What to Wear in Engagement Photos
Updated: Jul 8, 2020
One of my most commonly asked questions is, "what should we wear in our engagement photos?" Not every outfit photographs well; while it may be cute in person, it can be overwhelming in photos, distracting, or just not flattering. So what should you wear? Here's a complete guide for what to wear in your engagement photos!
Engagement Photo Outfits Tips and Guidelines
#1 Solid Colors
Solid colors are generally the most flattering for all body types! They all body types appear thinner, and they're usually less distracting (unless you're going with a neon). This is my number one recommendation, steer away from patterns altogether. That way, you don't wear clashing patterns, and your photos aren't busy.
If you want a pattern to opt for something that has an embroidered design of the same color, that way, there's a noticeable texture, but it's not overpowering.
#2 Jeans Are Just Fine
If you want more relaxed photos, that's better for adventure and playful poses - that' way you're not flashing the camera. Jeans are appropriate for engagement photos in just about every setting. Match them with a denim jacket and colorful blouse. Also, your denim choices don't need to match!
#3 If You Both Wear White Make Sure It Matches
White T-shirts, blouses, and dresses are not the same! This gets confusing for my wedding clients as well; white comes in different hues depending on the material. They also reflect color for your environment differently. While it generally doesn't bother me, if you're knit picky, you'll forever notice that your shirts are different shades. Some are bluer, and others have creamy yellow hues. If you do want to wear white, make sure it matches ahead of time, or purchase shirts together from the same store in the same line, so they are made from the same material. Notice that Greg and Sydney's shirts don't match here? Greg's also happens to be reflecting the awesome sunset colors, which will happen!
#4 Don't Wear Bold Vibrant Colors if You Hired a Moody Photographer.
Hot pink, neon green, and electric blue are all rad - but they clash with moody or film editing styles. For instance, a hot pink shirt probably isn't going to look good with a photographer who has moody images and yellow skin tones. You can still do it, but chances are it's going to throw your photographer for a curveball and not work with their aesthetic. Well, can't they edit it to be a different color? Yes, and no, it won't be easy, and it may not be included in your contract.
Instead, opt for pallets that are earthy, like tans, beiges, yellows, burgundies, greys, blacks, and whites. These pallets tend to match better and even enhance the moody pallets. If your photographer is light and airy, consider that too. Pastel colors will match better with their style.
Note: You may be able to brack this rule if you're doing city engagement photos, but it probably will look out of place or not cohesive in the mountains—Double-check with your photographer on their thoughts.
#5 Feel Free to Wear Vibrant Colors with Bold Photographer
My style is bright and vibrant, which tends to work better with most clothing options. Want to wear bright blue? Cool, it pairs well with both beach scenes and fall foliage!
Mike and Carol's blue popped against the yellow autumn colors!
#6 Go Gaudie and Flaunt that Dress
Nothing thrills me more than wearing a super dramatic dress during sunset on a cliff with an epic view. I have no problem being the center of attention, and chance are if this is what you want to do, neither do you! While I don't recommend hiking in ever dress to an epic view, we can bring it with us!
Stephanie wore a more relaxed dress for the first half of their session, and then opted for her glam cocktail hour dress and bedazzled heals for sunset. Those bedazzled shoes also lead me to my next point...
#7 Wear Shoes You Can Walk/Hike In
I'm going to risk sounding like your mom right now - wear shoes that are feasible to walk in cliffs on or rocky surfaces if you're doing a mountain engagement session. However, do bring your flashy heals to change into! Safety first, please!
#9 Button Ups or Collared Shirts are both Great
Remember, it's most important to feel comfortable, so if you're wearing something you'd never usually put on, you may feel off. Especially for men, I suggest wearing something that's generally in your wardrobe.
I would say most men opt for the button-up shirt, which can look dressier or casual depending on the setting and accessories. It also looks dressier when tucked in.
#10 Baggy or Tight Shirts?
This isn't an easy answer, and it turns into what your preference and comfort level is. Sometimes too baggy of shirts can make it, so you have less of a figure, other times loose shirts can improve your figure. Ask yourself if you'd feel overly confident wearing it on a date night out. If the answer is "HECK YES," bring it, if you even doubt it, leave it at home.
If you do choose a baggy dress or shirt and you want to create curves, I would opt for pairing it with a belt to give it some shape!
#11 Bring Multiple Outfits and Jackets
If your engagement photographer lets you change mid-session, do it! Bring a few jackets or outfits so you can get the most of your photos. You may decide one photograph better than the others, but it also makes it seem like more photos when you change outfits since they'll have more variety.
#12 You Don't Need to Match
There isn't anything wrong with matching; however, it's not necessary. Try to wear colors and shades that complement each other or pair well. Like burgundy and olive green, baby blue and peach, navy blue and mustard yellow... you get the point!
#13 Purposeful Accessories Are Great
Do you have a cute hat you want a few shots in, or maybe a diamond bracelet your significant other purchased you? Rock it for a few photos! I would wear the hat towards the end of your session and just in a few pictures since they tend to cast shadows.
#14 Ditch the Hair Ties and Wristbands
This is one of the most distracting things I notice in photos, hair ties that you forgot, clunky apple watches, or other wristbands that are bright colors. They aren't always easy to edit out, and they can potentially ruin a good photo. Make sure you ditch these in the car before you start your photo session! Unless they're meaningful and you want them on.
#15 Glasses or no Glasses?
Please hear me out, I wear glasses 90% of the time, and I don't mind a few photos of myself. But the glare in natural light photos can often make it, so your eyes are hazy, not in focus, and possibly distracting. While I would recommend not wearing glasses, consider taking them off for the close-up shots! You'll thank me later!