Helpful Tips | What to Wear for Your Engagement Session

This is something that I get asked a lot, so I figured it would be helpful to create a blog post that all my couples can come back to anytime they need a little inspiration figuring out what the heck to wear!

Your engagement session is an important part of the story of your relationship, and just like your actual wedding you really want it to reflect you and feel true to who you are as individuals and as a couple. I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in saving inspiration from Pinterest or Instagram and wanting to perhaps copy another outfit you’ve seen, BUT I really want to encourage you to make sure anything you’re saving is something you really love, that feels like something you would actually wear in real life. If you’re a more creative type and perhaps a visual person, mood boards are really great for creating a “vibe” for your engagement session, and it’s easier than ever to make these using pre-made templates in Canva!

This part of your engagement should be FUN. Figuring out what to wear doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming if you follow my tips and stay true to yourselves + your own personal style!

Without further ado – my best tips for engagement session looks, featuring photos from my very own engagement sessions and real couples!

  1. Think about what time of year your session is taking place. Is it spring/summer and really green and lush at your session location? Wear colors that will complement all the greenery. Don’t wear green, since that will blend right in. Think soft, muted tones like ivories, lighter blues, peaches/soft pinks, earth tones, light grey, etc. Black can work here too, as long as one of you is wearing something lighter to contrast it. If you’re getting photos taken in the city and not a lot of greenery will be around, you have a bit more leeway with the colors you can choose. Basically we just don’t want you matching your surroundings, or clashing with your surroundings.

2. Try to complement each other without matching each other (hello, 1995 JCPenney portraits!). When you both wear the same exact color, you end up looking like a big block of color together and there’s no separation. So remember to wear colors that are different but complimentary! Also think about patterns as they can add a lot of interest to your images, but keep the patterns to just one person, and have the other person wearing something solid. Also keep in mind that patterns shouldn’t be too loud or busy, or they will distract from the main focus of your images, which is YOU and your love.

3. Wear something that feels like you and that you’re comfortable in. If you literally don’t feel like yourself getting all glam, then let’s keep it more casual. If you NEVER wear high heels, don’t start now. However, if you love getting all dressed up, go for it! My engagement sessions involve a lot of movement prompts, so do try to wear something you feel comfortable moving around in and feel like yourself in. 

4.  I don’t advise the following colors as they just don’t photograph well and distract from the two of you: Anything neon, orange, red, or hot pink. During the summer I also usually advise against really dark colors like navy, burgundy, etc. because it just doesn’t match the vibe of a warm, golden summer night. However, dark tones can work as long as you use them in moderation (like he wears a dark blazer with light colored pants + your outfit is light too, etc.)

5. Have fun with accessories! Have a cute purse to wear with your casual outfit? Feel free to bring it – it’ll make your photos in the city look even more candid. Think scarves (like, a silky one tied around your hair, or tied onto your purse), shoes you love, super cute earrings, etc. just have fun with it!  Try to avoid wearing your apple watch though, if you can.

6. Think about possibly subscribing to a service like Nuuly or Rent the Runway, where you can rent multiple pieces all at once without breaking the bank. This can be a great way to try new styles you’ve been interested in but might not want to invest in yet!

7. Last but not least – think outside the box! Don’t assume you have to wear a dress just because everyone else does. If you want your session to have a more relaxed, modern vibe, go for it! I’m including a few images below that I swiped off of Pinterest so that you can see a bit more variety. Winter engagement sessions, for example, can look really polished without you freezing to death in a dress and nothing else – go with the seasons and layer!

A few more examples from Pinterest below. On the left – such a classic look, this dress is most likely from Reformation, they have beautiful dresses and sets! In the middle, a more laid back but still put together vibe, perfect for running around the city. On the right, I absolutely love how incorporating a scarf for some of their images lends such a unique, nostalgic element! You’ll notice in all of these images that the colors they choose complement both each other and their surroundings, too.

I am always available for my couples to help at any point during the planning process, and engagement sessions are no exception. I’ve had clients text me photos of different outfit combinations and I’m SO happy to lend my advice if they want it, because this really is a collaboration!

I truly hope this was helpful! Any questions, never hesitate to get in touch with me! 🙂