I always get asked the question, “What should I wear for my Engagement Session?” and my answer is always a long, solid-color fluid dress, heels and classic jewelry — estate or family pieces if you have them. Long dresses are very feminine. They catch the wind and add beautiful movement when you walk. That movement adds so much interest to your images. And, the fit of your dress should compliment your figure and show off your shape. If an outfit off the rack needs to be altered to fit you well, then do it to look your best. The reason we love so many celebrities’ outfits is that they are custom made to fit their bodies. My favorite silhouettes? It’s no secret that I absolutely LOVE a one-shoulder dress. It’s a hint of sexy, but classy at the same time. I also love simple slip dresses and wraps that accent your waist.
When choosing a dress, keep in mind that solid fabrics are best, because prints and patterns can be trendy and distracting unless they are tiny florals or classic patterns like stripes or checks. Plus, so many trendy outfits can date your images very quickly. Same goes for big, chunky accessories. Choose simple and delicate instead. I love heirloom, estate pieces that connect you to your family and give just enough sparkle. Ask your grandmother if you can borrow her pearl and diamond earrings, or your mother her diamond necklace. If your location makes it a little hard to walk in heels, you can take them off. Holding your shoes as you walk gives the images a more relaxed feel (even though you are dressed up) and also gives you something to do with your hands.
For a second, more casual outfit, well-fitting jeans with heels and a dressy blouse or a tailored jumpsuit, is what I recommend. Both are always a win.
So, to sum it up in a few words…solid, flowy, delicate feminine, and classic with a just hint of sexy and a touch of tailored. If every piece you choose to wear for your session can be summed up in those words then you’ve nailed it and your images will be beautiful and timeless.
Be looking for my next post, which will be a Q&A with Walton’s Jewelry on how to confidently shop for and choose estate jewelry and antique engagement rings.
Dresses: Nordstrom | All jewelry: Estate pieces from Walton’s Jewelry, Franklin TN
The absolute best part of my job is the couples I meet. I’ve been blessed with the kindest brides, grooms, families and wedding parties who make the day so much fun.
Francie and Smylie met when they were 15 and 16 and have the sweetest story. They are both from Vestavia Hills (Birmingham AL), where my family lived for 10 years before moving to Nashville, so we have lots of mutual friends. Smylie grew up on Vestavia Hills Country Club golf course, learned how to play the game there and now plays on the PGA Tour. I’m always excited when I can photograph a couple where they have a connection to a place that holds so many memories, so I was thrilled we were able to do their First Look and portraits at VCC.
Francie worked with Mariée Ami to plan her wedding with an amazing vendor team (see complete list at the end of this post). She was such a pleasure to work with from day one; and when the wedding day weather forecast included a tornado warning and her portraits were interrupted by thunderstorms, she was calm and full of grace, without even one word of complaint. She radiated joy all day, from getting ready at her family’s home to their sendoff at The Club in a golf cart, of course.
Francie has a lifestyle blog and Instagram account @Fairwayfinds. Follow along as she shares travel adventures and healthy living finds while on the PGA Tour with Smylie. Francie signs off with each blog post “Always finding joy,”. Yes, she is, and her wedding day had so much of it!
Francie and Smylie, thank you for choosing me to be a small part of your beautiful wedding day! Best wishes for a lifetime of health, happiness and birdies!
You can also see their wedding published on Brides.com.
Image above as seen in June 4, 2018 issue of Sports Illustrated
and online in USA Today, Golf Week and Golf Channel.
Photographer: Heather Durham | Assistant Photographers: Emily Kicklighter & Bethany Rogers | Planner: Mariée Ami| Floral Design: The Kings Garden | Wedding Gown: Custom Liancarlo top and Augusta Jones skirt with Toni Federici veil from Carriage House Weddings | Groom’s Tux: Custom Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen Tuxes: Mr. Burch Formalwear | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids Birmingham|Bridesmaids Earrings: Nicola Bathie Jewelry |Custom Wedding Invitations & Lettering: Weezie B Designs | Bride Hair Stylist: Candi with Roots Helena|Bride Make Up Artist: Kerri Bunn of BOMA Beautiful | Bridesmaids Make Up Artists: Carly Morgan & Sydney Carter | Venues: Vestavia Country Club + The Club Birmingham | Cake Artist: Magic Muffins | Hand Dyed Silk Ribbon: Cocoon Silk Ribbon | Videography: Four10 Films| Entertainment: Az Izz
THANK YOU to all of my sweet brides and their families for your kind reviews on WeddingWire! I’m beyond grateful that you trust me to photograph one of the most important days in your life and thrilled that you’ve chosen Heather Durham Photography as being in the top 5% of wedding professionals on WeddingWire based on client experience. What a great start to a new year and I’m looking forward to telling more wedding stories with my camera in 2018. It’s a privilege.
Oh how I love to shoot the details that define each of my bride’s unique and beautiful style. Before the wedding day, I remind all of my brides to bring everything to the getting ready location, so that I can shoot it when I arrive. A bride’s perfume, invitation suite, programs, notes, gifts, jewelry, shoes, garters, and handkerchief are thoughtfully curated and begged to be remembered as part of the wedding day story. It’s also a great idea to set aside lingerie, so I can style it lying on a chair or on the bed to be photographed before the bride puts it on. Pets are family and also an important part of the story I try to include when I can. Often, it’s a family dog, but sometimes it’s the horse the bride grew up riding from childhood.
In addition to the personal and paper details, the floral, cake and reception design set the tone for the day. There’s always a “wow” moment thanks to the talented planners who meticulously think through every important element with our brides. This post features some of the loveliness I’ve photographed over the years. Hope you enjoy. And, what a pleasure it is to work with the planners featured and listed at the end of this post.