Engagement photo shoots are one of the exciting parts of planning a wedding. Your engagement photos should be a fun and casual prelude to your more formal wedding day photos. These special photo shoots are a brilliant way to capture your love, joy, and relationship during one of its most special times.
But if you’re feeling stumped on what to wear for your engagement photo shoot, you’re not alone. These photos are going to not just be sentimental snapshots you upload onto social media or send to your parents, but they will live on beyond that. These are the photos that are likely to appear on “Save the Date” invites, wedding websites, invitations, the walls of your home, the walls of your parents’ homes, and who knows where else. All for good reasons, as this is an incredibly joyful and memorable moment in your life that will live on in memories and photos for years to come.
And since your engagement photos will also be semi-eternal, you will want to make sure you’re wearing something that feels equally eternal. When choosing what to wear for your engagement photo shoot, it’s important to feel put together while also wearing a look that feels completely you.
The clothes you and your honey choose to wear should reflect and speak to your personality. If you like to rock a boho-chic, laid-back vibe, perhaps this is not the time to pull out a ball gown and tuxedo. Instead, you should both feel comfortable and like yourselves in what you are wearing. This also doesn’t necessarily mean wearing your favorite jeans and T-shirt look, but you should feel most yourself and look your best. Outfit choices that are outside your comfort zone will make you look and feel awkward.
On the other hand, if you are wearing your favorite cotton summer dress and he’s wearing his favorite linen dress shirt and chino pants, you might feel more authentically yourselves and comfortable wearing your favorite clothes that look dressier but also reflect your personalities and personal styles. After all, this is your photo shoot, so you want to feel and look your best.
Couples who are wearing overly matching engagement photo outfits may look cute in the moment, but chances are those photos won’t age as well. Wearing super matchy outfits in photos is going to eventually be hard on the eyes. If you are wearing matching colors, patterns, or even garments, it won’t be so picturesque in portrait photos and may even look a little silly 30 years from now. While matching is not encouraged, complementing one another is. No need to look like entire opposites, but complementary outfits are going to show up well on the camera and also look good for years to come. Complementary outfits mean your choice in wardrobe supports what your significant other is wearing. Wearing complementary colors and solid prints will look good together rather than overtly matching. Stay away from looks that are too busy, as this can also be distracting in photos.
To look confident and radiant in your engagement photos, it is important to wear clothes you feel comfortable in. An overly tight dress or high heels might look fabulous, but if you’re going to be distracted from your special shoot because your shoes keep getting stuck in the grass and your dress keeps riding up, perhaps it’s time to think of another outfit. When you are wearing something you love, you are likely going to feel comfortable wearing it. If you have a special occasion dress you adore and that fits like a glove, perhaps wear this instead to ensure you’ll feel radiant and comfortable.
Feeling your best and looking your best go hand in hand. If you have a feature you love about yourself or your body, this is a great opportunity to wear something that flatters it. If you love your waistline, choose a flattering and elegant fit and flare dress that shapes your waistline while still being loose enough as it falls off the hips. If you love your shoulders, wear a dress with thin straps to let your shoulder structure stand out. If you are blessed with long or shapely legs, then wear a dress that tastefully comes above the knee or has a slit to show off those stems. Don’t hide your gifts; flaunt them! Remember, your photo shoot is your special day and time to shine.
These photos are meant to last, so it’s good to make sure the outfits you choose also last. While choosing trendy outfits can be fun and make you feel creative and expressive, this is a moment when it is usually best to opt for the classic, timeless looks. Leave the platform shoes and sequins for another time, and instead, wear some simple nude or neutral shoes with a classic women’s dress that you won’t grimace at when you look back on this special moment in your 60s. Choosing an outfit that will stay timeless rather than one that will make your images feel dated in a few years is going to be best for your engagement photo shoot.
While your outfit shouldn’t distract from the photos themselves, you also shouldn’t be afraid to wear bright colors or prints. Bright colors are sometimes better than muted tones, like black and grey, as they allow the couple to stand out in the photo rather than sink back into the scenery. While the perfect black dress could still be perfect, don’t rule out wearing colors that will make you stand out better in your photos. You want your faces and love to shine through the photo, and choosing the right colors or tones will help make that happen. Colors like red and blue or neutral prints that don’t take over the portrait or look too busy are good choices when selecting outfits. Pastels, cool colors, tasteful bright colors, and neutral tones will also help draw the eye to the couple in the photo without overwhelming the shoot.
Like your dress, select your shoes based on comfort. Achy feet will be distracting from the overall experience of the photo shoot, and you don’t want that to come through in the photos. Wear comfortable heels like block heels or classic nude pumps for the heel look without all the pitfalls that come with wearing them. Choose your most comfortable and classic-looking pair. When choosing heels, also keep in mind where you are doing your engagement photo shoot. If you are going to be outdoors or on the beach, perhaps you want to be prepared to go barefoot. Many couples enjoy barefoot engagement photo shoots when doing shoots in nature or outdoors.
Part of being comfortable is keeping the season and environment in mind when choosing your outfit. Choose fabrics, colors, textures, and pieces that reflect the season and environment where you are having your engagement photo shoot taken. Winter shoots sound unappealing, but bundling up and staring into one another’s eyes is a beautiful take on an engagement photo shoot. Winter accessories can even make your photo shoot cuter. Similarly, walking barefoot hand in hand on the beach in your favorite chiffon summer dress with classic floral prints matches the mood and environment of summer. In colder seasons, be sure you stay warm, and in warmer seasons, be sure you are wearing something that won’t leave sweat stains under your arms.
Get some inspiration for your engagement photo shoot outfits from past photos. Browsing through past photos together or even as individuals will help you see what looks good and what looks even better for the camera. Choose your favorite throwback photos together and take note of the different outfits or elements you could recreate for your engagement photo shoot together. Perhaps you’re wearing a summer dress or another dress you love with an aesthetic you’d like to replicate. Elements like colors, backgrounds, and a specific pose you love are great inspirations for planning the look of your engagement shoot.
Engagement photo shoots capture one of the most precious times in our lives that are filled with joy and love. Make this moment especially memorable by choosing classic and comfortable outfits that make you feel more like yourself and that will last for years to come.