21 Outfit Ideas for Engagement Photos

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When it comes to the engagement session, one of the most common questions I hear is, “What engagement outfits should we plan on wearing?” Personally, I LOVE when couples come to me asking about engagement picture outfit ideas, because it means: 1. The couple actually cares about the photos and what clothes they pick for their engagement shoot outfits, and 2. I can have a say in what they wear, ensuring they look camera-ready.

Engagement Picture Outfit Ideas

Deciding on couple outfit ideas for pictures does not have to be stressful. But, it is something you should take time in coordinating, especially if you plan to create engagement photo prints or share the images on social media (which I definitely recommend!). Here are 21 ideas to consider when planning out the best outfits for engagement photos!

1. Flatter Your Body

First and foremost, whatever you decide to wear as your engagement outfit, be sure that it flatters your body. If you have gorgeous curves or legs that go on for days, dress to flatter them!
Woman in flattering dress and man in tan suit for engagement session
This might be one of the only times (besides your wedding) where you have a shoot dedicated to you and your soon-to-be-hubby, so wear clothes that you feel good and confident in. When you’re confident in how you look, that comes through in your emotions and in the photos!

Hourglass Shape

Some of the best engagement photo outfits for hourglass figures will include dresses that cinch in around the waist and plunging necklines. This will help to draw attention to your waist (AKA the thinnest part of you) and make your hourglass figure stand out.

Additional engagement photoshoot outfits you can consider are form fitting bodycon dresses or A-line dresses.

Apple Shape

If you have an apple shape with a bigger bust and broad shoulders, some cute outfits for engagement pictures might include empire cut dresses or ones with A-line cuts. If you’re looking for slightly more casual engagement photo outfits, try wearing a V-neck shirt tucked into a pair of dark wash flared (or boot cut) jeans. Finish the outfit off with your favorite pair of flats!

Pear Shape

Flaunt your curves with a dress that tapers in at the waist, or use a belt to make a flowy dress more form-fitting. For summer engagement picture outfits at the beach, rock a stylish crop top and hip hugging jean shorts.

2. Coordinate Your Outfits

This is an important one! As much as you might love your bright floral pink sundress and he’s feelin’ his blue and orange checkered shirt, let’s hold off on the rainbow of disorganized colors for this shoot and go with some alternate engagement photo outfit ideas. ;)

While you don’t need to be exactly #twinning with your outfits, try wearing pieces of clothing that tie in nicely together. One of the easiest ways to do this is by wearing different shades of the same color. If you have a dark blue dress, have your fiance wear a lighter blue shirt.

3. Be Careful with Loud Prints

Bold and loud prints can be fun to wear (and there’s definitely a place and time for them!), but when it comes to planning your engagement picture outfits, these pieces are typically best left in your closet.

Why? For one, depending on where the shoot takes place, busy shirts or dresses risk clashing with the background. Also, it’s harder to coordinate with your partner.

Additionally, articles of clothing that have loud designs may not flatter your shape as much as something with clean lines and simple colors. When in doubt, stick with solid, neutral colors!

4. Dress for Comfort and Style

Comfort and style go hand in hand, and here’s why. If you show up wearing skyscraper heels that your feet are dying in, that feeling is going to transfer onto your face and into the photos. 10 minutes into the shoot, all you’re going to think about is how much your feet hurt. Seriously, don’t put yourself through that!
Woman wearing orange sweater during San Francisco engagement shoot
From a photo standpoint, it’s better to wear cute flats that you can comfortably walk and move in, rather than the trendiest heels that cause you to tear up because of the immense amount of pain you’re feeling. The session is meant to be enjoyable, so come up with picture outfit ideas that are both comfortable and stylish.

5. Bring Multiple Outfits

Typically, I recommend having 2-3 different outfits you plan on wearing during the shoot. This will give you some variety in the photos, and if we’re going to multiple locations, you can have specific looks for each spot. When it comes to picking out the outfits, try having one casual outfit and one semi-formal/ formal option.

Since the session takes place over a couple hours, it’s nice to incorporate multiple clothing styles that reflect who you are! Along with this, remember to bring different accessories for each outfit so you’re not repeating the same statement necklace in every photo.

6. Accessorize

Details, details, details! When planning your cute photoshoot outfits, don’t just stop at the clothes you’re wearing. Often times, it can be the smaller details that tie an outfit together and make it look complete. Additionally, focusing in on smaller detail shots is something I love to do, since these images can help when telling the story of your engagement session.

Jewelry Options

While you obviously have that bling on your finger, consider adding another piece or two of jewelry that complement your outfit. For a bolder look, look for a chunkier statement necklace that can act as the focal point of your outfit. If you prefer dainty jewelry, pair some stud earrings with a thin, subtle necklace or bracelet.
Couple smiling during Coronado engagement session

Shoes

From adorable flats to striking stilettos, there are countless shoe options you probably have in your closet. Shoes have the power to take a casual outfit to a date night worthy outfit, so what’s the best way to pick ones to go along with your engagement picture outfits?

Generally, I suggest having a different pair of shoes for each unique outfit you have during the session. Here’s my basic breakdown of what type of shoe to wear with different photoshoot outfits:

  • Casual (ranging from jeans and tees to sundresses or skirts with cute tops): cute sneakers, flats
  • Semi-formal (jeans + cute top, cocktail dress): dressier flats, high heels
  • Formal (long gown): high heels

Guy Accessories

Personally, I love when guys accessorize! There may not be quite as many ways to do this as ladies have, but there are a couple go-to ideas I see a lot:

  • Watches: This is the perfect time to pair that Citizen watch with a fitted button up for a classy look!
  • Ties and Bowties: If you want to add a pop of color or a fun pattern to your attire, ties and bowties are the perfect way to do this.

7. Classic Trumps Trendy

Sure, you might love that crop top now, but when you look at these photos years from now, will it still be in style? While you can’t plan the entirety of your outfit based on this question, you can choose pieces that have a timeless and classic quality to them.
Classic engagement picture outfits at Balboa Park
For women, that might be a little black dress, cute cardigans, jeans, and black/tan pumps or flats. For men, engagement outfit ideas might include solid color button up shirts, jeans, and black or brown dress shoes.

Overall, think clean lines and form-fitted clothing!

8. Think About Your Location

Sometimes, the location can dictate the types of clothing you should wear. Before getting too attached to your engagement photo outfits, I suggest first determining where you want to take photos. For example, if you’re the adventurous type and want to do a hiking-inspired shoot, formal attire may not be the best option.

9. Consider a Formal Outfit

Remember how I mentioned to mix it up by bringing 2-3 different outfits? Consider having one of them be more formal and going a bit more glam! It’s not everyday that you have your photos taken, and I love it when couples get a little more dressed up for a portion of the shoot.
Formal outfit ideas for engagement pictures
Plus, if you’re planning on getting your hair and makeup done, you might as well put on a black tie worthy dress. :)

10. Rent a Designer Dress

Don’t have a black tie dress (or maybe you’re wanting to wear something new without spending an entire paycheck on it)? Rent one!

Sites such as Rent the Runway have amazing designer dresses that you can rent for a fraction of the price it would cost to buy new engagement photo dresses. This is a great way to channel your inner fashionista and wear a high-end dress you wouldn’t typically get to.

Tip: If you rent a dress, try using it for more than just your engagement photo attire! Plan a romantic date with your man so you can show off that dress a little more!

11. Express Your Personal Style

When thinking through your photoshoot outfit ideas, select articles of clothing that reflect your personal style. While it can be fun to go shopping and pick up the hottest trends, if that’s not your style, don’t feel like you have to wear it!
Beach engagement photos in casual clothes
If your style includes wearing rainbow sandals (fellow rainbow wearer over here!) and rocking the heels is not for you, that’s okay! It’s important that you feel comfortable in your engagement photos outfits – don’t change your style for these photos.

12. Consider the Season

Let the time of the year help dictate what you wear. While some outfits can be worn year round (especially in San Diego where “cold” is 60 degrees), there might be some articles of clothing that work best in certain seasons. Here are some seasonal recommendations:

What to Wear for Summer Engagement Pictures

With the sun shining for days, summer is the time for bright colors and dresses! Don’t be afraid to wear bolder colors for your summer engagement photo outfits, and pair them with some cute strappy sandals.

For guys, try wearing a button up short sleeved shirt (or a long sleeved rolled up part way) with shorts. Sandals can work for a more casual look, and you can both go barefoot if we’re shooting at the beach.

Engagement Picture Outfits for Fall

Personally, my favorite season (though I wish San Diego got to experience the “fall colors”)! Fall typically kick off the holiday season, and even though it doesn’t really cool down much in Socal, you can start wearing warmer clothes for your engagement session to get yourself in that “holiday” mindset.
Couple wearing flannel shirts for fall engagement outfits
If you’re looking for somewhat matching outfits for couples pictures, consider both wearing plaid or flannel shirts for some of the pictures. Mix up your outfit with some seasonal accessories, like lightweight scarves.

Winter Outfits for Engagement Photos

Tis the season to embrace the cold weather! Your winter engagement photo outfits might include cozy sweaters, tall boots, cute beanies, and thick scarves. Wintertime is also great for props! Warm blankets to snuggle in, and umbrellas for rain showers (we won’t let the rain stop us in the middle of a shoot!).

To keep with the festive theme of the holidays, add sparkly pieces to your outfits! A sparkly top for you and a gold tie for your man can class up your look help you get into the holiday spirit.

Engagement Pic Outfits for Spring

As the weather warms back up, mix in some transitional pieces. Cardigans, booties, and blouses with jeans work well for the springtime. Consider wearing pastel or light colored dresses as well.
Spring photoshoot outfit ideas at Balboa Park

13. Look at Past Photos of Yourself

Need an excuse to look at all of your past selfies that are taking up way too much space on your phone? ;) Scan through your photo collection and see what has looked great on you before! This can be an easy way to get inspired and come up with some quick outfits.

14. Consider Every Angle

It’s common to just think about what the front of your outfit looks like, but don’t stop there! When we take photos, you’re going to be photographed from all angles – that’s right, you’re going to work it in front of the camera! :) Tops with low cut backs or strappy designs are perfect to wear and can add just a touch of style to your look.

15. Pick Clothes You can Move in

We’ve already talked about how comfort is key, so this should go without saying. The wardrobe you pick should be something you can actually move around in. If you’re wearing a bodycon dress that you feel like you’re about to bust out of with every step you take, it’s probably not the best thing to wear.
Long dress for photo session under the pier in San Diego
When in doubt, pick clothes that are a bit more flowy rather than ones that are skin tight. Flowy, cute dresses for engagement pictures can look amazing during photo shoots at the beach, especially if they catch a bit of movement from the wind! Plus, if you stopped for lunch before the shoot (California burrito, anyone?), you’ll still have some breathing room in your outfit. ;)

16. Think Through Your Color Scheme

This goes beyond the colors of your outfit and how it ties into your man’s look. If you’re wearing multiple outfits, do they all have a cohesive look? Also, think about the locations and the colors that are there.

While things do not have to match perfectly, they should all look tied to the same shoot. When you print out your engagement photos or create an album, all of the photos should work together to tell a story.

17. Pick a Theme

If you want to mix it up a bit and do more than just pick a color scheme, consider picking an overall theme for the shoot! Maybe there’s a time period you’re inspired by or you have a favorite movie.

Having a theme in mind for the shoot is also a way to make the session more fun, memorable, and unique. Plus, getting to rock engagement photo shoot dresses that have a vintage or retro vibe to them isn’t something you probably wear every day, so it’s a good excuse to bring them out of the closet! Retro outfits for engagement shoot at Liberty Station

18. Choose Interesting Materials and Fabrics

Even if you’re wearing solid colors, that doesn’t mean it needs to be boring! In fact, some super cute engagement photo outfits can be created from completely solid colors.

Find clothes that are made from visually interesting fabrics or materials, such as a dress with intricate lace detailing or a sheer colored top with a solid colored tank underneath.
Semi formal outfit ideas for engagement photos
Your props and accessories can also play into this! Add a little flair with fringe earrings, or class it up with a thin, shiny black belt.

19. Select a Bold Color

Tastefully done, bold colors can look great! A long, red dress for you or a deep blue button up for him can add a nice punch of color into your photos. If you prefer to dress more neutrally but still want a touch of color, try having your accessories help with that. Wear a bold colored necklace or bracelet, or have your fiancé add a pop of color with his tie!  

20. Consider Props

A great way to make the engagement shoot even more personalized to you and your fiance is by incorporating items that are special to you both. Love hockey? Bring your favorite jerseys and hockey sticks! Have wooden letters that are also going to be used in the wedding? Bring them and we can create some save-the-date photos!
Couple wearing hockey jerseys during engagement pictures
If we’re shooting your engagement session at a winery, consider getting a glass of your favorite wine. Not only does this prop fit in perfectly with the environment, but it’s also a great way to help you feel a bit more comfortable in front of the camera!

21. Take Inspiration from Your Wedding

Does your wedding have an overall theme to it? If you’re not sure what to wear for couple pictures, try taking inspiration from your wedding! Here are a couple of examples on how to do that:

  • Black tie wedding: Go glam with your engagement clothing
  • Rustic, DIY wedding: Consider sundresses, plaid button ups, cowboy boots
  • Casual beach wedding: Try flowy dresses (long or short), jeans +cute top, sandals

If your wedding doesn’t have a specific theme to it, you can also get inspired from your wedding colors. Say your main colors are gold, blush pink, and navy – use that color palette when coming up with your couple outfit ideas for the session!

By having engagement photos that are cohesive with the overall look and feel of the wedding day, it can really help to tie the two together. Additionally, if you print and hang wall prints throughout your home from both shoots, they’ll look like they go together, rather than mismatched prints.

FAQ

Here are some common engagement session questions I see come up about the overall outfit look that I wanted to take a moment to address!
Beach engagement session with formal outfits

What about wearing a white shirt and jeans? Should we wear this?

In short, no. Slightly longer answer: Besides this look being very cliche and overdone, it’s not the cutest look. If we’re shooting in the bright sun, white is also prone to getting blown out much easier than other colors.

Should I get my nails done? If so, what color?

Yes! I’ll likely take some detail shots of your engagement ring on your hand, so it’s always nice to have your nails done. If you don’t want to get them professionally done, it’s also fine to paint them yourself. Just be sure they’re not chipped by the time we shoot if you get them done a few days in advance.

Neutral colors and light pinks are safe, classic color choices that typically work with most outfits. You can go bolder with your nail color, though I recommend making sure that it matches with your clothing choices.

Do I have to wear formal (or semi-formal) clothes? Can I just wear casual clothes?

This goes back to your overall personal style and what you feel comfortable in. While I recommend having one outfit that is more formal, if putting on dressy clothes is the bane of your existence, taking a more casual approach to your engagement session is fine!

Final Thoughts

There ya have it! 21 ideas to help inspire what you can wear to your engagement session. If you take anything away from this, let it be this: dress in clothes you feel beautiful and confident in. When you show up feeling this way, it makes the session (and the photos!) 10 times better!

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