September 9, 2020

“But What Will I Wear?” – Engagement Shoot Outfit Tips

The big day has finally arrived, and GASP, you don’t know what to wear. No, it’s not your wedding day. It’s the day of your engagement photoshoot. You’re meeting the photographer in just a couple hours and you haven’t even thought about what you’ll wear. Then, just as you’re about to toss every item out of your closet, RINGGGGG, your alarm clock goes off. It’s not the day of your engagement shoot; it was only a bad dream. If you’re having nightmares about what you’ll wear for your engagement shoot, don’t worry, you are not alone.

So how will you decide what to wear? Your favorite dress? Your finance’s favorite shirt? A comfortable look? A theme look? Or maybe you’re hoping to look sexy. Whatever it is you’ll wear; it is most important to remember to be you. Your engagement photos should reflect your personality, as well as the personality of your fiancé. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Keep in mind the season that your photos are being taken in as well as the season of your wedding.

No one wants to be wearing a sweater in 100-degree weather trying to portray winter wonderland or freezing in a spaghetti strap top in the middle of a blizzard. But these photos will be what you send out with your save the date cards and may serve as the logo for your wedding. It is nice for the theme (more on this later) to carry through. Selecting a neutral outfit that could be worn in any season is a great way to ensure that you fit the season that you are taking your pictures in as well as your wedding.

  1. Don’t look for the trendiest outfit.

We’ve all seen our parent’s wedding or engagement pictures and wondered what they were thinking. We’ll forever have the 1980s pictures full of puffy sleeves, peasant dresses, and hair higher than the top of the Washington Monument frozen in our brains. While we know that some pieces will always go out of style, we can help ourselves by selecting classic and timeless silhouettes and pieces for engagement pictures. I’d advise against fanny packs, bike shorts, and crop top play sets. While these may be super trendy in 2020, your future children may never let you live them down.


  1. While matching outfits can be great, don’t stress out trying to match your finance. Just like pattern mixing, the goal isn’t to exactly match, but to coordinate.

Yes, I know that Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake wore matching denim outfits in 2001, but that relationship also did not last much longer than the style did. You don’t want to clash with your fiancé in the picture, or have either person pull attention away from the other, but you don’t need to walk the Red Carpet in matching Adidas sweat suits either (umhm Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone). You can also add in various textures and patterns to layer your look and add visual interest. If you do this, pick an element that can tie together both outfits and help establish a theme.

  1. Be comfortable!

It goes without saying that when we are comfortable, we will take a better picture. My favorite pair of jeans make my waist look much tinier than it currently is, but I also can’t breathe when wearing them. And my favorite shoes are comfortable for maybe 5 minutes, then my feet are screaming. If I want to get a picture in either of these items, it better be taken within the first 90 seconds (before I pass out from lack of oxygen and circulation to the feet).

In addition to being able to breathe, it’s best if your outfit flatters your shape too. As women, we know what looks best on us. If you know that sleeveless dresses aren’t the most flattering on your pale arms (calling myself out here), add a denim jacket to your dress to cover them and make you feel more confident. Confidence and comfortability go together (yes mom, I get it now that I’m an adult!).

  1. Have a theme of some sort.

Your wedding has a theme, so can (and should) your engagement photos. Personally, I think its best if those themes are one in the same, but perhaps you haven’t yet selected your wedding theme. Find something that can tie your engagement photos together, and that will represent you as a couple. One of my favorite engagement shoots I’ve seen featured a couple that loved to travel together and bonded over their love for oldies music. Their photos were shot in a field with vintage suitcases and they were dressed like Noah and Allie from The Notebook. Those pictures were taken a decade ago, and I haven’t forgotten them. The theme reflected the story of the couple, and it stuck.

  1. Don’t over complicate.

Yes, you will be looking at these photos for the rest of your life, but don’t stress, and don’t over complicate. Take advice from Coco Chanel: before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take off one item (accessory). Don’t layer it on so heavy that you (or your fiancé) get lost in the picture. And don’t try to fit 6 or 7 different looks into one photo shoot. Try to select one or two to wear so that you can spend most of your time enjoying the moment and taking great photos with your fiancé (rather than changing).

  1. Most of all, enjoy the day!

No matter what you are wearing, the day is about you, and it’s about the new life that you are planning to begin with your fiancé. In the end, the clothes you are wearing pale in comparison to the love that your friends and family will see in the picture!


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