Engagement photo outfit tips
Believe it or not, I love giving engagement photo outfit tips! It’s normal to be a little nervous about your session. I always tell people that we still get nervous before having our photos taken – and I do this for a living!
I’m big fans of engagement sessions for a few reasons. They allow you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It takes time for most couples to warm up to being photographed and understand how we pose. Timelines can be pretty tight on weddings days, which is why we’ve found that wedding day portraits turn out so much better when couples do engagement sessions ahead of time.
Your engagement photos are a perfect opportunity to capture some sweet moments between you and your partner, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to choose what you will end up wearing!
That’s why put together my favorite engagement photo outfit tips for you to look and feel your best during your session!
COMPLEMENT EACH OTHER, BUT DON’T MATCH: When picking outfits, I recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if the groom-to-be is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the bride-to-be may want to wear a long, soft blue dress. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” such as pastels or jewel tones.
PASTELS, COOL COLORS AND NEUTRAL TONES PHOTOGRAPH BEST: Softer, pastel colors tend to photograph better than bright colors – especially since bright colors could reflect odd colors on your skin. If you really want to include something bright, pick one piece of accent clothing for one partner to wear and make that your *pop*. Be careful not to choose a pattern that is too small – it may accidentally make your photo look a little too busy or distract from you as people.
FLATTER YOUR BODY: Wear clothes that make you feel your best. Express your personal style—the more confident you feel, the better your photos will turn out. Clothing looks best if it fits properly and accentuates your assets. Don’t be afraid to get something tailored for a few dollars – you can always wear the outfit again for wedding festivities!
CHOOSING FORMALITY: Stick with two outfits for your engagement session (you don’t want to overwhelm yourself: a more formal outfit and an elevated casual outfit. That doesn’t necessarily means ripped jeans and a t-shirt, but something you may wear to a casual date night. You can’t go wrong with a suit and tie. Consider pulling out that suit you had to wear last time you were a groomsman! Layer with a blazer and a fun tie – you can even wear jeans with this look. Bowties are always a good idea.
BE LOGICAL ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS AND LOCATIONS: Make sure your ensembles work for the season and location of your photos – no short dresses that will fly up or loose hair that will go crazy on the beach or bare arms in the snow.
GO FOR CLASSIC RATHER THAN TRENDY: Looks you may love that black-and-white maxi dress now, but next year you may only picture a referee or jailbird when you see yourself in head-to-toe stripes.
GLAM UP BEFORE YOUR SESSION: We think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your engagement photos – and if you’re planning to do a hair and makeup trial anyways, the engagement session is a great time to test how your hair and makeup look on camera. Professionally done hair and makeup last longer than typical hair and makeup. They also tend to hold up better in humidity and wind. Also, there will probably be times during your session when we’re shooting your hands holding or the engagement ring on your hand – which means it’s a good idea to clean up your nails before your session (this applies to the guys too!).
USE RENTAL WEBSITE TO SAVE ON YOUR OUTFITS: Services like Rent the Runway or The Black Tux will allow you to rent a dress or tux that would normally be $400-100 for as low as $20-40. They also include a backup size and sometimes an additional outfit, just in case something happens!
DON’T BE AFRAID TO DRESS UP: Heels lengthen legs and can help bridge any dramatic difference in height, but if your heels aren’t comfortable for walking, bring an extra pair of shoes to slip into in between shots. If you and your partner are close in height, consider whether you want to be taller or shorter when it comes to shoes.
LEAVE YOURSELF PLENTY OF TIME: The single biggest snag we run into at engagement sessions is a couple running late and feeling super stressed about it (not to mention the arguments in the car on the way there about who made who late). It can make it hard to feel relaxed and lovey-dovey in photos the moment you arrive. Choose your outfits ahead of time, so you aren’t scrambling to find pieces that go together on the day of. Plan to have your hair and makeup done at least an HOUR before you plan to leave. And plan extra time for traffic + to arrive early even! Early is better than late, always, you don’t want to miss that “golden hour” during your session
EASE YOUR NERVES: We have known many couples who have had a glass of wine or a margarita (or two) before a shoot in order to relax. Of course, considering safe driving, we definitely do not discourage having a drink before or during the shoot if it makes you feel more comfortable (and popping some bubbly does photograph well!) 😉
BE YOU AND HAVE FUN! Being engaged is an incredibly fun and short period of the entirety of your (future married) lives together. Focus on being yourself. Don’t try and be someone else’s Pinterest board. Dress up, but not so much that you feel uncomfortable. Hang out and interact with each other the way you normally do. Fix your eyes on your love and focus on all the reasons why you adore them and try to forget the camera. Goof around, make silly faces, play and laugh! Be you!
Looking for more wedding advice? Check out all of it HERE!