Philadelphia Engagement Portraits | PA Wedding Photographer

What to Wear to Your Engagement Session


May 18, 2022

If you’re reading this it most likely means that you are getting engaged or you have recently gotten engaged. Whichever it is, I first want to say congratulations! You are about to enter one of the most exciting times of your life so enjoy every moment of it. With that being said, you may be the type of person who has tons of questions about how to even prep for your engagement session. More specifically, what to wear! The last thing you want is to have a fashion emergency on your hands, so here I come along. I’m going to be sharing with you some of my top tips on what to wear to your engagement session.

If you’re looking for direct inspiration for your photoshoot, you can always curate a Pinterest board and share it with your photographer. That way your photographer can see the vibe that you are looking to have! Speaking of Pinterest, if you’re not following mine you’re missing out so click here to check it out! If you’re still on the lookout for the perfect engagement outfit inspiration, then you have come to the right place.

Wear Clothes That You’re Confident In

First and foremost, you want to choose clothing items that you feel confident in. Now I’m not saying you don’t need to dress up at all but what I am saying is to do it strategically! When choosing what to wear to your engagement session, you want to think about wardrobe choice that still make you feel like you. If you are someone who typically wears T-shirts and jeans, all of a sudden wearing a ball gown or tuxedo may not be your best option.

You are a jean wearer? Maybe opt for a pair of nice khakis or chinos. If you are a t-shirt wearer, maybe opt for a nice button up or polo. Just because it is your engagement photos does not mean you need to step way out of your element. The more uncomfortable you are in the clothes you are wearing, the more it will translate into your photos.

Neutrals, Neutrals and More Neutrals

Neutrals will seriously become your best friend when it comes to picking what to wear to your engagement session. While bright neons may seem like just the amount of attention you want, trust me when I say this can backfire REAL quickly. Neon colors can end up being very distracting and can take away the main focus of your engagement photos aka you and your boo. Neutral tones like creams, beiges, browns, caramels, black and white are the perfect option if you’re deciding what to wear. Not only do they go with everything, but they can be paired with just about anything as well. When in doubt, neutrals are the way to go. For a great example on some great neutral tones to wear during your engagement session, check out this blog!

Solid Colors Over Patterns & Graphics

Sticking to the theme of what colors to wear, let’s talk about patterns and graphics. While there are a lot of patterns that are okay for photos, graphics are typically a huge no-no. The main thing you want to remember is not to choose patterns that are overwhelming or distracting. You still want to be the main focus of your engagement photos! So getting distracted with patterns and graphics will take away some of your shine when looking back!

Skip the Trends, Work with Classics

While tennis skirts and platform sandals may be all the rage, this doesn’t mean that they always will be. In fact, when you’re reading this you may have realized that we have already gone through this fashion stage. It’s because trends come and go, but the classics stay forever. You want to be able to look back at your engagement photos and remember that classic and timeless look, rather than that fur belt you wanted to wear. Trust me when I say, sticking to classic pieces will save you a ton of stress! Lauren and Mel’s engagement session that I blogged a while back is the perfect example of sticking with the classics. To read all about that engagement session, click here!

Dress for the Appropriate Season

Take into account the season when deciding what to wear to your engagement session. The worst thing that you can do is to dress opposite for what the climate and location have in mind. While I know you love those new flip flops you bought, doing a winter engagement session may not be the place to showcase them. If you’re taking your engagement photos in the winter, don’t be afraid to bundle up! Winter accessories like hats, gloves and scarves can make for some great accent pieces to your overall look.

For the warmer weather like in Spring and Summer, you may be inclined to go barefoot on the beach or wearing shorts on a hot day. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS keep in mind what season you are in and the climate because this obviously can dramatically influence what you wear to your engagement photos.To check out some examples of what dressing for the weather is like, check out this blog post I wrote here!

Whatever You Do, Don’t Match

Now I know you are probably reading this and are like “why Jess, why can’t we match?”… well let me tell you. While matching with your partner may have been a thing of the past, let’s keep it there. In the past. You still want to showcase your individuality and show some type of dimension when looking back at your images. Since there isn’t inherently wrong with wearing matching outfits, I personally would not recommend it for your engagement photos. Instead, I would recommend complimenting each other instead. Work with complementary colors and solid prints instead and you’ll be far more golden.

Outfit Changes – Yay or Nay?

For engagement sessions, I always allow one outfit change (if you want). Typically I will tell couples to come wearing formal wear first and if time allows we are able to do a more casual set of outfits towards the end. This is also where communicating with your photographer can be incredibly important! Letting your photographer know in advance that you are wanting to do an outfit change can ensure that you have a designated “changing place” during your route.

Wear Clothes You Can Move In

One of the most important things is making sure you can move in your engagement attire! The key to perfectly curated photos is making sure you have constant movement between you and your partner. If you are limited in movement by what you are wearing, this can lead to feeling a bit more stiff which can translate when taking your engagement photos. Stick to clothing items that are easy to move in and don’t need constant adjustment.

Get Hair & Makeup Professionally Done

It’s not everyday that you get to spoil yourself with an engagement session. Why not go all the way and spoil yourself even further by getting your hair & makeup done! You should not only feel your best but you should look your best as well. While I am DIY queen, sometimes letting go of control and being pampered for a change can make the worlds of a difference. I mean you are getting married after all, this is a BIG DEAL! An engagement session is the perfect way to even do a trial for your hair & makeup for your wedding day. It’s okay to spoil yourself every once and a while, trust me when I say it’s worth it. Buy that dress, those heels you’ve eyeing and get glammed up to document this huge turning point in your life. You seriously won’t regret it.

Communication is Key!

Don’t forget to communicate with your wedding photographer, this is key! Your photographer wants to make sure you feel 100% comfortable during the entirety of your engagement session. Communicating your wants and needs will save a ton of stress and back and forth later down the line which will save SO much time. That’s why finding a photographer you feel comfortable with and trust is so important. Being able to express your concerns, questions, insecurities and more will help your photographer make sure that you are in tip top shape for your engagement photos. Trust me, it seems scary at first but it is SO worth it.

Remember that your engagement session should be filled with nothing but smiles and happiness. This is such an exciting time in your life and we want to be able to capture these moments to the fullest. We want you to be able to look back at your engagement photos and remember these picture perfect moments. With these tips you are definitely going to be some of the most stylish people in front of the camera – trust me.



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