How to Choose the Perfect Engagement Photo Outfit

What’s a “Perfect” Engagement Photo Outfit, Anyways?

Choosing the perfect engagement photo outfit means something different to everyone. For some, it means finding the wildest, quirkiest, most fabulous outfit possible. For others, it means gathering the perfect pieces to create a timeless look. Whatever your “perfect” engagement outfit might be, putting it together and knowing the pointers for what will make your photos turn out best can be a pain in the derriere. That’s where I come in! I’ve whipped up this blog to give you some general guidelines for putting together your perfect engagement outfit and hopefully make this part of your journey to your big day just a wee bit easier. Let’s jump into it, shall we?

Your Outfit Should Feel Like You

Now, let me start this thing off with a very important disclaimer: I am a professional photographer, and I have been in this industry for many years. I’ve photographed countless engagement shoots and I’ve given these same pointers to my clients who-knows-how-many times. I know what looks best in photos, which things almost always don’t work out, which things do, and what my clients most often regret wearing (or not wearing) for their photoshoots. All of that is what inspired this blog.

But, guess what?

I’m not you. I don’t know your personal style and what brings you joy quite like you do. At the end of the day, it’s the outfit that makes you feel confident and happy that’s the real winner. Heck, if you want to take your engagement photos wearing a lime green leotard while you and your partner pogo stick through a field, I certainly will not be the one to stop you. In fact, I think that would be bada** and I would cheer you on with the excitement of a thousand suns.

So, consider this blog a general guide from the perspective of a professional. Is my opinion the only way? Certainly not! It’s just a helpful tool backed by lots of experience. Take it or leave it, or take some of it and leave the rest. Voila!

01 | Consider the Setting

Where do you plan to take your engagement photos, and during what time of year? Take into consideration the landscape, the weather, and the amenities of the area before choosing your outfit. If you’re taking engagement photos during the summer, don’t wear anything that’ll feel too warm and get uncomfortable. Plus, let’s be real — you don’t want to pit out during your engagement session, and I really don’t want to have to edit your armpit stains if I don’t have to (but I will because I love you). If you’re taking photos in colder weather, don’t make yourself miserable by wearing something that isn’t warm enough. There are plenty of ways to dress cute and appropriately for the weather!

The actual landscape is much more predictable than the weather, thankfully. Be sure to do plenty of research on your engagement shoot location before going there so you can plan for outfit changes, wearing the proper shoes, and so on.

This couple sports cozy, cute outfits that are perfect for a wintry setting!
Your engagement photo outfits should still pop in the environment your in! Even neutral colors can achieve this in very green settings.

02 | Colors and Patterns

Generally speaking, neutral colors tend to turn out best in engagement photos. Oftentimes, brighter colors will reflect off your face and body and alter your skin tone so that it may turn out looking a bit off. The setting is also important to consider here! Some colors and environments just look a bit wonky together. If you’re questioning whether or not the color of your outfit will work well with your backdrop, I’d recommend reaching out to your photographer to get their advice.

Some neutral colors I’d recommend are white, brown, black, muted blues and greens, earthy reds, yellows, oranges, and grey.

When it comes to patterns, I typically advise my clients to avoid them. Patterns can be distracting if not done right. But, with that being said, there are some patterns (like gingham, and thin pinstripes) that typically can feel nice and neutral in photos. My rule of thumb is to opt for classic looks overlooks that are trendy, so you can look back on the photos for decades to come and say “Dang, I’d still wear that.”

03 | Be Matchy, But Not Too Matchy

Your outfit and your partner’s outfit should complement one another, but being too matchy (for example, wearing the same sweater, or the exact same color top with the exact same color bottoms) can be distracting. A great way to ensure your outfits look nice together is by laying them out side by side. If you’re not sure where to start, a quick visit to good ol’ Pinterest ought to do the trick! Wearing different shades of the same color, or wearing complementary colors, is always a safe choice.

These engagement photo outfits tie in a unique, thoughtful color combination that works beautifully together
This couple chose matching colors in different patterns for their engagement photo outfits -- a great way to create a cohesive look without being too matchy!

04 | Make Sure You Feel Like YOU

Pssst — you know what matters the most when choosing the perfect engagement photo outfit? That feeling you get when you put it on and look at yourself in the mirror. If you feel awkward, uncomfortable, or like you’re trying to be someone else, then that ain’t the outfit for you, my friend. You should put on your engagement photo outfit and feel amazing. It should feel totally, relentlessly like you. Why? Because this is your engagement, these are your photos, and your love we’re celebrating!

A furry friend is always the perfect addition to your engagement photos!

Last, But Not Least

If you’ve read through this whole blog and you’re still feeling uncertain as to where you should start, feel free to drop me a line! I’m happy to chat about all things photography, at any time. Plus, if you’re in the market for a photographer for your engagement or wedding photos, I’d be so honored to be considered! You can learn more about my offerings and packages on my website.

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Mn based Wedding + elopement Photographer