We saw her beautiful engagement photos a few weeks ago, so naturally, Brenna -of the style blog Chic Street Style– is the perfect person to show us what to wear for engagement photos! Her tips are great and her examples are even better (seriously, how does she look so perfect?!).
Name: Brenna Lyden (soon to be Moulds)
Blog: Chic Street Style
City: (soon to be) Seattle, WA
Tell us more about Chic Street Style! When and why did you start blogging?
I wish I had some remarkably profound answer for this question, but truth be told, I don’t. I started CSS as a freshman in college, right after attending a “Ted Talk” like speech with an apparel industry professional headlining the event. She stressed how extremely important it was to stand out and be different in an industry that is so competitive, like apparel, where it is common to have over 5,000 applicants for one position. I racked my brain walking back to my dorm, just to come up with the idea that I should start a blog. I had absolutely no business starting a blog and it had very humble beginnings. Like, we are talking that my first sets of blog pictures were taken inside a tiny and messy dorm room, on my Macbook Pro, in the Photo Booth app, with my computer tipped on it side with textbooks propping it up. But I began to love photography, writing, entrepreneurship and styling exponentially more and it showed.
ASOS Dress, Steve Madden Pumps, Ann Taylor Earrings, ShinyMix Bracelet
We love following along with your life on Chic Street Style and your Instagram! And you’re a personal stylist too! What does a typical day look like?
First off, thank you! And what my life looks like at the moment and in two months will be like night and day. I’m two weeks away from graduating college and moving across the country to Seattle, to start my dream job as a buyer for Nordstrom headquarters. Right now, I wake up at about 8am, answer emails from clients, followers and sponsors for about 30 minutes, publish a blog post and head to the gym. I then come back to get ready, my fiance and I go take blog pictures and then I edit, blog and sometimes do homework prior to class. After class, I check in with my clients (I run my business completely on a progressive, online platform) and then do work for my college fashion magazine, TREND, which I am the editor-in-chief for. I spend the rest of my day creating blog content, more styling, more homework before my fiance forces me to take a break. We love going for rides on our motorcycle to clear our minds. I come back to an apartment that needs packing, typically while Skyping a friend or planning wedding details simultaneously. I finish up my days with a five minute cuddle session to just relax and talk with Zach, no matter how busy and I’m typically on my computer until Midnight arranging content for the blog, getting ready to move, planning my wedding or being a college student and writing papers. It’s just non-stop, but it’s what I love, so working all day hardly feels like work.
You’re engaged! Congratulations! As a blogger, how much of the wedding planning process are you planning on sharing with your readers?
Thank you! I am beyond excited, as is my fiance. I love being open and relatable to my readers on all accounts. I think it is so important to communicate and engage with them, which is why I respond to every single comment on my blog or social media channels. Obviously, weddings are fun and glamorous and my followers wanted to be in the loop, so I listened. I have a monthly check-in to get my readers up to speed on the CSS wedding, which will be August 11, 2016. We have plenty of time but most of my planning has been front-loaded so I like to share. I also have done posts about wedding dress 101, my engagement pictures and even how I got engaged. As long as they want it, I will be sharing.
Express Top, Morning Lavender skirt, Mossimo Belt, Me Too Flats, Stella & Dot Necklace
Your engagement photos are BEAUTIFUL! What was your inspiration behind the different shoots?
Aw, thank you so much! My photographer, Alexandria from Everlasting Love Photography, is incredible. We wear a variety of different things and Zach is just as stylish as I am, so we thought it was important that our engagement pictures reflected that with them shot in many outfits. We wanted a shot that was Gatsby-inspired (with feathers and sequins) to have a little fashionable foreshadowing, because we met and got engaged at a party of that theme, plus is the theme of our wedding. We also wanted something very laid back with greenery surrounding us, because Zach is very much a “nature” person and I end up getting suckered along, hence the greenhouse. We are very dressy by nature, so “fancier” shots seemed appropriate and we shot them on the steps of the admissions building at the college we both went to, because it was very symbolic to us. And finally, we wanted pictures at that rock place you see in the images, because that was the location of our first date and the exact spot Zach told me he was going to marry me (yes, on that same date).
How did you decide what to wear?!
We wanted all the pictures to feel very “us,” in the wide range of that definition. To us, that translated into a colorful and casual look, a fancier look, a Gatsby-inspired look and a look that is laid-back and I’m wearing white, which I think is a fun way to foreshadow our upcoming nuptials. I think that every bride-to-be should stay true to herself, but just in a polished way for photos. For me, that meant plenty of dresses and skirts (plus I think they are more flattering). Zach loves pocket squares and watches, so naturally there were a lot of those in our shots. I think it is important to coordinate but not necessarily match, because it can easily look cliche. My advice is have the fiancee (with two e’s) dress first and have the fiance dress accordingly. I think women’s fashion can be more complex in silhouettes and details, which makes it easy to pull inspiration from if you’re the soon to be groom.
What are your most helpful tips when it comes to dressing for photos? What should bride-to-be’s gravitate towards and what should they avoid?
Like I said in the previous question, aim to coordinate and not match. Also, stick with timeless and flattering silhouettes. They will be most complementary and have less fuss while shooting. Stick to solids rather than patterns, they simply photograph better in the context of couples pictures. But if shades of solids doesn’t quite do it for you, opt for a texture rather than a print (like feathers, sequins, knits, etc.) I love my jewelry and with me, more is more. For engagement pictures, simplicity with jewelry is key. You don’t want to shift the focus from you or your ring, so a nice statement earring or necklace to draw attention to your face or a sophisticated bracelet that will compliment your ring is fool-proof. Wear shoes that elongate your legs. You will thank me later. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a heel, it could be a nude and flat sandal. Consider a waist belt to highlight your tiniest part. It’s all about flaunting your assets while not drawing attention to anything you aren’t in love with.
J.Crew top, Vince Camuto skirt, Jimmy Choo Pumps, Vintage Gucci Watch
Celebrity I would love to swap closets with: Blair Eadie (she’s a celebrity in my mind)
Favorite Spring Beauty Buy: A range of lipsticks
Biggest Fashion Mistake: mini-mini skirts
I can’t live without: My man.