What to Wear for Engagement Photos

What to wear for engagement pictures

Tips on What to Wear for Engagement Photos

Fall and spring are two of the most popular times of the year for engagement photos. Spring blooms and fall leaves are gorgeous, so it’s a great time to schedule your photo session!

Engagement photo sessions are usually the first time you work with your photographer, and sometimes it’s also the first time you and your fiance have professional photos taken together. That can be super-exciting….but it can also make brides and grooms a little nervous because you don’t know what to expect, what to do, how to act, or what to wear.

I can’t tell you how many times couples have arrived at photo sessions, and they’ve told us how nervous they are. But, by the time we’re in the middle of the session, they say how easy it is and how much fun they’re having. We really try our best to make it a fun, relaxed photo session where couples can be themselves. That’s the sweet spot where we get great photos of you, who you are as an individual and also as a couple.

Engagement photo shoots help us build rapport with you before the wedding day. We also often find that couples are more relaxed about photos when the wedding day arrives because they’ve already worked with us at their engagement photo shoot. You are more relaxed in front of our cameras, and you know what to expect.

Depending on the length of your engagement session, we recommend 1 or 2 outfits. If there is time for 2 outfits, we recommend starting the photo session wearing dressy clothes, and then changing into more casual clothes (or vice versa).

Suggestions on What to Wear

  • Choose comfortable clothes: If you’re not comfortable, it will be noticeable in the pictures. Also, wear comfortable shoes if your location will include a lot of walking. But don’t wear tennis shoes! More like choose to wear cute flats or boots with a low heel rather than 4-inch stilettos.
  • Choose clothing that compliments your personality: Make sure your clothes look like “you” and fit your personality.
  • Coordinate your clothing with each other: Wear clothes that are the same level of “dressyness,” and wear similar shades that compliment each other. Choose clothes that look best on you. For example, in the winter, the following colors look great together: navy, gray, maroon, cream/khaki. In the summer, the following colors look great together: white, cream/khaki, light blue.
  • Choose clothes to compliment your location: If you are taking pictures in a field or the mountains, consider clothes with more natural colors. And if you are taking pictures in a downtown area, you might consider more urban clothes with bolder colors.
  • Choose colors that compliment your skin tone: For example, if you have light skin, white clothing can wash out your complexion in photographs. If you have jet black hair, a navy shirt or jacket might not look the best.

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What NOT to Wear for Engagement Photos

  • Clothing accenting your least favorite body parts: If you have certain body parts that you dislike or are uncomfortable about, don’t wear clothing that accents them. For example, if you do not like your arms, do not wear sleeveless tops or strapless dresses (this also applies to wedding gowns!). If you do not like your legs, do not wear a short skirt or a short dress. Darker colors such as navy blue or black also look great and create a slimming effect.
  • Fluorescent Colors: Fluorescent colors (such as bright orange) tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. When the shirt is so bright, it often also changes the color of the person standing next to them.
  • Trendy clothing: They will date your photos as soon as the trend goes out of style.
  • Major changes with your hair and makeup: You want your engagement photos to reflect who you really are, and you want to be comfortable in your own skin.
  • T-shirts and tennis shoes: This includes white t-shirts under button-up dress shirts with the top buttons undone. You don’t want a little white t-shirt peeking out above your nice dress shirt.
  • Large shirts that are not tucked in. For guys, it’s usually better to wear a belt if you are wearing a nice button-up shirt. Sometimes, if untucked shirts are too big or too wide, they don’t look good and are “boxy.” Fitted shirts and jackets look much better than wide boxy ones.

More Tips on What To Wear for Engagement Photos

  • If you choose a location outside, the best time for the photo shoot is in the late afternoon as the sun is setting. You can avoid hard shadows in photos taken in the late afternoon.
  • Plan on having a good time. If you’re in a good mood, it will show in the pictures and you will get more great photos!
  • Consider bringing an outfit to change into mid-way through your photo session if you have enough time. You could start your photo session wearing dressy clothes, and then change into more casual clothes (or vice versa).

Engagement pictures will be used in your photo albums, hang on your wall, and will be placed in engagement announcements and “save-the-date” cards. Taking a few moments to make the best of your photos will be priceless in the many years to come.

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JoPhotothis is us!Hey!

Hi! We're Joe and Kathleen, and we're a husband and wife photography team specializing in weddings and elopements for adventurous couples in the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, and East Tennessee.


Celebrate in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, by the river, on top of the mountains, or in a cozy cabin...wherever adventure takes you, our job is to take photos you'll love for years to come.

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Wedding Photography

Adventure Sessions

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Smoky Mountain Wedding Photographers

Joe & Kathleen Atkins


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