What to Wear For Engagement Photos

For many couples having your photo taken can be rather daunting, especially when their your engagement photos. Since your images will be featured from your Save- the-Dates to wall coverings around your first home it’s important you feel, and look, your best. Most couples have never taken engagement photos before and one of the biggest questions we often answer is what to wear for engagement photos. Searching Pinterest alone is not enough for a couple to really understand the ins and outs of making their outfits a standout success.  Below we’ve answered the top questions we get about choosing your engagement photo outfits.

How to Choose Your Engagement Photo Outfits 

One of the best ways to start thinking about what to wear for your engagement session is by choosing your location before you choose your outfits.  Once you have the spot in mind, you can coordinate your outfits based on indoor or outdoor vibes.  Another thing to consider is if you’d like to have a theme for your engagement session, such as rooftop picnic, or lighthouse sunset.  Establishing this first can help you determine what outfits will fit the vibe.  

Wondering where you should take your engagement photos? Here’s our list of engagement photo locations around Louisville, Ketnucky.

Tips for what to wear for engagement photos 

  • Flowy and easy to move in clothing will always photograph well
    • Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses! We recommend choosing long, flowy dresses or skirts because they’re flattering on all body types, look amazing on camera, and bring extra movement and dimension to your photos. 
    • Floor length skirts and dresses will give us the best “twirl factor,” adding a  romantic flair to your walking photos, and look especially gorgeous when juxtaposed with nature, like the desert, forest, fields, or beach.
    • Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses or midi-skirts photograph beautifully as well. 
    • Great websites for dresses and skirts are: Lulus, Revolve, Reformation, and Rent the Runway.
  • Flattering your best features
    • Three-quarter length  sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms.  You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along, too. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera and often make arms look larger than they really are. 
    • High waisted pants, a belted dress or A-line dress can help to accentuate, or even create, that gorgeous hourglass figure.
    • For the grooms, fitted articles of clothing are always nicer and more flattering than baggy clothes.  Having pants that aren’t hemmed correctly can make men look shorter than they are. 
  • Compliment each other, but do not be matchy-matchy
    • Start with a monochromatic, or single color, palette.  For example, if you want to wear forest green, put your partner in a sage green.  Instead of trying to wear the exact shade, you can wear different shades of the same color. 
    • You can’t go wrong with earthy neutral color combinations regardless of the time of year you choose for your engagement session
  • Non-distracting patterns can be good
    • As long as the pattern isn’t distracting, go for it! A good plaid or floral can even add to the fun of the engagement photo outfit.  When considering a pattern, a good rule of thumb is that only ONE person wears a pattern, while the other wears a complimentary solid. This way they don’t repeat. Having patterns can create texture in your images and really draw the eye to the two of you. 
  • If you want your engagement session images to look and feel a little more special, I recommend bringing a few small, simple props with you, like signs or even your pup. 
  • Check the weather before choosing your outfits (and again before walking out the door)
    • Having an extra jacket or pair of boots can be the difference between feeling relaxed during your session
  • Our Number 1 Tip – Be yourself
    • There is no need to dress up or pretend to be someone you aren’t.  These are the photos that will commemorate you and your partner forever.   Adding your own personal touch, such as your favorite sports team’s jerseys, can really craft these photos into one of your favorite memories.  

What do men wear for engagement photos?

The same way that a dress is the most flattering silhouette for the female body, a blazer, sport coat, or suit jacket has the same flattering effect for men.  Layers on men look great on camera.  If the temperature permits, you could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers, but you can’t go wrong with a dress shirt, slacks, and a blazer. If you want more of a casual look, we suggest staying away from shorts, raggedy jeans or pants, and open-toed shoes/sneakers. 

When selecting your pieces, choose a different “weight” for the pants and coat. For example, gray pants (lighter) and a dark navy coat (heavier). You don’t have to stick to these specific colors, but the idea is to have different “weight” in the colors when choosing your outfits.  

Solid shades of gray or any deep tones (navy, maroon, beige, camel, brown, darker greens, etc.) are a strong complement to most women’s outfits. 

Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether you’re wearing a full suit, or a blazer and colored pants. 

Ties, bowties, pocket squares, suspenders, vests, and watches are sharp complements to any suit.

Some of our favorite vendors for men’s engagement outfits are Banana Republic, Express, and Mens Wearhouse.  

What shoes to wear for engagement photos? 

Heels elongate women’s legs and hold constant tension in the calves – which makes them look more toned. Closed-toed heels, in particular, look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe, but if you aren’t someone who wears heels normally, your engagement session shouldn’t be the place to start.  

Regardless of what shoes you choose, if your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, we suggest you TREAT YOURSELF, Parks and Rec style, and schedule a pedicure before your session.  Flats or boots are good for a less formal look. Lastly, make sure to bring a pair of flats to wear when moving from place to place if you aren’t used to wearing heels all the time. 

Are you supposed to wear white for engagement photos?

Think about what you want your engagement photos to look like. If you’re going for a bridal theme throughout, white is an excellent option. If you want something that shows off the location, try to find complimentary colors. Need help finding colors to wear – use this TOOL! While you can wear white for your engagement photos, we also recommend beiges, tans, olive greens, blacks and tans.  These neutrals look great with all skin tones and compliment almost all landscapes and backgrounds. Try a combination of the two to create a really timeless look.

bride and groom lounge on the side of groom's airplane

What not to wear for your engagement photos? 

While there’s an exception to every rule… hm, see the following photos were our couple chose to do awkward engagement photos instead of traditional photos, there are a few things we recommend you NOT wear for your engagement photos.

  • Bright, harsh, neon colors 
  • Anything too risque 
  • Something you feel uncomfortable in or just isn’t ‘you’
  • Both partners in patterns
  • An outfit that doesn’t compliment your skin tone
  • Graphic tees or logos of any sort
  • Leave the Apple Watch at home 

What to wear for spring engagement photos 

In the Spring, most locations will have light green foliage as the blooms begin to arrive. Coordinating with the cherry blossoms of Kentucky is one of our favorite things to do and the colors that pop well against the pinks and whites of the foliage, are deep blues beiges, soft purples and dusty blues. 

Ideal colors for spring engagement photos: white, coral, light pink, violet, light blue, floral designs

What to Wear for Spring Engagement Photos
What to Wear for Spring Engagement Photos white and black

What to wear for summer engagement photos 

With the heat of the summer wearing something breathable and cool is essential.  Consider fabrics that breathe like silk, lace and linen and colors that don’t show much sweat.  This is also the optimal time to play with wide-brimmed hats in order to keep sweaty hair at bay. 

Ideal colors for summer engagement photos: yellows, grays, blacks, blues, greens, florals and patterns that are larger and based around the engagement location you choose

What to wear for engagement photos in Hawaii

What to wear for fall engagement photos 

During fall, warm neutrals like camel, taupe, cream, champagne, and gray are always going to look great. If you’d like to incorporate color, choose sophisticated jewel-toned versions of bright primary colors. Here are some examples: mustard over yellow, crimson or burgundy over red, camel over orange, sage or emerald over green, and powder blue or navy over blue.  Having an extra coat or throw in case of weather changes is always a good idea as well. 

Ideal colors for fall engagement photos: rust, olives, tans, browns, terracotta

What to Wear for Fall Engagement Photos

What to wear for winter engagement photos

A statement coat with a beanie, scarf, and gloves or a warm, oversized, snuggly sweater with tall boots and a hat can really create a statement on those cold winter days. This is the time to pull out those fleece lined jeans, furry boots, or fabulous mittens. If you’re lucky enough to get snow, it creates a beautiful white backdrop, so dark colors will really pop.  While it seems counterintuitive, soft, pastel, muted colors. like soft pinks and powder blues, will also look great as long as one person roots the other with the darker color.  Our number one tip for winter engagement sessions?  Bring hand warmers to help you stay warm between photo locations. 

Ideal colors for winter engagement photos: cranberry, ivory, navy, evergreen

Your Engagement Session Checklist: 

☐   Email / text to schedule a date, time, and location

☐   Schedule hair and makeup appointments 

☐   Choose your outfits 

☐   Get your nails done 

☐   Clean your ring 

☐   Pack a bag with:  

☐  Flats or flip-flops for walking between photo spots 

☐  Second Outfits (including shoes and accessories)

☐  Touch-up makeup

☐  Props 

☐  Water bottle 

☐  Coat or cover-up (for colder sessions)

☐   Pick a fun post-session date night spot and make a reservation 

Our final tip, and an absolute must for our couples, is to make a date out of your engagement session.  Make that reservation for a fancy restaurant, or head to the bowling alley for some laughter after the session.  While your engagement session can mean making a lot of decisions, having fun and celebrating your love is always a good idea!

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