Congratulations! You’re engaged! The question on every engaged couple’s mind: what to wear for their engagement photo shoot! Picking the perfect engagement outfits can be tricky, but don’t worry, I’m here to help. Keep reading for outfit ideas and inspiration. Plus, I’ll give you some tips on how to choose the right clothes for your session. Don’t stress, you’ll walk away from this with ideas for different looks and I guarantee you’ll look fabulous in your photos.
Be Comfortable. Be You.
The biggest piece of advice I can give when it comes to picking the right outfit is to be comfortable and be you. I’m a storyteller by trade and my main goal during a session is to hang out with your AUTHENTIC selves so that I can capture you as you truly are. I’m not about any of that cheesy, over-posed, unauthentic junk. I’ll put you where the light is gorgeous and the background is gonna look fire, but after that it’s your candid emotions that are going to bring magic to the photos. None of this is possible though if you wear something that’s not you.
Pick Outfits Ahead of Time
Save yourself the stress on engagement photo day and pick your outfit choices ahead of time. Once you have your outfits picked out, put them together in a lookbook on Pinterest or simply hang them up together so you can easily grab everything when it’s time to get ready for your photos. I always suggest starting with the dress or outfits for the ladies and then picking out complementary colors for the fellas.
Coordinating The Looks: Complement One Another, But Don’t Match 1:1
As you’re coordinating your outfit with your partner’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 they could wear a navy coat with gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square. Now they have their own dominant color (navy) while still incorporating a few touches of your color palette. Most of my brides choose their dress first, and then put together their partner’s outfit based on that.
Consider The Season: Avoid Wearing All Black
Unless your aiming for a winter engagement session, I recommend avoiding wearing all black. They are engagement photos! They’re supposed to be fun and flirty so go ahead and embrace some color. If black is your jam though, mix it up by adding in a pop of color with a scarf, jacket or accessories.
Consider the weather and the season when choosing an engagement photoshoot outfit. This is especially important to consider for outdoor photos (which is 90% of the time) so that you are dressed comfortably for the temperature.
I personally love a good maxi dress in the spring and summer. Guys can do light colored chinos or jeans along with a lightweight button up. You’ll often find more flowers, especially in the spring, so my best tip is to wear colors that complement your surroundings. Similar muted floral tones are great, as our shades of blue that go well with your skin tone.
The fall is a great time capitalize on layers. I LOVE layered outfits. combining different textures within a cohesive color scheme does wonders and looks amazing on camera. There’s something about layered outfits that just looks so much more sophisticated in front of the camera.
At the end of the day, textures and colors aside, please remember my first piece of advice: comfort is paramount. As long as you wear clothes and you’re comfortable, your joy will show and you’ll look great in your engagement pictures.
Show Off The Ring
I will always try to get a shot of the ring on its own and on your hand during your engagement session. Your ring will be center stage, so this is a great chance to get it cleaned and your nails done too! To make your ring really sparkle in photos, have it professionally cleaned by your jeweler (they will clean it for free!) or DIY it with a good jewelry cleaner before your session.
Men’s Fashion Tips
From James Bond to Don Draper, men look most striking in a well-tailored suit. The best part? If you don’t own one, there are some sweet rental companies where you can affordably rent a dapper look. In my opinion, TheBlackTux.com is a great option. Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong complement to most outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye.
If you feel like a suit isn’t your authentic self, a sophisticated formal outfit alternative is long pants, a nice button-up, and closed-toed shoes. This can be styled in a ton of different ways too. You could pick some chukkas, dark wash jeans, and a layered flannel for a rustic vibe. Or throw a chic scarf over a long-sleeve Henney with those same jeans and a nice monk strap for a smart casual outfit.
Finally, think about the details! Get a clean cut, trim your face, and get a manicure (clean hands are in fact masculine). You might not notice the attention to detail, but you will 100% notice a lack thereof.
Style Tips For Her
By now you should know that as long as your wearing something comfortable and being your authentic self, whatever you wear is going to look phenomenal. BUT, I’ve got some suggestions to really make your attire pop. If you’re forever person is going fancy, this is a good opportunity to follow suit with a dress that’s “wow”, which could either be a piece you have, an excuse to go shopping, or rented from somewhere like Rent The Run Way. Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos.
This session is a great opportunity to try out your hair and makeup team. Professional hair and makeup is a great way to elevate your images and give you a chance to get to know more of your wedding day vendors. Win-Win!
Lean Towards Neutral Tones and Softer Colors
The next thing to think about is colors. When choosing colors for your outfits, I highly recommend selecting lighter neutral tones as opposed to bold colors. Lighter neutral tones will bring more attention to your faces and lets the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. Neutral tones, such as gray, cream, and oatmeal browns, not only photograph beautifully but will also keep your photos looking timeless.
If you want to incorporate color, I advise using softer shades that compliment each other well. An easy way to do this is by looking at the flowers that will be in bloom during your engagement session. For example, if we’re shooting during springtime and there are lots of pretty pastels around, consider wearing something with those colors. The same goes for fall – jewel tones would be perfect! You can also get creative and use season-appropriate props to add a pop of bright colors.
Be Careful With Patterns
I love a good pattern, but it can sometimes be distracting on camera. Solid colors and subtle textures are always a safe bet. If you do want to wear something with a pattern, lean towards something not too overwhelming and make sure the colors compliment each other. A small polka dot or gingham can add a little bit of fun and personality to your photos without taking away from your faces.
That all being said, base your choices on your personal style. If you’ve got a suave fashion sense and think some sort of bold pattern work based on where your engagement shoot is, go for it! The shoot is all about you after all.
Stay Classy in Layers
Layers are key for engagement sessions! They add dimension, texture, and can be removed if necessary. I usually recommend bringing a cardigan, scarf, or jean jacket that compliments your outfit. That way, if we’re shooting in a cooler temperature, you have something to keep you warm without ruining the look of your outfit.
Above all else, be yourself! This engagement session is a great opportunity for both of you to show off your personalities and bond over this exciting time in your lives. Have fun with it – try on different outfits before choosing what works best for you, make sure you’re happy and comfortable, and most importantly, take lots of pictures! Good luck!
Wear Clothing that Fits Well and is Flattering
Lastly, it’s important to make sure your clothes fit you properly and are flattering. If an item of clothing is too big or baggy, it will look sloppy in photos. If an item of clothing is too small or tight, it will look distracting and uncomfortable. The key is to find something that fits you well and makes you feel confident.
This goes for shoes to. If you wear heels for your engagement session, make sure they are comfortable. You will be on your feet a lot during the shoot and if you’re not used to wearing heels all day, it can really take a toll on your body! You can opt instead for more comfortable shoes that have an open toe or some sort of cut-out in the back to help with breathability. Considering you usually walk around quite a bit, it can be a good idea to bring a nice pair of heels and a more comfortable backup.
A Final Note On Your Engagement Shoot Outfits
In short, to create beautiful engagement photos that capture the beauty and joy of this special time in your life, start by choosing outfits that allow you to feel confident and comfortable while also reflecting your own unique style. Whether you go bold or neutral, flashy or simple, the most important thing is always being yourself!
If you’re unsure about how an outfit looks on you, ask a friend or family member for their honest opinion. And if all else fails, go with your gut! You know what looks good on you better than anyone else.
I hope this article was helpful in giving you some engagement photo session outfit ideas! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d be happy to chat with you about finding the perfect outfit to wear for your engagement photos.