What to Wear for Engagement Photos: A Photographer’s Advice

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Are you wondering what to wear for engagement photos? You’re in the right place! Choosing what to wear to celebrate your engagement is definitely difficult if you don’t know where to start. This blog post is designed to guide you through the process of picking outfits that won’t distract from you or your partner.

As a Boston wedding photographer, I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many love stories, meaning I’ve also captured a lot of engagement photos. Throughout my time as a photographer, I’ve garnered lots of great tips to make it easier for you prepping for your engagement session.

Whether you’re envisioning a casual and intimate engagement session or you want something the complete opposite, the right clothing can completely alter the mood of your photos. Keep reading to learn about what to wear for engagement photos.

What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Pick clothing that’s comfortable

In a rustic autumn setting, a couple shares a passionate kiss among tall, golden grass with trees in soft focus in the background, symbolizing warmth and intimacy.

First things first, make sure that you are picking clothing that’s comfortable. If you aren’t comfortable with it, it will show through your images, unfortunately! Comfort can affect your ability to move freely through the shoot and can also influence your expressions and posture.

When you are comfortable in your clothing, it shows in your body language. This can help your poses to be more relaxed and even help your smile to feel more genuine.

Choose complementary colors

Choosing outfits with complementary colors can make the two of you look like a partnership. This can help to provide balance to the photos. Color palettes can be difficult, but I’m always here to help in case you need any help. When in doubt, always do a quick Google search to see what is actually complementary when it comes to colors.

Avoid busy patterns, which can be distracting

During a beautiful sunset, a couple stands close together in a rural setting, gazing into each other's eyes, with a breathtaking view of distant mountains and a vibrant sky behind them.

Next, be sure to avoid busy patterns. These can be distracting from you and your partner, which we don’t want! Busy patterns will draw the viewer’s eye away from the emotional connection that the two of you share.

Instead, try to pick clothes with more solid colors. If you really do want a pattern, choose clothing pieces with more subtle patterns that complement instead of compete. This helps the focus to stay on the emotions of the two of you during your engagement session. 

Coordinate but don’t match

Coordinating your outfits rather than matching them is key. This isn’t the early 2000s anymore – it’s not a good thing to match in your engagement photos! You each should express your personal style while still matching the same level of styling. (i.e., if one of you is in jeans and a T-shirt, the other should also dress casually.)

Coordinating outfits can mean selecting colors and styles that compliment without being identical, as mentioned earlier. 

Consider the location when selecting styles and colors

A couple excitedly plays a ball rolling arcade game in a vibrant, colorful arcade room, with the woman smiling and pushing a ball down the lane as the man celebrates beside her.

Be sure to take into account where your photo session will be taking place. The setting can really change the mood and aesthetic of your photos. Because of that, you want your clothing to complement your surroundings rather than draw away from it.

For instance, if your engagement photos are along the beach here in Massachusetts, lighter colors and flowy fabrics may be a great choice. Meanwhile, if you’re opting for a Boston engagement, more structured clothing pieces would be a great choice.

Thoughtfully curate your outfits to go with your surroundings so that the location plus your clothing can help to tell the story of your relationship in your photos.

Bring multiple outfits

By bringing multiple outfits, you are able to experiment with different looks during your engagement session. Having options can give you lots of flexibility so that if you are going to multiple locations, you can make sure that your outfit easily suits the backdrop and complements the setting.

Another bonus of bringing multiple outfits means that you have a backup in case something were to happen, whether it’s you feeling uncomfortable in your outfit, accidental stains, or a weather mishap if you are shooting outside. 

Choose outfits and styles you would normally wear

A couple kisses tenderly on a sandy beach at sunset, their reflection visible in the wet sand, creating a romantic and serene scene with an island in the background.

Choosing outfits and styles you would normally wear will help you both feel more comfortable and authentic during your engagement session. Pick outfits that reflect your personal style and ones that you would wear in your regular life.

This will not only help you feel more comfortable but will also help you to be around more naturally so that your photos will appear relaxed. 

Bring hair ties for longer hair

If you have longer hair, consider bringing some hair ties to your engagement session. This can 1) help to keep hair out of your face if we are outdoors and it’s windy and 2) give you versatility in your looks during the session.

This is such a small thing but can really make a difference. If you do bring hair ties, be sure to not keep them on your wrist, as these can be distracting in your outfit. Keep them in your bag in case they are needed. 

Wear layers for transitional seasons like spring and fall

A couple stands closely together by a serene stream in a lush, green park, exchanging affectionate looks. The woman, wearing a black top and a colorful scarf, places her hand on the man's chest, who is dressed in a casual plaid shirt.

Here in New England, we do get all four seasons. That means having to be prepared no matter what. My best advice? Wear layers for the transitional seasons, like spring and fall. Layering lets you more easily adapt to the temperatures during these seasons, as they can fluctuate quite a bit. Plus, the layers also give you a lot more versatility with your outfit! 

Wear comfortable shoes

You want to be sure to bring comfortable shoes that are appropriate for the location and walking. If you want to wear shoes that are not great for walking, bring a pair to slip into between shots!

Comfortable shoes mean that you can move easily and experience your session without discomfort, no matter what your location is. Whether you’re walking from spot to spot, standing for an extended period of time, or even posing on an uneven surface, your comfort is so important. 

Don’t wear a hat for the entire shoot

At sunset by a lake, a couple stands hand-in-hand, the woman in a floral dress smiling confidently at the camera, and the man in a casual outfit looking at her, with tranquil water and a forested hill in the background.

While I love a good hat every once in a while (I’m a Boston photographer, after all… Go Sox!), hats can create shadows on the eyes, which is not ideal for portraits. Do not plan on wearing a hat for the entire session. Choose a hat selectively, and just know ahead of time that your photographer will most likely ask you to remove it throughout the session as needed. Be flexible!

Make sure that your clothes are ironed

Make sure the clothes are ironed, fit well, and you can move easily and comfortably. Wrinkles and creases can honestly be a bit distracting in your photos, and I don’t want you looking back at your photos years from now only noticing the wrinkles in your shirt or something else. Attention to detail matters, especially if you will be putting your engagement photos on your save the dates. 

Schedule a call to discuss clothing and get feedback from your photographer

If you do ever want extra help, you are more than welcome to schedule a call with me as your photographer to discuss clothing and get feedback. This strategic choice means that I can help be involved in the creative direction of your photoshoot. I’m happy to help you choose outfits that fit your style preferences, work well on camera, and complement the photoshoot locations that you’ve chosen.

Final Thoughts: Engagement Outfit Ideas for Couples

I hope this post has helped you decide what to wear for engagement photos. Selecting the perfect outfits is all about feeling comfortable and confident while also being true to yourself. Your outfit will play a role in the overall mood and aesthetic of your engagement photos. 

If you are interested in a styled editorial-type session and you choose to work with me as your photographer, we can select pieces from online vendors who specialize in photography wardrobes. I am more than happy to help in any way that I can to make sure that you truly love your engagement photos. Still looking for an engagement photographer? Click here to learn more and here to get in touch with me. I’d love to learn more about your love story.

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