After you’ve got an engagement session booked, deciding what to wear for engagement photos can feel pretty stressful! You aren’t alone – you want to look your best, feel your best, and you want to make sure that the already nerve-wracking experience of being in front of the camera isn’t any more nerve-wracking.
This guide is all about what to wear for engagement photos, with tips and advice to help you pick an outfit!
Before you start sifting through your closet to figure out what to wear for engagement photos, here are some things to keep in mind, and questions to ask yourself!
The first thing to ask yourself is where you’ll be taking engagement photos. If you and your photographer haven’t settled on a location yet, I definitely recommend getting this nailed down first, because it can help narrow down your outfit options! If you’re taking photos by a pool or on a beach, the vibe may be a little different than if you’re going to the mountains.
Some things to consider when it comes to your location include what the backdrop looks like, and the weather at the location.
Along with the where, consider the when! Once you’ve got a date set for your engagement session, you can do some research to figure out what the weather will be like. Your outfit options will definitely be different for a summer session than for a winter session!
Another thing to think about is how many outfits you’re picking out. A lot of couples will do two outfits, which gives you some variety in your photos and allows you to pick one casual and one more formal option. Be sure to talk about this with your photographer – they’ll usually have different packages and lengths for engagement sessions, and if you’re planning an outfit change, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough time!
Once you’re ready to start looking at outfit options and decide what to wear for engagement photos, here’s some advice! Make sure that any potential pieces you pull out of the closet check these boxes.
This is probably the most important one – you’ve gotta be comfortable! This means making sure that everything fits well, that your outfit allows you to move freely, that you’ll be warm (or cool) enough, and that you feel good in what you’re wearing.
If you’re feeling uncomfortable, that will show up in your photos, and we definitely don’t want that! It might be tempting to pick a super cute but super pinch-y pair of jeans, but if you do that, you’ll be miserable 10 minutes into your session.
Along with the clothes physically feeling good, make sure they make you feel like yourself! When you see your photos, you should see the two of you, and they should reflect how you really are. It’s totally fine to get a little extra dressed up than usual, but don’t go too overboard – make sure you look like you!
Some people find it helpful to think of a color palette before they start picking out outfits, but if your mind doesn’t work that way, it’s usually easier to pick some pieces you like, then decide what looks good together. Keep in mind that there are two of you, and you’ll be in these photos together – so your outfits need to look good on you, but they also need to look good next to your partner!
For colors, sticking to neutrals is a good rule of thumb. This doesn’t have to mean black and beige – muted tones like olive green, maroon, navy blue, and mustard yellow are all fun neutrals that don’t clash with most colors. You can also add pops of color, like a bright red sundress or a fun patterned button up, but stick to one big pop, or a few little ones to make sure they aren’t taking attention away from your faces.
It’s often helpful to pick a few outfit options for both of you, and then seeing which ones look good with the other partner’s outfit options. Think coordinating, not matching! Unless you want to look like a cheesy family photo from the 90s, make sure that you aren’t wearing the same exact shades or patterns.
You can also coordinate the color of your outfits to your engagement photo location. If the backdrop is mostly cool colors (like blue ocean water), warm tones like red and yellow will pop! If the background is warmer (like a forest in the fall), cool colors, like blues and purples, will stand out more.
Adding a pattern can be fun, but don’t overdo it! Stick to one pattern between the two of you, or maybe two if they’re subtle. Some things to avoid are logos or text on T-shirts (these are distracting!), and tight stripes (these get distorted on camera if they’re too thin, especially if they’re black and white). Florals, flannels, and wider stripes are great!
After you’ve got the main components of your engagement session outfits picked out, it’s time to choose shoes and accessories! For shoes, make sure they’re easy to walk in and that you’ll be comfortable. High heels may be cute, but for outdoor sessions, they often aren’t ideal – sinking in the sand or in the grass is no fun!
You can accessorize with hats, scarves, jackets, and more – but make sure that whatever you choose doesn’t cover your face, and that your outfits still complement each other. You can also bring some props – not the Pinterest-y wooden signs (unless that’s your thing), but things like a blanket to sit on, a guitar to play, a picnic to munch on, or even your dog can be great, and add some movement fun to your engagement photos!
The last tip for deciding what to wear is to talk to your photographer! We know all about what colors look good together, what photographs best, and what the location will be like, and I’m happy to help all my couples figure out what to wear.
If you’re ready to book an engagement session, or you need some fashion advice, contact me!