Do you find yourself swooning over all of the dreamy and romantic couple’s photos on Pinterest and wonder what to wear for your own photos? If you’re looking for outfit inspiration that will take your engagement photos to the next level, then you’re in the right place! I remember how exciting it was to dream about my one and only engagement photos back in 2018. I also recall how difficult it was for me to decide on my outfits and Michael’s without any sort of guidance. That’s a huge reason why Michael and I provide an in-depth style guide for our brides to prepare for their engagement session. (We have one for portraits, too!) Don’t fret if you’re feeling overwhelmed. This post has all of the information and tips that you’ll need to decided what to wear for swoon worthy engagement photos!
How Dressy is Too Dressy?
You may be asking yourself whether or not you should dress it up for your engagement session or go with the jeans and a nice top. My advice is that your engagement photos are the PERFECT time to dress it up. Your engagement and future marriage is something to celebrate, right? Why not make your photos extra special because after all, these are likely your only engagement photos in your lifetime.
I always recommend to my brides to pick one or two outfits to wear for their engagement photos. Usually that involves a more formal outfit choice and something more casual, but still dressy. For example, a long and flowy maxi dress or maxi skirt is a perfect choice for your formal outfit. When you dress is long and flowy, there will be more romantic movement in your photos and a classier feel. An example of a more casual outfit option is a cocktail dress. You’ll still be dressed up like you’re going on a nice date with your hubby-to-be.
Colors | What to Wear
Colors play a HUGE role in the look and feel of your photos. When it comes to soft and romantic photos, you need to choose light and neutral colors to wear. Don’t worry if you don’t have pieces like this in your wardrobe quite yet. There are plenty of reasons why these colors photograph best, but here are a few:
- They give a softness to your photos instead of a dark, contrasty feel
- When natural light bounces on lighter, neutral colors, it won’t cast colors onto your skin or your partner’s. On the other hand, deeper colors like red will cast that color onto your skin.
- BONUS TIP: choose a solid color/ pattern. It’s best to avoid clothing with small patterns and thin stripes because they cause discoloration in images called chromatic aberration.
Examples of light, neutral colors are blush pink, white, beige, baby blue, grey, and pastel colors.
Dressing for Your Body Type
So you know which colors to wear, but when it comes down to picking a dress to make you look your best, you’ll want to be intentional about complementing your body type. As a pear shaped gal, you can bet that I choose my outfits for photos intentionally for my body shape and type. Here are some tips for common body shapes:
Common Body Types:
Apple Shapes: take attention away from your shoulders and mid- section by showing off your legs. Remember that cocktail dress idea? That would be perfect for you or even a beautiful midi a-line or tulle skirt with a blouse tucked in. A v-neck neckline can also give you an elongated look to your torso, if that’s something that’s important to you!
Hour Glass Shapes: this is probably the easiest body shape to dress for since your hips and shoulders are proportionate and they frame a tinier waist line. High waisted skirts and form fitting dresses are extremely flattering for this body type. If anything, I would avoid baggy clothing that hides your waist.
Pear Shapes: this body shape is unique and you’ll have to decide if you want to flaunt your wider hips and bigger booty. There is no right or wrong answer and I actually choose two outfits: one to flaunt and one to look slimming for my lower body. Flowy, a-line dresses and skirts show off your smaller waist and form fitting dresses flaunt your lower body, for example. If you’re going for an hour glass shape, then choosing a top that draws attention to your shoulders and neckline would achieve this. For instance, ruffled sleeves, v-necks, off-the-shoulder tops, etc.
Don’t see your body shape or need help figuring out your body type? Check out this resource!
General tips about common body parts with insecurities:
- Large mid section? Avoid form fitting and tight tops
- Insecure about your arms? Choose 3/4 length sleeves
- Broad shoulders? Choose a peplum top to draw attention to your waist line instead
- Horizontal lines on clothing make a woman look wider while vertical lines are slimming
Coordinating with your Fiancé
So you probably have some ideas popping into your head about what to wear for your engagement photos. Let’s not forget your fiancé! Once you have your outfit(s) picked out, a lot of these tips will apply to coordinating your partner’s outfit. For men, combining dress pants with a long sleeve button up shirt and suit jacket in colors that complement you will always look classy. With this combo, he can keep the suit jacket off to pair with your more casual, cocktail dress! I would have him avoid jeans, if possible. It is SO important to find colors that will complement your outfit and not be “matchy-matchy” and choosing long sleeve shirts will make your man’s shoulders look more broad and strong.
Some colors that your man can wear that will look awesome:
- Khakis dress pants and a white dress shirt
- Blue suit pants with a white button up shirt with a matching grey or blue blazer
- Grey pants and a white button up shirt
- Black dress pants and white button up shirt (a black suit jacket and tie would look very classy)
What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos | Online Store Links:
- Morning Lavender
- One Loved Babe
- Express and Express MEN
- Old Navy
- Altar’d State
- Purpose Boutique
- Rent the Runway
Check out some past engagement sessions for outfit inspiration:
Jenn + David | Olympic Sculpture Park Engagement Session
Anne + Mikey | Snowy Discovery Park Engagement Session
Baby Reveal Session in Bellevue Downtown Park
I love these tips! So helpful, thank you!
Excellent resource for engaged couples! Outfits can be tough, so this will help them through!
So many good tips here! And those photos are STUNNING!
Great tips! Thank you for sharing 🙂
Great tips! (And you can never go too dressy for engagement photos!!)
HOW DRESSY IS TOO DRESSY? THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST!! Not for engagement photos, anyways! I appreciate the tips on dressing for your body type, I feel this is often overlooked and it’s super helpful!! Thank you!
[…] After you’ve had the chance to read over your style guide, I’m here to help pick and coordinate the perfect outfits. Whether you’re sending me photos to help you decide or you’re out shopping and want to know what photographs best, I’m here for you. Outfits can be hard, but that’s why I’m here! If you want to get a peek into what to wear for your engagement photos, then check out this post. […]
Great tips!! And dress are STUNNING!