January 16, 2021

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

If you’re not sure what to wear for your engagement photos, you’re not alone! This is one of my most frequently asked questions! I get it, when it comes to what you want to wear on your wedding day, you likely already have some sort of an idea. However, when it comes to your engagement photos, the options seem almost endless! 

These sentimental shots will appear on your wedding website, save the dates and on the walls of your home. So, it’s important that they reflect you as a couple. Don’t worry, if you’re reading this then you’ve already taken the first step. Make sure you’re planning ahead and choosing outfits in advance so that you’re not panicking to find things that work on the day of your engagement session. This way the rest of the day can be spent enjoying each other’s company.

Couple holding hands on the shore I What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Wear clothes that make you feel like you

Your engagement photos are an opportunity to have some fun before the more formal photos on your wedding day. Plus, they help you get used to being in front of the camera and use to your photographer’s shooting style. The most important tip I can give you is to make sure you feel confident and comfortable in what you choose to wear. If you’re a jeans and t-shirt type of couple, it’s probably not the time to bring out that formal evening attire. Wearing outfits that reflect your personalities will help you feel more comfortable and relaxed at your engagement session, making your photos more genuine and fun. If you like to wear dresses, your engagement session is the perfect time to rock them! Outfits with movement like a flowy dress look amazing! and can add a little something magical to your images.

Clothing looks best when it fits properly and makes you feel confident in what you’re wearing. If you’re constantly readjusting or pulling, you’ll not feel your best during the shoot. One thing that many ladies forget about is bra straps. You don’t want them to show in your photos so get a well-fitting strapless bra if your outfit has thin straps.  Also, if your top is super low cut or your skirt is very short, that will limit the number of angles your photographer can shoot from or poses your photographer can put you in. So it is advisable to avoid those altogether or have a second outfit option.

Take a look at my Pinterest board for more engagement shoot inspiration!

Man in suit kissing fiance on the cheek. Fiance wearing little white dress. What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Don’t try to be matchy-matchy. Coordinate instead!

Wearing matching outfits may seem like a cute idea, but the colors tend to blend together in photos. Instead, I recommend wearing coordinating outfits. When deciding what to wear for engagement photos, look instead for a complementary color palette. This will give a cohesive look as part of the entire album. 

Remember, that the only focus of your engagement photos should be your love for each other. If you want to wear a pattern, be sure it’s not distracting. When it comes to patterns they should be subtle but be wary that small patterns may get lost within the images. Try to stay away from large graphics as your photos may start to look too much like a clothing brand advertisement.

Couple sitting next to monument. Lady in navy dress, man in white shirt and beige chinos. What to Wear for Engagement Photos


One way to bring some personality to your photos is through your accessories. Necklaces, scarves and fun shoes are a great way to bring in that pop of personality. Plus, they’re easy to change up so you can style a variety of looks in the same outfit. With fun shoes, I do recommend avoiding running sneakers as they can detract from you. 

Another place that people tend to accessorize with is nails. On deciding your nail color, a nude or natural nail photographs the best. Bright colors direct the eye to your hands which detracts from your face. 

Don’t forget your new bling! One of the most important accessories is the gorgeous ring that you’re now wearing on your left hand. Make sure you show it off and get it cleaned before your shoot so it’s extra sparkly for those ring detail shots.

Man in bright red sweater carrying his fiance on his back up from the beach I What to Wear for Engagement Photos

How many outfits should I plan?

Not sure how many outfits you need to plan for? I recommend two or three but no more then that. Having too many outfit changes will eat into the session time and often make the session feel rushed and in turn feel stressful. And that’s the last thing we want! The majority of our couples opt for two outfits. That way, they will have one casual and the other dressier to give two completely different looks. 

If you’re a client of Alicia Petitti Photography, I am happy to help you decide which works better. If you’re unsure which outfits to pick, feel free to text me some options or bring them along to your shoot. I LOVE looking through outfit options!

Couple holding hands through meadow. What to Wear for Engagement Photos

A few final details for what to wear for engagement photos

Here are a few final details to remember when it comes to what to wear for engagement photos. 

  • Be sure to empty your pockets as all of those weird lumps and bumps will show through. Guys – this is especially for you!
  • Bring along a hairbrush and hair spray to help with flyaways. Also bring along your makeup bag for touch-ups! Many of my brides actually even have their makeup trial and a blowout the day of their session.
  • Wrinkles don’t look good on anyone so give them an iron before. Avoid wearing them in the car if it’s a fabric that wrinkles easily. 
  • Be wary of tan lines. Watch for these a few weeks out or dress to cover any obvious ones. The wristwatch tan is one that often gets forgotten. Tan lines from sunglasses are also ones to watch for!
  • Engagement sessions can require quite a bit of walking so make sure you have shoes that you are comfortable walking in. If you have heels, you may want to bring a pair of flats to change into while moving between locations.

Couple kissing on rugged

Lastly, the most important thing is to RELAX! Most couples aren’t models that are used to being in front of the camera. That is why, I am here! It’s my job to help you along the way and I know we’re going to have a blast together. Enjoy this time together and make a date out of it! You could even plan a date night afterwards and celebrate your love.

Take a look at my Pinterest board for more engagement shoot inspiration!

Still looking for your photographer to capture your love story, send me a message! I would love to chat with you!

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