Planning out what to wear for engagement photos can be overwhelming. So I want to give you my biggest tips to make sure your pictures turn out stunning!
What to Wear for Engagement Pictures
There’s a lot to keep in mind when choosing your outfits for engagement pictures so that you not only feel comfortable, but also get the best pictures that you feel happy with. These are my suggestions that should help you have some guidance on the best outfits for your session!
1. Choose an outfit that fits your location
Location plays a big part into choosing what to wear for your engagement photos! You want to choose an outfit that matches where you are taking your photos. And this is not only because of the type of weather in that location, but it also just needs to make sense! For example, you don’t want to be wearing dressy clothes and heels for a session in the mountains, or boots and sweaters for a beach session.
It just needs to fit what your location is, and if you feel unsure at all, that’s what your photographer is for! Ask what the location is like, and even what the weather might be like. They can give suggestions on what will look good and be practical for your session! So before you start trying to pick out outfits for your photos, make sure you have your location picked out!
The time of year in those locations can also have an impact on your outfits! The beach might be a bit chilly in the winter, so you may need sweaters, but can still do a color palette that fits a beach vibe. Or in the summer, it’s probably warm enough to wear a dress! You can choose attire that fits the weather, but also still makes sense with your location!
Here are a few ideas of what to wear for specific locations:
- Mountain engagement photos: wear hiking boots or shoes, jackets for changing weather, warm sweaters and jeans
- Beach engagement photos: flowy dresses, light-colored shirts, shorts, jeans, sandals or go barefoot
- City engagement photos: suit/tie, a fancy dress, heels, dress shoes, accessories
2. Bring options
For some people, figuring out what to wear for engagement photos can be the most stressful part! You may end up overthinking or overcomplicating it, and then end up being unhappy with your choice. But the solution is: bring some options!!
I always recommend 3 to 4 options for each of you! This way you can actually see what the location is like, and can even mix and match. Your photographer may be able to see something that will work better for photos that you may not notice, so it’s great to bring along a lot to choose from!
You may even want to have both casual options and more formal/fancy options because you may not know until you get to your location which vibe you are feeling for your session! This also will give you a lot more differentiation in your photos when you get your gallery back, so you won’t feel like your photos all look the same.
You don’t want to feel self-conscious or nervous in front of the camera because you end up not happy with your outfit choice. So bring along multiple options to your engagement session!
3. Coordinate, don’t match
This is a big one! You never want to exactly “match” your partner. It just doesn’t look right in your photos and you’ll blend in to each other too much!
You want to make sure you’re outfits coordinate, but just don’t match. So for example, one of you can wear a white t-shirt and jeans, and the other can wear a patterned dress or shirt. The colors can coordinate together, but the pattern in one will help it stand out more.
You do want to make sure the overall vibe of your outfits matches your location when coordinating together as well. So for example, if you are doing a mountain location, if one person is wearing hiking boots and jeans, then the other shouldn’t be in a fancier summer dress. They may coordinate color-wise, but they don’t coordinate as far as the location goes.
They should match in a way that makes sense for the location, but as far as the overall look, the colors should just coordinate.
4. Be careful with patterns
This leads right into patterns! Patterns can be a tricky one, because you don’t want a pattern to feel like too much. This ties into the last one because you want to make sure that your pattern does coordinate well with the other more simple outfit. So this means both of you can’t wear patterns! It just looks way too overwhelming, and you want your outfits to just flow well together.
Patterns can look SO great in photos, but you do want to choose wisely. Some patterns that is usually recommended to avoid is a dark pattern on a light background, small stripes that are too close together, or very bold/colorful plaids.
You could do a plaid that only has one or two colors to make it less distracting, a floral print that isn’t too over-the-top, or thicker stripes. These types of patterns blend better in photos and won’t be too overwhelming in photos.
5. Don’t forget the shoes!
Shoes are actually a lot more important than you think! My biggest recommendation is always to think about where you are taking photos and plan accordingly. If you’re a doing any type of hike, even if it’s just a short hike, bring along your hiking boots or shoes! You don’t want to try and hike in something uncomfortable, and then be in pain later on. Because you will see this translate into photos!
I always want to make sure that my couples are as comfortable as possible! So I recommend just bringing along that extra pair of shoes that you can change into when you reach your destination. This saves your feet and just makes sure you can actually enjoy your session.
And again, you want to make your shoes make sense! What vibe are you going for? If you’re doing photos in the city and want that elegant feel, then yes heels would be great! But I definitely don’t recommend bringing heels to a mountain session. It just doesn’t fit the location, even if you are wearing a fancier dress.
So depending on the time of year, a great option with a dress in the mountains is to just go barefoot! It’s so natural, which fits the setting and it always just looks great in photos. But having sandals along is a great idea also!
When it’s colder, you’ll want some type closed-toe shoes to be practical and make sense with the weather! You could do a fun pair of booties if you want more of a dressy feel, or you can do sneakers if you want something more casual. The biggest thing is to wear something you feel comfortable in and that fits your style!
Hair + Makeup for Engagement Photos
I will always recommend, if you can, to hire a Hair + Makeup team to help you look and feel your best for your photos! You want to feel confident and maybe a bit more glam than what you wear on a daily basis. This day should make you feel celebrated and part of that is being pampered!
But, it’s understandable if that’s not something that is in your budget. So what you could do instead look at some ideas on Pinterest for a makeup look that seems simple and do-able for you, and that could last for the 2-3 hours that you will be at your session. Practice before-hand so you don’t feel stressed out the day-of!
You not only want your outfit to match the vibes of the shoot, but you also want your makeup to match the vibes as well! You don’t need to over-do it and you want to make sure that you still look like YOU and feel completely comfortable! You will feel much more confident if your hair and makeup helps you feel like the best version of yourself.
And if you’re not much of a makeup person, that’s totally fine! Just do what you feel comfortable with and what you believe will look best for photos. It’s all about what you think is best for you!
Bring Some Props for your Photos!
Yes, I’m suggesting that you bring along some props for your photos! But this doesn’t mean cheesy props. It’s props that fit you and your partner and would add a fun touch to your session!
Think about what you and your partner like to do together. Do you like to go on picnics together? Bring a blanket and a basket with some snacks! Have a favorite beer that you drink together? Bring it along! Having these fun props that tell something about your relationship always takes photos to another level!
Here are some fun ideas for props:
- A picnic
- Champagne + flutes
- Canned margaritas
- Hot chocolate
- A sprinter van
- A jeep
- A motorcycle
When you go into your finished gallery, you’ll have such a fun range of options to choose from and you’ll have these photos to cherish that perfectly fit you + your partner!
Choose the Right Photographer
Hi, I’m Rachel, a Destination Elopement Photographer that travels all around the world creating an unforgettable experience for my couples! I aim to capture the purest, most intentional moments behind my lens & I’m here to help you plan your engagement session. Reach out to plan your unique + fun engagement photos!