to show my best girlfriend/roommate, Charity.

“Do you like it?” I tremulously asked. 

“It’s not what I would have chosen,” she said with raised eyebrows. 

Despite our different styles — Charity tends towards the glam put-together and I tend towards the hippie tomboy — we always tell each other what we think, which makes for a great friendship. Unfortunately, on this particular day, I realized that I couldn’t even respond, “Yes, but I like it.” 

Where had I gone wrong? 

Well, I like comfy, flowy things, and belts don’t exactly fit into the “comfort” category for me. But on this particular day, I had tucked my bulky sweater into my distressed jeans and accentuated the whole thing with a big, cowboy-esque belt. 

Don’t ask me why. I just knew that Blue liked my waist, and I wanted to show it off. 

Unfortunately, I grimace when I look back on those pictures now and think, “That’s not me.” So, for all you engaged ladies (and dudes) out there, here are three pieces of advice I wish I knew before we took our engagement photos. 

Pick an outfit you already love. 

This is so crucial! If you already love the outfit, you can be free to focus on your fiancé, not your clothes. If you pick an outfit you’ve never “tested” before, you run the risk of fiddling with your belt, readjusting the positioning of your sweater, and worrying about whether the outfit looks good on “camera” (no, these were never my thoughts, not at all…). Pick something you feel beautiful in, maybe something you’ve been complimented on before, or that staple outfit you reach for all the time. 

If you specially pick out an outfit for the occasion, just make sure you love it when you purchase it and when you try it on at home. Get the honest advice of a trusted girlfriend if you are unsure. 

Wear something comfy in your engagement photos!!! 

As Blue and I have photographed our clients, I’ve been drawn to the ladies who wear dresses that allow them to move. They’ve been able to piggy-back on their financés through wheat fields, hike up Duncan’s Ridge, and pull off swing dance moves on the top of boulders. You want to have fun at your engagement shoot! Wear something that allows you to move, to dance, to laugh, and have fun. 

Stick with your style, not someone else’s (even your S.O.’s). 

The engagement photoshoot is a representation of you and your fiancé, at this particular moment in time. Wear what you wear! If you like hippie grunge, wear hippie grunge. If you live in shorts and t-shirts, consider wearing one of your nicer pairs (or your favorite, chill set). If you hate shoes, don’t wear ‘em, especially if we’re outside (but if we’re in Old Town, you might want to protect those soles and toesies). 

If you’re a glam girl, wear your favorite dress! Do up your hair, wear your favorite make-up, and rock those earrings! As we move closer to parenthood, I’ve stalked a few maternity photographers’ websites, and I love the photos of expecting mothers in flowing dresses. They look like faerie queens as they pose in nature. 

In sum, rock what looks like you. 

And that’s that! Pick something that screams you, something that allows you to move, and something that you already know you love. Once you’ve found an outfit like that, you can enjoy the time outside with your best friend, documenting your love and commitment. Don’t let something as silly as a failed fashion moment get in the way of the perfect engagement photoshoot.