This is not your average what to wear for your engagement photos guide because my approach to engagement sessions is not average. My engagement sessions are chock full of emotion, story and good vibes which create really authentic looking engagement photos. If you’re hoping for engagement photos that feel like you, here’s how I recommend approaching your wardrobe for your session.
Make it make sense! This is the #1 most important consideration to make while you choose outfits for your engagement photos. You want to be sure that your wardrobe (and hair & makeup for that matter) is appropriate for the environment you’ve chosen.
If your session is in a museum, go more chic and glam. Hiking to the top of a mountain for your photos? Wear the hiking gear! Grabbing pizza at your favorite spot? Keep the wardrobe casual.
Real life example: A beach engagement
In this instance, opt for a look without shoes. I see so many grooms refuse to take their shoes off on the sand because they don’t want sand in their socks after the session, but my guy — we can prepare for this ahead of time and pack a pair of sandals or slides to bring along. And high heels on the sand is not only odd-looking, it can be dangerous!
Your clothes should fit you well and comfortably. This means try everything on well ahead of time to be sure it’s hitting you right and looks flattering so you can feel confident in it. If you really want to wear something but it’s a little off, take it to the tailor and make it fit perfectly. You won’t regret it. The last thing you want to do is order a dress that arrives a day before your session only to find it doesn’t look the way you were hoping.
Try outfits on together to see if they look nicely side by side. Don’t worry about matching colors — this isn’t prom after all. Ask yourself, do we look like we’re on our way to the same place? Oftentimes, I see a bride wearing a casual, weekend-style dress and they show up with their partner dressed in what I’d describe as business casual. There’s a disconnect there. The photos will look more natural and authentic if your wardrobe feels less like two nice outfits and more like a natural expression of your personal style as a couple.
I used to tell couples they should always wear light colored clothing because it reflects light better than dark colors, which absorb light. That’s still true about how light absorbs and reflects color, but I no longer recommend that because sometimes your favorite dress is a little black dress, ya know? If you’re choosing between light and dark looks, choose the look you feel the most confident in. If you’re stuck between 2 looks for any reason, always choose the one you feel the best in!
In addition to dark and light considerations, a basic understanding of color theory can enhance your photos.
Complimentary colors — Choosing complimentary colors will always work. It’s right there in the name. If you’re looking at a color wheel these colors fall directly across from one another on the wheel. For example, if one partner wears blue, the other would wear orange (or a shade of orange, like peach, etc.)
Analogous colors — I think analogous colors work super well for engagement sessions. These are the colors that fall next to one another on the color wheel. So, blue pairs with green and so on. The way I like to think about analogous colors is cool vs. warm. Split that color wheel in half in your mind. The cool colors — blue, green, purple — and the warm colors — red, orange, yellow. For this scenario you’d both wear warm colors or both wear cool colors.
Lastly, be as neutral or as bold with your color choices as you want. Personally, I love bold color!
Aid the Story
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t recommend that you allow each aspect of your engagement photos — down to the wardrobe, hair and makeup — to help me to some visual storytelling. These images are a little time capsule of a really unique and special season in your lives, so choosing outfits that represent who you are individually and as a couple tells the most real and beautiful version of your love story. It’s so much better to be who you are than to purchase brand new outfits that you’ll never wear again.
Maybe it sounds silly to put that much weight on an outfit, but I have a flair for the dramatic, okay? I want these photos to tell your one-of-a-kind love story and sometimes, the right dress or the right shoes can do that.
Now You Know What to Wear for Engagement Photos
If you’re looking for visual inspiration, check out my pinterest board full of engagement session outfit inspo for engagement photo outfits. Lastly, if you haven’t booked a photographer for your photos yet, I’d love to chat about how I would capture this special season of your lives!