Winter Bonneville Salt Flat Engagement Session by Destination Wedding Photographer Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

the kap blog

What to Wear for Engagement Photos (updated Feb ’23)

Engagement + Couples, Wedding Wednesday

February 28, 2023



So, you’re engaged, booked your wedding photographer, and now it’s time to plan your for your engagement photos. Nine times out of ten when planning engagement sessions with my couples, I am asked, “what should we wear?!?!?!”. Girl, you don’t have to worry. I am here to help every single step of the way INCLUDING helping you style your session. Here are some of my favorite tips for what to wear to rock your engagement photos.

engagement session at Owl Creek Farms in Temecula, CA

Don’t Be Afraid to Dress It Up

Have you thought about rocking a romantic gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement photos, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new permanent piece to your collection, Rent the Runway is such an affordable way to feel like a million bucks.

Say Yes to the Dress

Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! I mean don’t get me wrong, I love myself a GREAT pantsuit but it has to be juuuuuust the right one.

Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature, like the desert, forest, plains or beach. Consider softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

One or Two? It’s Up to You!

Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Engagement Session in Dallas by Dallas Wedding Photographer

Most of my couples who choose two outfits will bring one “wow” dress, and then another slightly more casual dress that has a “date night” feel. But if you want to bring two “wow” dresses and forgo the more casual dress altogether, give yourself permission to do it! The camera loves runway-esque apparel and so do I!

Choosing Colors

When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones, more muted shades, rich jewel tones, or darker earthy tones. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other.

If you’re having a hard time deciding on a color palette, let the colors of your home inspire you! Since your home is where your images will be displayed, think about the colors that will coordinate well with your home and style of décor. I also like to recommend that my clients consider the Pantone Color of the year as well! Because fashion designers utilize the Pantone Color of the year in their design choices for the coming seasons, making selections from these options will usually result in color choices that are fashionable and on trend. The Pantone website will provide you with an array of coordinating colors and hues!

Playful Joshua Tree National Park Engagement Photos by California Wedidng Photographer Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

Flattering Your Features

In my experience, every woman, regardless of her shape has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about, so recognizing what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos.

Three-quarter length sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along, too. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is a set of slimmer-looking arms.

Heels elongate women’s legs, making them look fabulous. Closed-toed heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show. These little tricks make all the difference!

Quick Tip: Bring a pair of easy-to-kick-off flats to wear when moving from place to place in between photos. Your feet will thank you later!

engagement session in Downtown Encinitas in San Diego by Dallas wedding photographer

Make a Statement

Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not as noticeable on camera.

Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention. Fresh florals in a crown can be a really romantic touch, as well.

Fashion Tips: For Him

Windy Chic Evening Engagement Session in Downtown Dallas by Dallas Wedding Photographer Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

The Best Fit

Long, fitted pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on his handsome face. So, to rock your engagement session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and jeans at home, too, as well as any pants that are loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants or fitted colored pants work best on camera. Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye. I also recommend staying away from graphics and logos.

Layered Looks

Deep Ellum Engagement Session by Dallas Wedding Photographer Kyrsten Ashlay Photography

Next time you walk by a store like J. Crew, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust me when we say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look. If the temperature permits, he could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!

Mix It Up

Many of my guys love to mix a suit coat, blazer or sport coat with a different pant color. It adds some extra visual interest, and breaks up the color tones. I’m a big fan of this fresh take on a timeless classic.

It’s All in the Details

Brown leather dress shoes compliment almost every look, whether he’s wearing a full suit or a blazer and colored pants. Ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any outfit for men. If you bring two outfits to the session, you can start with a traditional necktie and belt, then switch to suspenders and a bow tie for your second look. If two looks are too stressful, no problem! One will do the trick! You can still mix and match accessories to compliment both of her dresses without doing a full change during the session. So, either way, it’s a win.

There you have it–what to wear to for engagement photos and look like a million bucks! If you want even more tips on what to wear for engagement photos, be sure to check out my Pinterest board filled with outfit inspiration! Are you recently engaged? Do you want a unique engagement sessions experience catered to you and your love?! Fill out the contact form today and let’s start planning!

  1. […] you have it–five tips to rock your engagement session! In case you missed my prior post here is a quick guide on what to wear to rock your engagement session! So, you’re recently engaged and want a unique engagement sessions experience catered to you […]

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