Picking the perfect engagement photo outfits can honestly seem like a daunting task. Let’s be real, here. The engagement outfit selection process can be stressful. And unfortunately a quick search on Pinterest doesn’t always provide the results you may expecting (talk about information overload!). As an elopement photographer well-versed in color theory and styling, I’m here to help you sort through your closet to find the perfect outfit for your upcoming engagement session.
My guess is that you probably have a million questions swirling around in your head. Where do you even begin to find the right engagement photo outfits? Should you and your partner wear matching colors? How casual is too casual? Which shoes make the most sense? These are the questions I hear all the time. As a photographer, I totally get it. Picking out the right outfits for your engagement shoot or adventure session is as much a science as it is an art, and I’m here to help demystify the whole process for you.
My specialty is making sure my couples look and feel gorgeous in front of my camera lens. I take engagement photo outfit selection very seriously, so that you can show up on the day of your engagement shoot and only have to worry about cuddling up and having a blast playing in front of my cameras. You shouldn’t have to worry about your engagement photo outfits on the day-of. The focus should be on you and your partner having fun. That’s it. So without further ado, here are my top tips:
I completely understand that you may want to dress up a little for your engagement shoot, and that’s totally fine! But when I photograph my couples during their engagement and adventure sessions, I tend to have them moving around quite a bit: running together, spinning each other around, jumping, and even climbing up onto surfaces.
Because of this, you’ll want your engagement outfits to be able to move with you comfortably in these types of situations. This tip is especially important for couples who’ve opted to have an outdoorsy, adventurous engagement session, where a full range of motion and movement will be super helpful. Your engagement photo outfits should work with you, not against you.
I usually recommend that ladies wear flowy dresses and blouses for their engagement photo outfits. Not only are these comfortable clothing options for photos, but they tend to look absolutely stunning when blowing in the wind. Guys tend to luck out in this department, since pants are typically easy to move around in. That said, pants it a little bit of a give and stretch (without looking loose and baggy) are a definite plus.
As for shoes, I love seeing flowy dresses paired with a cute pair of comfy boots. If your engagement shoot is happening during the summer months, a nice pair of flats or a low heel works just as well. Just make sure you’re wearing something you could potentially be okay hiking around in, particularly if your engagement session is happening in an adventurous location like a national park.
For guys, my top tip for putting together your engagement outfit is to try to avoid sneakers — you can still opt for a comfortable shoe, but choose one with less of a “workout” vibe to it. Dress up your look with a pair of leather or suede dress shoes (or a pair of over-the-ankle boots complement mens engagement outfits super well). That being said, since I primarily shoot in Colorado where so many couples like to have their engagement sessions in the mountains, I highly recommend bringing a pair of hiking boots (or shoes with a good bit of traction) to wear on the way out to the engagement photo location. You definitely don’t want to be trekking up the trail with dressy shoes.
I totally understand that you both want to look put-together and intentional with your engagement photo outfit choices, but wearing the same exact colors more often than not tends to look tacky and posed (There are exceptions, of course. For example, going for a black and white look can come off beautifully, but those colors tend to be the most common exception to the rule).
A great place to start is a monochromatic color palette. Now you’re probably thinking, what the heck does that mean? Basically, rather than both of you trying to wear the exact shade of blue in your engagement outfits, try wearing different shades of the same color. This gives your outfits enough distinction so they don’t look “matchy-matchy.” But you also get the added benefit of a cohesive look between the two of you.
Alternatively, each of you can wear different core colors, but have accents of each other’s main color in your engagement outfits. This allows your outfits to tie in to each other, without being exactly the same. So for guys, this could mean wearing a denim button down with khakis. And then, for girls, you could have a white dress with blue accents that are a similar shade to your partner’s denim shirt. This is a nice way to keep some consistency but also have your own distinct look.
The key thing to remember here is that you want some sort of color or texture to be consistent across the board. There needs to be something similar in both of your engagement photo outfits, without them being practically the same. That way your outfits are cohesive, while having enough variety to keep things interesting.
A neutral or earthy engagement outfit color palette is my favorite. These colors (including forrest greens, beige, gray, white, browns, and blacks) tend to photograph beautifully, and they really stand the test of time with a classic feel. They can complement you and your partner without overpowering your whole engagement look. This is an especially striking look for outdoors engagement sessions. Notice how Candace and Roshan’s engagement photo outfits in the image above nicely complement and play into the earthy backdrop of the rock wall and waterfall?
If you want to incorporate a more vibrant color in your engagement outfits, be sure to use it as an accent color rather than the primary color. Vibrancy is absolutely fine, but it stands out best when it isn’t too overpowering. Again, the thing I really want to focus on in your engagement photos is the interaction between the two of you. The focus should be on you, not your outfits. Your clothing should enhance the moment, but it most definitely shouldn’t steal the show.
Oh, and one last little thing. As an elopement photographer, I pride myself in being the go-to resource for couples looking to feel their best during their engagement sessions. I’m there for you, advising you as you navigate the engagement process. So if having a hands-on, helpful engagement photographer sounds like your jam, I’d love nothing more than to get in touch with you. Elopement and adventure wedding planning shouldn’t be difficult. I’m here to make sure it isn’t.
Check out some of our favorite elopement and adventure wedding planning resources:
The Colorado Rockies are our home. We know these mountains like the back of our hand, and we love helping our couples plan their Colorado adventure elopements. Our land is your land, peeps. so let’s get you mountain married!
We specialize in photographing small adventure weddings in the great outdoors. We believe small weddings empower couples to be themselves on their wedding day, which is what makes us so honored to be a part of them. There’s nothing better.
We like to say we’re adventurers first, photographers second. Which frankly, is what we think makes us good at what we do. We live and breathe the outdoors lifestyle, and we make sure our adventure wedding photos show off your adventurous side too.
Not everyone loves tradition, but that doesn’t make your adventure wedding or elopement any less important.
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