I'm so glad you are here to check out some recent work. I'm a Colorado wedding photographer that shoots all around the country. The blog is filled with full wedding and portrait sessions, and includes weddings planning tips and inspiration.
January 21, 2021
Congrats, you’re engaged! Now the fun part- getting to plan your engagement photos!And with that, your engagement photo outfits! Probably the #1 question I get asked for engagement sessions is what to wear for engagement photos. There are many variables that go into this, such as time of year, location, and personal style.
Hopefully this helps! If you want to see some full sessions where I think the couples NAILED the outfits, then definitely check out;
The first tip I always give to couples is to lean towards solids colors. Some patterns can be distracting in photos. You want the main attention to be on you and your love when it comes to your engagement photo outfits. For the exact colors, that is up to you! I tend to love neutrals, but pops of color can work too! Try to think about the environment you will be shooting at. Is it a lake? A grassy field? A Snowy mountain? This can all play into your decision.
I love how Chelsea and Chris wore neutrals (above, left). Yet the pop of yellow that Sarah chose (above, right) was perfect for a Red Rocks setting!
With a backdrop like the Paint Mines, you can really play with your colors more. These two nailed it below!!
Just because I noted above that solid colors are great for engagement photos, that does not mean that you CAN’T do patterns! As long as the pattern isn’t distracting and taking your eyes away from the subject, then go for it! Sometimes it can even add to the fun of the engagement photo outfit! The more serious rule of thumb here is to maybe only have ONE pattern between the two of you, so that they are not competing.
I love this printed skirt that Rachel chose (above, left)! To the right, Adam wore a plaid shirt, while Kaitlin wore a solid cream sweater.
This is a new favorite tip of mine. While I do love ‘plain’ colors and no patterns on outfits, I do find that it helps if ONE of you are wearing a non-distracting pattern. That way, a texture is formed between the two of you. It sort of breaks up the monotony of the look. Here are some examples where there was one pattern between the couple.
There are lots of great places to look for summer engagement photo dresses, but living in Colorado, a lot of couples love to take their engagement photos in the snowy winter too. Just because you’re bundled up, doesn’t mean you can’t look cute! Winter engagement photo outfits are just as cute. Think about adding a cute knit hat, chunky winter boots, and some plaid.
I loved both Chelsea and Chris’s winter jackets (top left). Rachel wore the cutest hat to keep warm (top right) I love cozy sweaters for engagements too! Paige and Brandon (Bottom photos) had a great outfit change for their winter engagement session.
Winter is one of the harshest months for engagement photos, yet we still want to look cute! Depending on weather, I highly recommend to still bundle up! Another tip is to bring hand warmers inside your gloves. When you aren’t taking photos, you can warm yourself back up with the hand warmers (and extra layers), and then run out into the cold for short bursts of photos to keep warm. Winter wear can still look cute.
Out and long gone are the days of matching with your partner. But for engagement outfits, it’s best to not stray too far from each others styles. You still want your photos and outfits to look cohesive. I tell my couples to “coordinate, not match”.
Renata and Sean (above, left) wore all white and neutrals for their beach session. Sameeha and Jeremy (above, right) also coordinated with light colored neutrals. (See again how only one of them wore a non-distracting pattern, while the other wore solid colors! Magic!)
And again, these two nailed it. Neutrals all the way! With a pop of light blue from Chelsea’s jeans (above, left). This look was PERFECT for the late fall/dry foliage and winter riverscape vibe we were going for. You can check out their full session here!
To the right, Kristen and Alex went more formal, but were on the same level. She wore the pop of color, and he wore the non-distracting pattern. (P.s., LOVE her bold earrings).
I personally think that casual engagement photo outfits are perfect for your engagement photos. (Don’t get me wrong, I love me a long flowy dress too! My fav place to shop for those are Lulus) My view on this is that you will be super dressed up for your actual wedding, with hair and makeup. Engagement photos are ‘extra’ professional photos of you, so why not have them be un-formal!? With more casual outfits, we can also ‘play’ more. By that I mean we can run, roll around, piggy back, climb rocks, etc. It gives us more freedom to experiment and get silly during engagement sessions, that we may not get to do on the actual wedding day
Below (left), Piper and Shelby were a cute casual as we went to a few breweries in town.
Above (right), Sarah kept it cool with a fun hat and cute booties. (They added checkered blanket really made it extra fun.)
This may be the most important advice; make sure your outfit choice represents YOU. No need to play dress up to completely turn into another person. These are your photos to remember you as a couple forever by. Add a little personal touch in there! Below, these two gals represented their fav sports team.
Added little personal details like a fun hat or suspenders is always fun! Just like Sameeha and Jeremy did (above, right).
Lastly, I love this “Mrs. Blum” jacket that Renata was gifted! It’s so cute, and very personal. (Above, right).
Why have one outfit when you can have two!? I usually tell my couples that there will be time for an outfit change mid-shoot, if they wanted to switch up their style. This is when I’d suggest one outfit that is more formal, and one that is more casual. But which one do you first!? Well, ultimately that is up to you, but I find that couples tend to “loosen” up a bit more throughout the shoot, and we eventually get to running around and maybe even rolling around in the dirt towards the end. So for this reason, I sometimes suggest the more formal outfit first.
Above, Betsy and Noah started in very formal attire. (Love her red dress!). We then switched them out to more comfy and cozy clothes towards the end of our session, where they put on jeans for a more relaxed look.
Hopefully this helped a little bit with figuring out what to wear for your engagement session. If you are also wondering WHERE to take your engagement photos, especially in Colorado, I have a guide for that;
Check out this post on the 20 Best Colorado Engagement Session Locations!
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All photos copyright 2023 Shelly Anderson Photography