Masthead header

What to Wear for an Engagement Shoot

As a wedding photographer, I am often asked for suggestions on what to wear to an engagement photography session.  So,  I decided to make a new post  focusing on just that,  as a supplement to my previous article on Tips for Creative and Fun Engagement Shoots.

Clothing is a very important part of mood and inspiration.  I get good photos by paying careful attention to things like details, colors and style.  It is very important to pick the right clothes and accessories.

When planning an engagement shoot, it’s important to remember that it’s not about  just what to wear.  You should remember the goals of the engagement shoot: to have fun and an amazing time together, and to document your love and connection.

Suggestions on what to wear:

-It is best to have hair and make up professionally done. It should complement what you are wearing in colors and style. I always prefer natural-looking hair and make up. Here are a few of my favorite looks:

via Pinterest

-It’s important to wear clothing that fits well- not too tight, and not too big. The fit should be flattering.

-Complementary colors are good things to think about when selecting clothes for your engagement shoot. Consider not only your individual outfits but also how the colors in your outfit will harmonize with your FH – you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy. But, if one of you wears primary colors and the other wears muted neutrals, you will look odd. You should wear colors that complement each other and pieces that have common shades.

Rebecca Taylor Strappy Back Dress – Buy it from Eluxe $275


Ruffle Dress by Rebecca Taylor – $118

-Wear something that best represents you, and that you feel comfortable with. The best photos are the ones where the couple is just being themselves. So above all, wear an outfit you’re comfortable in, and one which accentuates your style and best features.

-Bring a couple (or a few) pairs of clothes that you can change into. It will give you a variety of looks to work with for the shoot.

-Besides the heels, you should remember to bring another comfortable pair of shoes to walk in (flip-flops or flats work great). You might find yourself walking around a lot as you explore locations for the photo shoot, and it’s helpful to have a change of shoes.

-Solid colors are better than stripes, prints or plaids. Sometimes the background has enough texture that patterns can make the photo too busy. (Depending on the location of the shoot)

alice + olivia Rosie Blouson Dress – $183

Mirabelle Dress in Silk Chiffon – $265

ALICE + OLIVIA Lila Yback Blouson Dress – $178

Evie Dress in Silk Chiffon – $180

Lila Y-back Blouson Dress – $178

Amanda Uprichard

Website – Facebook – Twitter

Amanda Uprichard Women’s Pocket Dress – $200

Vivacity Shift – $240

TIBI Pleated silk-chiffon dress – $360

Vanessa Bruno Athé Twist Front Dress – $445

Vivacity Shift – $240

ASOS Sleeveless Mini Dress with Double Skirt – $48

Shoshanna Natasha Dress – $395

Cynthia Vincent

Cynthia Vincent WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Women’s Scoop Neck Dress


BCBGeneration WebsiteFacebookTwitter

BCBGeneration Women’s Ruffle Yoke Dress – $85

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Rory Beca

Rory Beca Website

Rory Beca Women’s Rover Twist Back Handkercheif Dress – $213

Allegra K

Allegra K WebsiteFacebook

Allegra K Ladies Stand Collar Flounced Semi Sheer Pullover Blouse – $10

-Consider the location where you’ll be shooting, the mood you want to create, and then pick clothes to match. Ultimately, you should pick clothes that match the location. If it’s 5 Pointz or the Meatpacking District in NYC where the walls are very colorful, then the wardrobe shouldn’t be too busy. These locations have lots of patterns and lines, so it would be nice to be bold with the colors and wear a bright, solid color to stand out and match the fun edginess of the location.

One of my photos from Alissa & Scott’s Engagement Session at 5 Pointz and DUMBO

-If a location is very romantic and dreamy, like Central Park or in a field, then the clothes should give that feeling. For that situation, the best colors would be a palette like cream or pastel.

Jasmine Beige V-Neck Day Dress – €30

Antik Batik

Antik Batik Website –  Facebook – Twitter

Antik Batik Silk-georgette wrap-effect dress. Buy from The Outnet – $142


Heartloom WebsiteFacebook – Twitter

Heartloom Women’s Orlando Dress – $189


BCBGeneration Website – Facebook – Twitter

BCBGeneration Women’s Double Strap Dress – $98


Website – Facebook


BCBGeneration Website – Facebook – Twitter

Bcbgeneration women’s Red Ruffle Dress – $70

For an engagement shoot I did in the Las Vegas desert, I planned the wardrobe with the couple beforehand. We came up with a color scheme that matched the desert colors and the mood of the location.

One of my photos from Dana & Yossi’s Engagement shoot in the Las Vegas Desert.

-Wear clothes that are complementary in style and the same level of formality. Don’t dress up and have your fiancee wear everyday clothes.

For example, I photographed another engagement shoot in an amazing abandoned building, and the couple wore clothes that matched the feeling and colors of that building. James wore a blue colored blazer by Etro that beautifully complemented Suzanne’s beautiful, glamorous dress by Oscar de la Renta.

Three of my photos from Suzanne & James Engagement shoot in a beautiful abandoned building.

-Wear clothes that match the season. Short sleeves or a short-sleeved dress are not the best options on a cold day. This goes back to being comfortable – if you are not warm, it will be hard to enjoy the photo shoot. And if you aren’t enjoying the shoot, it will show in the photos- affecting the results and your level of enjoyment.


-Many couples think that black or white clothes will be the best, but these colors often lack excitement and vibrance. White reflects too much light and risks overexposure. Correspondingly, black not only looks somber, but absorbs light. Yes, black is slimming, but it doesn’t always come out well in photos. Be bold with your color choices, try to pick a bright color that will stand out.


CLOSET Flared Belted Dress – €65

ASOS Wrap Dress with Ruched Front – $52

Rent from Rent the Runway

C. Luce

C. Luce Website

C. Luce Women’s Lace Dress – $108

ASOS Tulip Dress with Zip Back – $33

Kate Spade New York ‘Mariel’ top – Buy from Nordstrom

Amanda Uprichard

WebsiteFacebook – Twitter

Amanda Uprichard Women’s Champagne Tie Dress – $200

Lilly Pulitzer

Lilly Pulitzer WebsiteFacebook – Twitter

Lilly Pulitzer Women’s Aleesa Dress – $190

via Pinterest

Vivacity Shift – $240

Rent from Rent the Runway

Rent from Rent the Runway

Coral Geometric Neck Dress – $600

Buy from Nasty Gal – $58


bebe WebsiteFacebookTwitter

bebe Mix Fabric Faux Wrap Dress -$98

-Add accessories. Jewelry, beautiful shoes, belts, etc. A beautiful hair piece can make all the difference. If your outfit is pretty casual, try sprucing it up with a pretty necklace, high heels or cute flats.

A Few Websites for Hair Accessories:

Lo Boheme

Website – Facebook – Twitter – Lookbook 2011

Twigs & Honey

Website – Facebook – Twitter

Website – Facebook – Twitter


Website – Facebook – Twitter

A Few Websites for Jewelry:


Website – Facebook – Twitter


Website – Facebook – Twitter


Website – Facebook – Twitter


Website – Facebook – Twitter

Miguel Ases

Website – Facebook – Twitter.


Edera Website – Edera Jewelry Blog – Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest – Etsy – Edera Shop



Website – Facebook – Twitter

I’m happy to recommend a couple excellent shopping resources. You can click the buttons below to browse through these sites and find beautiful dresses, accessories, etc.


Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *