Trying to decide what to wear to your engagement photos can be super daunting! There are so many different things you could wear. Then there’s the aspect of picking an outfit that also goes with your partners without being too matchy. But, I’m here to help you out so you can stop stressing and instead get excited for your engagement photoshoot. In this guide, I break down exactly how to figure out what to wear for your engagement photos!
The first place you should start when trying to figure out what to wear is Pinterest. There are literally millions of engagement photos for inspiration to look at. As you find styles you like add them to a board and then determine what you like about each outfit. Do you like their flowy dresses, or is it the color they are wearing, or do you like the accessories they have added? Once you have done that you will have a general idea of what you like and don’t like.
This one is SO important. Remember, the goal is to keep our outfits from distracting from YOU. With that said, I ALWAYS recommend keeping the colors neutral. Now before you both show up wearing grey shirts and blue jeans, let me tell you that there are actually neutrals in every color.
For example, instead of wearing an ultraviolet purple t-shirt, wear a Taupe or Mauve sweater that does not distract but still adds a slight colorful aspect. And instead of wearing lime green, wear a forest green that doesn’t distract from the beauty of your face. And also make sure that you wear colors that compliment your unique skin tones. In short, pick NATURAL colors you see in nature that complement each other.
Patterns can make or break a photo! There are good and bad patterns. Basically, just keep them from distracting. Simple stripes or floral patterns can look awesome! But just make sure that your patterns are not too busy. Stay away from graphic tees, unless that’s your thing! Preferably stay away from big logos (under armor, Nike, etc). It’s just super distracting & not something I will edit out of every photo. Also, don’t be afraid to play with different fabrics and textures! We love mustard flare corduroy pants… it’s just a dream of mine ok?!
For your engagement photoshoot, you want to pick an outfit that you not only feel confident in but also comfortable in as in you could run around the beach in it. When you are at your engagement photo shoot, my goal is to make you feel like you’re on a date. I can’t speak to other photographers’ styles, but my shooting style is to give you little posing guides that will make you laugh, have fun, sit on the ground, twirl, and make out just a little bit. It’s all about being comfortable and focusing on movement.
For example, if I tell you to give her a piggyback ride, bounce her around, if I tell you to hug, rub each other’s arms as if it were freezing outside. Pretty much, create real movement!
Especially consider this when you are deciding what shoes to wear. If it’s at the beach, why not just go barefoot? I’ve found that booties, sandals, and nice sneakers work 99% of the time in most locations. Stilettos are only for the brave of heart (and you may still run in them).
Okay, this one is super important. You NEVER want to wear something that is going to blend in with the background too much. For example, if you are taking photos in the forest, it’s best to avoid greens that are a similar color to the trees. You won’t stand out at all and that’s exactly what we DON’T want!
If you are wearing a more simple outfit, this is where you can spruce it up a bit. For ladies, adding some necklaces, dainty earrings, and a few rings can make a big difference. And for guys, a simple watch and maybe even a chain will make your outfit feel more complete.
Above everything else, this is about you two representing your own style and personality in your outfits and photos. You have creative freedom with your outfits, so do not let this guide hinder you from being who you are! Fun accessories are always great — whether you have cool sunglasses, a fave blanket, band t-shirts, leather jackets, or anything else! Just make it YOU, and make sure you can move!
Matching outfits in photos are definitely a thing of the past unless you are just trying to do something funny. You are your own people so you should both shine in your own way in the photos. So I recommend choosing outfits that complement each other rather than match. For example, if one of you chooses to wear a pattern, I recommend the other person stick with a solid option. Again, we don’t want your clothes to distract from YOU!
If you are unsure of what to wear, being a few different outfits. You can get a feel for the location and see which outfit matches the vibe better. I recommend bringing a handful of options so we have a visual of your outfits with the colors/patterns of the shoot location. Your photographer (AKA ME) can also help you pick out which outfit to wear.
You will most likely change 2-3 different times, so I recommend bringing 3-4 pairs of shirts, 3 different pants/bottoms, 2-3 different dresses, and a few pairs of shoes. Please remember that depending on location, the best place to change might be a public restroom, the back of your car, or sometimes in the middle of a field LOL.
Rule: just do you, boo. But keep in mind that out in the elements, it will definitely get messy. But we ain’t afraid of wind-swept hair, girl. In fact, I personally encourage it! If you don’t want your hair blowing all up in your face, a slick back bun is always a vibe too in the right setting.
Really consider the season you are taking your engagement photos in and what the weather in your area is normally like. Here are some ideas on what to wear for each season:
In most places, it gets pretty cold, especially here in Michigan. And if you are lucky enough to get snow in the area where you live, a snowy winter wonderland background is absolutely magical.
When picking an outfit for your winter engagement photos, the first thing you need to consider is will this outfit keep me warm enough. The last thing you want is to be shivering and miserable during your entire session. Then you actually want to pick an outfit that stands out amongst the snowy background. The last thing you want is to wear white or gray and just completely blend in with the snow. Wearing rich greens or deep reds is always super beautiful during this time of the year. And lastly, accessorize your outfit with layers like a nice coat or a scarf.
The sun is starting to shine more, the weather is warming up and the flowers are beginning to bloom making this one of my favorite seasons for engagement photoshoots. With all of the flowers and lush foliage, you will typically get a more distracting background so it’s important to consider that when picking your engagement photo outfits, I recommend sticking with a more neutral or pastel color palette but nothing that matches your background too much.
Personally, summer is my absolute favorite time of the year for Michigan engagement photoshoots. This is because nothing beats a beach photo shoot on Lake Michigan. The weather is warm and the sun is shining so you have so many more options for what to wear. I recommend wearing cool and comfortable clothing and something you can run around in. So for women, maybe a flowy dress or skirt or a pair of linen pants. And for guys, shorts and a button-up shirt or T-shirt is perfect.
Fall is a stunning time of year to take your engagement photos as all of the foliage is starting to turn colors. The weather is slowly cooling down making it a nice temperature for engagement photos. With so much going on in the background with all of the fall foliage, I recommend sticking with neutrals and minimal patterns.
Fall photoshoots are super fun because if you’re a big Halloween lover you could wear fun costumes or take your engagement photos at a pumpkin patch.
Overall, the most important thing to consider when picking out what to wear to your engagement photos is that you feel comfortable and confident. At the end of the day, you should wear what you want to wear because these are YOUR engagement photos!
I’m a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based, traveling wedding, elopement & engagement photographer who is absolutely obsessed with capturing moments for people in love that will live on forever!
My goal is for your photos to be as real & authentic as humanly possible, so that every time you open up your gallery, it’s like you’re right back there again, feeling alllllll those same feels you felt the first time around. I value real-life moments, not fake shit.
Wanting me to capture your engagement photo shoot in Michigan?
When you book your engagement session with me, I provide you with a super detailed guide to help you with not only picking your outfits but so much more! I want to ensure that when you book your engagement photoshoot with me, you have everything you need to show up that day feeling confident and ready to get in front of the camera. I want to be there to help you and guide you through this because we all know stepping in front of the camera can be a bit scary at first, but I promise you have nothing to worry about!