One of the most nerve wracking things about wedding planning is taking engagement photos – and that’s totally normal! Most couples haven’t had professional photos taken before, so they have no idea what to expect. Choosing an outfit and deciding what to wear for engagement photos can be especially stressful – you want to look your best, but you have no idea where to start when it comes to sifting through the piles of clothes in your closet.
That’s where I come in – with all the tips and tricks to help you decide what to wear for engagement photos, and to make sure you look and feel your best!
The first thing I recommend doing is deciding how many outfits you’ll be wearing during your engagement session. Check with your photographer on this one, as they may have some rules and limitations to ensure you aren’t spending the entirety of your time together in the changing room.
Most couples opt for two outfits – this gives you some variety in your photos, and gives you the opportunity to switch up your look. I recommend one casual outfit and one fancier one – you don’t have to go all out with black tie attire, but getting some photos of your everyday look paired with some photos of you in some “date night” wear can be lots of fun!
Decide how many outfits you’ll need before you start searching, and figure out the vibe of each outfit to give you an idea of what you’re looking for.
Before you decide what to wear for engagement photos, make sure you’ve booked the engagement photos! This will ensure that you know what season you’ll be photographed in, which will of course make a huge difference when it comes to your outfit choices.
Taking photos in a winter wonderland can be lots of fun – but Missouri winters get cold (and so do most other winters)! You don’t want to be shivering during the engagement session, so make sure that you dress appropriately. Layers are key, as you can easily take them on and off if you want a couple photos without your jacket or you want to warm up between shots. Accessorize with scarves, hats, and gloves, and you can even bring some hand warmers!
Spring weather gets warmer, but it’s still important to bring a jacket in case things get chilly. An umbrella can be a cute accessory too – I especially recommend clear ones, as they photograph well, and will keep you safe from any April showers.
Light attire is ideal for summer engagement photos. Wear something comfortable that will keep you cool. Sun dresses or flowy skirts work well for this time of year, as you can dress them up without feeling too suffocated!
The changing leaves make a gorgeous backdrop, and who doesn’t love sweater weather? Fall provides some great opportunities for accessorizing and layering, so make sure to stay warm! Just like spring, it’s a good idea to bring an umbrella as the weather can get more unpredictable this time of year.
One important aspect of deciding what to wear for engagement photos is thinking about what you’ll be doing during your session. If you’re going for a hike or a walk, high heels may not be ideal – plus, they might look a little out of place on a nature trail. If you want some fun photos of you kayaking on your favorite lake, or having a picnic at your favorite park, or whatever activity you have planned, make sure your clothes let you move! Regardless of where you go, choose clothes that let you walk, run, jump, and move freely – we don’t want any stiff engagement photos, and moving around and having fun is the best way to get those candid moments.
In general, it’s best to avoid neons and super bright colors – they can be distracting. Neutrals, pastels, and subtle tones look best in photos. Maroon, forest green, navy blue, and mustard yellow are all examples of neutral colors that are a little more fun than a beige and gray palette!
Make sure you and your partner aren’t too matchy-matchy, but it’s definitely good to coordinate your outfits and make sure the colors you’re wearing complement each other. Adding one bright pop of color, like a hat, tie, or your socks, can add some subtle contrast.
I recommend avoiding anything with logos or graphics, but patterns can be a fun addition to your outfit! Stick to subtle patterns like florals, flannels, and polka dots, and ones that aren’t too distracting – we want your faces to be the focus!
Avoid thin stripes, because they tend to get distorted by the camera. And it’s usually best to stick to just one pattern, so if one of you has on a patterned shirt, make sure the other sticks to solid colors.
The most flattering outfit is the one you feel your best in!
For curvier bodies, adding a jacket or cardigan and layering your clothes can create a flattering shape, and darker colors can be slimming. Adding a belt or opting for high waisted styles can define your natural waist.
It may be tempting to buy a whole new outfit when deciding what to wear for engagement photos, but I recommend sticking with what you already have. That way, you know it’s comfortable, and you know it’s something you feel good in. You don’t want to be tugging at your clothes all night or worrying about adjusting your outfit – it takes away from enjoying the moment, and your photos will show that. You want to look at your photos and see yourselves – not a doll-like version of you that’s posed and dressed up!
You’ll need a photographer who can bring out those authentic smiles and ensure you’ll have a good time – so if you’re ready to plan your engagement session or you want some more fashion tips, contact me!
2023 Caitlyn Cloud
Design by Caitlyn Cloud Designs
Kansas City Wedding Photographer
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Whatever your gender, sexuality, religion, race, I want to help you celebrate your day!