Getting engaged is one of the most exciting passages in life!
Like with other special events, from birthdays to graduations, documenting these moments through photography is key.
Once you’ve ‘said yes’ to the big question, a natural next step is to begin the wedding planning process! Many couples opt for taking professional engagement photos to help capture the beginning of this upcoming season.
Since an engagement session also helps to build up your photo options for varied needs leading up to the big day, it’s recommended to take the photos sooner than later.
And did you hear? We’re currently offering a free engagement session! When you purchase another Joy photo and video package, you can get your engagement photos taken at no additional cost.
If you’re planning to take engagement photos with your significant other, one of the first things to decide (aside from the photographer and location) will be the clothing.
To help answer the question, “What should I wear for engagement photos?” we recommend that you first determine the following:
What type of environment will your engagement session take place in, from an outdoorsy nature shoot to a more glamorous setting? Think about the natural surroundings, colors, and potential props.
Will you have multiple settings, therefore potentially have the need of multiple outfits, or do you just need one? While multiple options could increase complexity, it will also allow for more photos for a broad variety of uses.
Do you have specific needs for these photos to be used in, like a ‘save the date’? If so, consider the desired wedding vibe when finalizing the outfit(s).
When you envision your engagement session, is there something specific that comes to mind that you would like to help bring to life through clothing? This could be the desire to showcase an occupation, a shared hobby, or culture.
The answers to these questions will help you begin to form what your dream photoshoot will look like. Keep in mind: there is no right or wrong way to do this. These photos should help capture the essence of your relationship and help to elevate your personal connection with one another.
We have had a lot of experience working with engagement sessions for Joy couples and have seen a variety of looks! Here is a collection of our top tips to help answer “What should I wear for engagement photos?”
Don’t forget who you are! There is no reason to fit in to a ‘bridal box’ if you would prefer to break the mold. Consider your natural day-to-day outfits and then elevate the look so that your photos come across as organized and put together (without trying too hard.)
Use accessories, from jewelry to a belt or headband, to tie in specific colors or surroundings. The right accessories can help an engagement session feel more polished. If you typically wear one-too many then follow the wise words of Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” But if you’re on the other end of the spectrum and don’t usually wear accessories, be thoughtful and see what you’re comfortable with adding.
Showcase items of clothing, accessories, materials, or settings that are meaningful. Has your spouse-to-be gifted you with a special anniversary tennis bracelet? What about a family heirloom ring or necklace? These can make for great additions to your photo.
Take the season into account. If your timelines require a winter engagement session, then make sure you’re bundled up enough (if photos are outside) or opt for a cozier indoor shoot. If you are planning to directly tie the photos to the wedding in a significant way, you may also want to be mindful of the season when your wedding is actually taking place so that you can plan accordingly.
Make sure your clothes fit nicely. If necessary, get them tailored. The right fit can make a big difference in making you feel comfortable and look more put together. An awkward length dress or pant leg that appear to be too long can be distracting to the photo.
Use color to your advantage, for both of your outfits. (And yes, in this instance, neutrals can count.) According to the website ChicVintageBrides: “You don’t always need to find elements of matching pop colors – but complimenting one another in the same tone range is critical.” More of their tips here.
Think about your height differences as you plan your footwear. If you are taller than your significant other, opt for sneakers, flats, or a cute pair of sandals. If they are much taller than you are then select a pair of platform sneakers, wedges, or heels.
Have the poses in mind. Do you envision a twirling photo? Opt for something flowy. A casual at-home shoot while eating pizza together on the couch? Choose a more laid-back look that does not compete with your surroundings.
Be thoughtful about your hair and makeup. This could be dual-purpose because your engagement session styling could be a time to prep for the wedding day. While it’s likely that your look won’t be as formal as it will be on your wedding day, beginning to see how your look will translate on camera will come in handy. Thinking about tight ringlet curls on the big day? Try loose curls for the engagement session. Prefer to keep your wedding make up more natural but with a specific and bold shade of lipstick? Wear it for the engagement session, first.
Once you’ve narrowed down a few options, take a practice photo. (We can’t recommend this tip enough!) The flowy top that you love may not be as flattering in photos or that white dress could benefit from some different undergarments. Have your spouse-to-be do the same jump in the frame so you can see how your outfits come together. And if time is on your side, try adding hair and makeup for this test shot, too.
We haven’t forgotten about you guys. Here are a few more tips!
According to DylanandSandra.com, layers are key. “The key to a great outfit for him is: Layers and matching the dressiness-level of you. Layers add-in an editorial vibe and he’ll be feeling extra handsome, too! For his outfit, think a button-down shirt, and bring along a sports jacket, too. The number one secret weapon for him is definitely a sports coat. You’d be surprised how GQ he’ll look in a sports jacket with that shirt; it is naturally slimming, looks really good on camera and can bring a lot of variety to your images.”
If you’re going for a more casual look, see if you can step it up a notch. Considering a tee? Opt for a polo. Planning a jersey? Wear your favorite sports team colors, instead. (Unless the jersey fits in with the theme of the photos being taken!)
Be wise about the materials that you choose. If any of the clothing is prone to wrinkles, don’t forget to use a steam or iron beforehand. The linen button up may look great on the hanger but consider what it will look like after you’ve sat in a car (to get to your engagement shoot location). The BEST photographs can look sloppy if wrinkles are visible. Wool, knits, rayon, pre-treated cotton, or denim are all good fabric choices.
Pattern can be your friend! When finding the best ways to complement your fiancé in photos, different colors, shapes, or textures can help tie together your looks. A unified pattern can add some interest to the photo without being overpowering, like words or a unique graphic print may be.
Try to match your accessories, even if the rest of the outfit uses different color pallets. Matching a belt, shoes, or watch band, can easily help elevate a look. This is another way that you can help to complement the colors that your fiancé is choosing to wear.
For more tips, we loved this list of engagement photo outfits to wear (for his and hers) from The Knot.
There are two more critical decisions that need to be made: the photographer and the location.
Here at Joy Photo and Video, it brings us so much joy to be on the other side of the camera and bring these meaningful moments to life for you. If you haven’t selected a photographer yet, we have a team of professionals across Texas and Florida. Meet the team and see portfolios here.
And if you’re looking for inspiration on where you should shoot, check out some of our favorite local spots:
We hope this helped answer the question, “What should I wear for engagement photos?” Remember: this is a time to CELEBRATE so don’t forget to have fun!
[Photoshoot in the spotlight: Elisa and Jonathan in Galveston, Texas]
The Joy Team