You’ve popped the question and you and your partner are officially getting married! Now you get to plan one of the first steps in your wedding process, your engagement session. This is the perfect time to celebrate this time in your life and get the perfect pictures for your wedding materials, but what are you supposed to wear?
If you’re like most people, this may be the first time you’ve gotten professional photos taken and you want to make sure they are perfect. Well, no worries. As a photographer myself, I have captured countless engagement sessions over the years and have a ton of engagement outfit ideas for couples.
So, let’s take a look at some of my top tips for picking out your outfit as well as some engagement outfit ideas for couples!
Tips for Picking the Perfect Outfit
Consider the Season and Location
First and foremost, you want to consider what season it is when you’re thinking about your outfit. This is going to dictate a lot about what you can or can’t wear so you want to plan this out first. You also want to think about the actual location of your engagement session.
For example, if you are planning engagement photos in Central Park in December, you’re probably not going to want to wear short sleeves or a sundress. On the flip side, a full suit might get really uncomfortable in the middle of summer.
The location of your actual session also plays a role in the perfect outfit for you and your partner. If you’re going to be inside for the whole session, you have a bit more flexibility in what you can wear because you don’t have to worry about the weather.
The locations also affect things like patterns or colors you can wear and even the types of shoes you should wear. In general, you want to try to avoid any distracting patterns but you also want to make sure you don’t blend in with the background.
This means if you’re going to be taking pictures in front of brownstones, you may want to wear something that has a bit more color or pop to it to stand out. Or if you’re going to be out in a garden, you might want to avoid floral patterns in your clothes.
Also think about what you are going to be during your session. If you’re going to be walking a lot or maybe walking along cobblestone streets, heels could get a bit uncomfortable throughout the session.
Think about How Casual or Formal You Want to Go
Next, think about how casual or formal you want to go with your photos. There is no right or wrong answer to this and it is really based on you and your partner’s preferences.
If you are used to dressing up a bit more and love putting on a nice outfit, absolutely go a bit more formal and have fun with it. But, if you feel uncomfortable in formal clothes or feel like you are going to be really stiff, go a bit more casual with it.
At the end of the day, these photos are for you and your partner first. They are meant to capture this amazing time in your lives and show you and you are right then and there. So be sure that whatever route you choose, it feels truly authentic to you and you are totally comfortable with it!
Decide How Many Outfits You Want to Wear
You should also think about how many outfits you want to wear. For my clients, I generally let them change once during the session so they can have two different looks to get a bit of variety.
This can also allow you to have some outfits that are a bit more formal and some that are a bit more casual. You can also use layering to create different looks without actually having to change your outfit.
Jackets and button-ups are great options for your engagement sessions because they give you a ton of flexibility and variety without any effort. Let’s take a look at what you can do with a simple pants and t-shirt combo.
For a more casual look, you can opt for no other layers, or maybe throw on a flannel or a jean jacket. For a more formal look, you can put on a blazer and the outfit is instantly elevated with no effort at all.
I love having the options of two different outfits or using layering to create different looks and it gives you so many options for photos that you can use!
Make Sure You and Your Partner Are on the Same Page
This is a crucial step right here. You and your partner need to make sure that you are on the same page. This means you both know how formal or casual you are going to go, but also things like the colors you are going to wear.
Obviously we can all see how off it would look if one person is in shorts and the other is in a full suit or gown, but colors also play a huge role. You want to find clothes and colors that complement each other (but don’t necessarily need to match).
This can mean one of you having accents in your outfit that match the color of your partner’s outfit. Or, one of you can wear a more neutral colored outfit and one can wear one with a bit more color.
Ultimately, you want to make sure that your outfits aren’t competing against each other or stand out to the point that it is almost distracing!
Pick Clothes You are Totally Comfortable In
Finally, you absolutely want to be comfortable in the outfits that you wear. If you don’t feel comfortable in what you are in, odds are you will be able to see that in the photos and that is not what you are going to want.
This can mean picking something that you already have in your closet and know that you are going to feel good in. Or, if you do want to buy a new outfit for the session, make sure you try it on and move around in it a bit.
Then, when it comes to the day of your session, you won’t be worried about constantly adjusting your outfit throughout the shoot or feel like you can’t actually move around like you need to.
Engagement Outfit Ideas for Couples
Casual Outfit Ideas
If you think the casual route sounds like a better fit for you and your partner, there are so many options for you. A classic look can be something like a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt.
You can also play around with layers to add some extra depth to your outfits or to have a few different looks throughout the session. Things like flannels, button-ups, jean jackets, or a casual sweater are all great options.
Accessories like beanies or scarves can also add to your outfit while keeping your look casual.
If you want something that is leaning a bit to the formal side while still being casual, you go with something like khakis with an untucked button-up or a shorter sun dress. Generally (although not always) you’ll find that the more casual outfits are going to be ones that are a bit looser and less form fitting.
For shoes, you can never go wrong with sandals, plain sneakers, or some casual boots. You can always add in some small jewelry like watches or necklaces to pull the outfits together too!
Formal Outfit Ideas
When it comes to more formal outfits, you are generally going to find that these are the outfits that will be a bit more tailored and form fitting. Layers work really well when it comes to formal outfits and can help make your look feel more elevated and put together.
The classic route for these outfits could be suits or more formal dresses (as compared to sundresses). But, just like casual outfits, there are also levels to these options that can make them feel more or less formal.
Let’s say you do want to wear a suit, you can opt for a tie or no tie. You can accessories with a pocket square. You can also layer even more and add a sweater over your shirt to give you the flexibility to wear a blazer for a more formal look or take it off for a slightly more casual look.
If you don’t love the idea of wearing a dress, you could go for a pant/skirt and button up combo. Keeping those pieces more neutral colors gives you the flexibility to add some pops of colors with your layers.
For a bit less formal option, you can layer your outfit with a nice leather jacket and for a more formal look, you can grab a long overcoat instead.
When it comes to your shoes, boots, heels, and dress shoes are always great options. You can also add in some nicer accessories like earrings, necklaces, bracelets, cufflinks, and watches to add that extra element to your outfit.
Final Thoughts on Engagement Outfit Ideas for Couples
Hopefully these engagement outfit ideas for couples helps you and your partner pick out the perfect outfits for this session. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you and your partner are comfortable and confident in what you are wearing.
Whether that is a totally formal outfit or your favorite go-to outfit in your closet, this is what is going to bring out the best of you in the photos and give you memories that you will love looking back on.
Now all you need is the perfect photographer to capture this special moment in your lives. If you are still looking for that person, I’d love to chat. Being able to show your unique bond and the love that you share is one of the things I love the most about engagement sessions.
You can head over here to learn more about all of my photography services or get in touch to talk about how we can capture your perfect engagement session together!