What to Wear for Engagement Photos

I have rounded up my best tips to help you choose what to wear for your engagement photos, along with my best tips for preparing beyond the clothes! I often hear that choosing outfits for the engagement photos was harder than choosing the dress! I hope this helps!

what to wear for engagement photos by chattanooga photographer alyssa rachelle photography

Clothing & Shoes

First, consider your location when choosing. Depending on the scenery, a ball gown in a forest could work. Regardless, don’t be afraid to dress it up! Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera. Long-flowy dresses and skirts look especially lovely on camera because of the movement they bring. The twirl or dancing poses have much more life when you are twirling in a dress! For ladies’ shoes, I always recommend closed-toed if opting for heels; it extends the line of the leg all the way down to the toe. But don’t forget a good pair of kick-off flats too. Flats make moving from place to place in between photos much easier!

Guys typically go for layered looks and for a good reason! Layers on men look great on camera! So even when it’s hot outside, trust me that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime. Blazers, vests, and coats up the level of any look. These items will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Make sure the fit of the layers is right though. Tailored suits help create clean lines and draw attention to the face whereas baggier-fit clothes can distract from smiling faces! If you look through most engagement photo albums, guys are usually wearing brown leather dress shoes. Why? They complement just about every look whether he’s wearing a full suit or a blazer and colored pants!


The colors for both fiancées are important to consider too. Softer, lighter, and more muted tones fit perfectly into more natural environments too. We want all the attention to be on your joy-filled expressions! Bold colors and strong patterns often distract from that! Pale pinks and muted blues mixed with lighter neutrals like gray, leather brown, cream, and white are loved by the camera! Lean that way when choosing what to wear! 

Hair & Makeup

For future brides, professional hair and makeup is at the top of most of my clients’ checklists because it looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. No bad hair days here! If you opt for professional makeup, ask your makeup artist if they can do their work on you in natural light. This is the light we photograph in so having your makeup done in natural light ensures it is not too heavy and photographs wonderfully!

Another tip I have picked up through the years of capturing engagement sessions is that it is best to skip the spray tan. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, I recommend that you don’t get a spray tan before your session, even a few days prior, because it tends to photograph orange even when applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph the most beautifully and naturally. And if that skin has a blemish or two, try not to pick or pop before your session! It is much easier to edit a localized blemish if necessary than red irritated skin. For the rest of your beauty regime, natural or neutral nail colors photograph best, and avoid tweezing barely there hairs or trying a new razor just before your session!

Consider all of the above when preparing for your session! Future brides and grooms show up confident and ready for engagement photographs when they have taken time to plan with the above tips in mind!

Here are some other shoots for examples! 🙂

Emily & Ben

Rebekah & Shawn

Kurtisha & Conner

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