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What To Wear: Engagement Photo Session | Harrisonburg Photographer

So you are getting married!  Yay!  Now it’s time to have professional engagement photos taken.  What are you going to wear?!  There are lots of online help so by all means do some searches for inspiration and ideas.  I wanted to just reach out with a few basic hints to get you started in the right direction.


Coordinate not match. You don’t have to be matchy with your fiancé. The colors and patterns should make sense together. They can be in the same color family like dark blue with a lighter blue or complementary colors.  There are lots of examples of this below.

Layers. Adding layers adds texture and interest. Depending on the weather, layers can be practical too. For example: Girls can wear jeans, nice top, splashes of color, statement jewelry and fun shoes/heels. Guys can wear jeans, hip shoes, shirt and tie with a jacket.

Be yourself. Choose clothing and accessories that you feel good in. Clothing that fits you well and you know it looks great. Be mindful of your body type. Knowing your body type and what works for  your shape can help when shopping for the perfect outfit.

If you are going to wear high heels it is good to bring flats for walking from place to place during the session.

No logos or terribly distracting patterns. These can detract from the couple and scream ‘look at my outfit’. We want to focus on you not necessarily your clothing. Simple patterns or solids are best. Solid dark colors are the most flattering for light skin and lighter colors are lovely for those with dark skin.

What not to wear. 

  • Exact matching outfits
  • Tops with big logos or lots of writing
  • Super short skirt or shorts
  • Clothing that is too big because it can make you look bigger than you are.
  • lots of white-it can tend to wash your face out because it reflects so much light into your face.  However if you have dark skin light colors work great to brighten up shadows.

Other ideas. Bring props to add a fun and unique feel to your session. Balloons, save the date or thank you signs, blanket/quilt, hats, scarf, your favorite chair or couch {yes this could take a bit more planning}, anything that is indicative of your relationship.

Your hair & makeup.   Going slightly brighter and a touch heavier with your eyes, cheeks and lips are a good idea since photographs can tone down things a bit. Using matte foundation and powder will diminish shine.  Shiny or sparkly makeup tend to reflect light and can appear as oily. Matte foundation and powder will give you a nice clean look.  I highly recommend using fake eye lashes. I know, I know ‘who wears those right?!”  But believe me they look amazing.  Even using ones from the drug store can look really good. Take a look at my photo here.retro-makeup-molly-whitmore-photography

Take a look at those lashes!  I have very long lashes naturally but it adds a fullness and a really pretty look.  So buy a pair and try it out!  You can also use your session as a trial run for wedding day makeup and hair.  Why not have your trial run for your hair scheduled for the same day as your engagement session?  Of course this will only work if it coordinates with the style for your session.


I love how Michele brought matching props for their  stylized picnic engagement session.



Mixing feminine and dressy lace with cowboy boots is a great way to ‘break the rules’.



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