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The Bride Guide: What to Wear to an Engagement Shoot | Wedding Photographer

Jul 21, 2019

A Bride’s Guide: What to Wear to An Engagement Shoot


This post is designed to help brides decide what to wear to an engagement photo shoot.

So you’ve booked your engagement shoot, and you’re super excited to work with THE perfect photographer… but then you remember you have to pick out multiple outfits that are supposed to be flattering, coordinate with your man, AND look super cute and you have absolutely no idea where to begin. Well guess what?! You’re in luck. I’ve compiled the best tips I can muster to ensure that your engagement photos are as amazing as possible and you feel confident and more importantly, comfy, in your wardrobe selections. Deciding what to wear isn’t as difficult as you think!

9 Tips to An Amazing Engagement Session Wardrobe

Tip 1: Timeless Colors

DO NOT MATCH. Ok, now that I got that out of the way, just consider what coordinates. You basically just don’t want to clash. Neutrals will match any environment and can offer the best contrast regardless of the lighting. It’s typically easiest for the lady to choose what to wear first and then to coordinate the guy’s outfit. After you’ve selected your outfits, start thinking about what colors would coordinate best. If you’re wearing jewel tones, make sure he is. Same for pastels, neutrals, etc. Sometimes scarves, and layers are a great way to make the outfits coordinate without being too ‘catalogue’ . Let’s face it, in real life you don’t always coordinate because that would just be creepy. If you don’t know what ‘jewel tones’ are because you didn’t get a frou frou art degree like me ;), refer to pinterest—- not necessarily for outfits but just search ‘color schemes’ and it will all make sense!


Tip 2: We’re headed Somewhere Together

This is a good one, because it’s kind of important. It’s easy to get caught up with color schemes and forget that you should look like you’re both headed to the same place. If you’re wearing a peacoat, make sure he has a coat you like too, and not just a button up. If you’ve got a sun dress on, maybe pick out a henley instead of a polo or button up for him. You get it. 🙂

Check out their full engagement session here.



Tip 3: Consider the Locations

At this point, you’ve likely discussed your locations for the shoot with your photographer. Have a general idea in your head as far as which outfit is for each location. If you are shooting at a mix of a structured location like an art museum and a field, I would suggest the more formal option be worn at the museum, and the jeans and boots be worn at the field. It seems obvious but sometimes it’s overwhelming and this kind of thing can get overlooked. Well, now it won’t! 😉

Check out their full engagement session here.


Tip 4: Add Texture… and/or Layers

When I say texture I mean layers, but also physical texture as in fabric choice. Many of my brides come to me because they love the warm glow that a lot of my images have. Having flowing or somewhat transparent layers creates magic as light passes through them. Leather and denim are awesome too depending on the location! As a rule, I encourage layers unless it’s unbearably hot. Layers make you look more put together, add visual interest, and most importantly they add movement!

Check out their full engagement session here.




Tip 5: Variety

I always recommend that my couples include a selection of outfits ranging from formal to casual. Obviously we all don’t waltz around town in an evening gown, but if you’ve always pined for images that are so out of your norm formal, let’s do it! This is the time to fulfill your photo dreams because honestly as adults, we don’t have our picture taken very often. You’ll also want something that’s semi-casual that you would wear on any given Saturday, and anything in-between. Having a range of outfits gives multiple purposes for your images and captures all aspects of your relationship. You may want something more formal for your Save the Dates, but that may not be the picture of your man you want on your desk at work.



Tip 6: Over Pack

This kind of goes along with variety but it’s different. Don’t be afraid to bring more options than you need. Sometimes you don’t have clarity on what looks best until the day of, and your photographer will have a professional opinion. Bring both necklaces you were debating between, a few different boot options, and other accessories you know might ‘go’ but you aren’t positive about. Having them there will give you peace of mind, that no matter what, your outfits will be spot on.


Tip 7: Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

They say less is more…. but in this instance I have to object. In every day life, you would not normally wear a jacket, a long necklace, bangles, and a headband all at once. Or if you would, you go girl! The more accessories you have, I think the better. Obviously the number 1 accessory you’re sporting is that sparklin’ rock your smokin’ hot man just put on your finger and we are not at all trying to compete with that sucker! We do however like textural detail, so having a few bangles on your opposite wrist and statement earrings at the same time won’t look like overkill. This is because of the poses and cropping. 95% of the time we won’t be able to see every accessory you have on because your man will be blocking it, or your arm will be down, away from the camera. It’s ok to feel a little accessory heavy. The worst thing you could do is need to take one off– big deal. Don’t forget scarves, boot socks, headbands, gloves, hats, and other seasonal items are fair game too! Accessories can also inspire what to wear to your session. If you have a favorite accessory, use that as a starting point!

***I have to make a disclaimer to this: If you’re not the kind of girl who ever wears jewelry, don’t do it just for the pictures and ‘Tip 7’ told you to. I 100% want to embrace what feels true to you.

Check out their full engagement session here.



Tip 8: It’s All in the Details

You can ask my friends, and they will all roll their eyes and tell you that I’m late/a smidge scatter brained every time I have to be somewhere, EXCEPT when working. So I’m sure that when it comes time to get my own Engagement photos taken, I’ll be the bride who’s trying to paint her nails in the car on the way to the shoot… 😬. Don’t be like me- and here’s why-

Your photos will include a wide variety of angles and compositions. You’ll want professionally manicured fingers in the ring shots, and you don’t want to hate some of the close-ups because you didn’t get your balayage touched up and your re-growth is driving you nuts. Get a manicure, or take the time to paint your nails before the car ride there, make sure you like your current hair, and consider a tasteful spray tan if it’s early spring and you haven’t seen the light of day in a while. You may also consider professional hair and makeup, or changing your hairstyle at each location. All of these little details will make the images that much more enjoyable for you to look through. We’re girls and we nit pick ourselves to death. Save yourself some regret and eliminate these simple fixes from the list!


Tip 9: The Don’ts

  • Don’t wear anything you don’t feel comfortable in. It’s not worth it if you’re feeling self conscious or can’t move comfortably.
  • Don’t wear skinny stripes like seersucker- it makes the camera go crazy. There’s a word for that, but if I don’t know it, you probably sure as heck don’t either.
  • If your man doesn’t want to be shorter than you, opt for the flat sandal instead of the wedge.
  • Don’t wear ill-fitted or super oversized clothing. I love big sweaters, but unless your outer layer is somewhat transparent, a loose top layer looks like added weight… nobody wants that.

Below are also a few featured shoots so you can see the variety of outfits each couple chose!

Anna + Jordan | Kara + Nate | Abbie + Carson 

Enjoy, and I hope that helped!

xoxo Felicia


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