Engagement Photos Part 2 - What to Wear

Congratulations on your engagement! In case you missed it, here is part one of the series. It deals with posing tips and how to make the best of your time in front of the camera! Part three talks about what to bring! For location ideas, go here

Now, are you ready to start thinking about things that have never occurred to you before? Like what to wear for photos? Is this necklace the right one for the photo? Should I get my hair trimmed, or should I wait because what if the stylist accidentally cuts out a chunk? 

While I'm rooting for you to make it through the engagement and wedding planning process with as little stress as possible, I know it can be tough at times. It can be so hard deciding what to wear for pictures you know you’ll want to love for the rest of your life.

The pressure…*gasping sounds*...can’t take the pressure!

I hear you. I'm here to help. 

Let’s eliminate some of the guesswork by going over common dos and don’ts I see every day with my engagement sessions.

Timeless Engagement Sessions

Have you ever looked at someone’s wedding or engagement photos and been able to mentally tag the year they were taken? That usually happens when the couple has chosen super trendy clothes, accessories, styling, and makeup. And you know what? That's pretty much ok with me. When I look back at my parents pictures, as your kids will someday look back at yours, there's just no way your clothes will be "in." Unless of course you're old like me and you see past trends coming back... Sadness. I digress. 

However, if trendy is not your cup of tea, that's fine too. 

Because these photos are something you want to love for years and years to come, think about style that is timeless. For men, a simple button-up shirt, suit jacket, and jeans has a timeless, yet not too formal look, that will make for great images.

Of course, it’s harder for women. What do you wear for engagement photos that will still look gorgeous years to come? A simple, floor-length, flowy white dress, without too many frills or sparkles will stand the test of time. It can easily be dressed up with bootie heels, a long necklace, simple and delicate bracelets, and a variety of simple rings. 

Engagement Photos Do's and Don'ts for Women

"I know you’ll look great, but I want you to think so, too." - Tahiry

Do get a well-fitting bra, and find those undies that fit just right and make you feel like a million bucks. They’ll be worth it! In a pinch, you can always run to Target; they have bra extenders that will help if it’s a little snug around the torso. If you're wearing a dress, Nordstrom sells Spanks, you know, those miracle body molding things you wear under dresses - They are life-savers! 

Do avoid too-tight clothes in general, or clothes that aren’t suited to your body type. If you have an area of your body that you’re insecure about, then be sure to wear something that is flattering to that area. For example, I carry a little extra weight around my arms, so I always make sure to wear either no sleeves (cause to heck with it!) or half sleeves if it's cold because it's the most flattering. 

Do treat yo-self and get your hair and make up done before photos. Many brides like to use this as their trial run with their hair + makeup artists before the wedding day. Have your hair professionally styled as you would style it yourself any given day you’d like to look extra, extra nice. Not only will this help the photo be more polished, but it will also mean that you’ll look like you - a really polished you. 

Do get your nails done for really awesome up close shots of you and your love or those super cute ring shots.

Engagement Photos Dos and Don’ts for Men

Do dress up. Or, more importantly, match the level of dressed-up-ness (although a made up word, you get it) of your soon-to-be-spouse.

Do wear a suit jacket, slacks or jeans, a button up shirt, and nice shoes. 

Do bring your favorite crazy tie or bowtie. The crazier the better. 

Do leave the sneakers at home with the cargo shorts (unless you’ve both decided on a super casual shoot, and then we can talk particulars to make sure you have the best possible images).

Do not wear a polo shirt. By the end of the engagement photos, it will be stretched out and out of shape. Trust me on that one.

Do wear a t-shirt if you’re planning on dressing it up with slacks, a vest, and dress shoes.

Do remember that the most important thing you can do in a photo session is make sure your significant other feels supported, loved, sexy, and fabulous! You have a very important role in creating images that will last your lifetime plus. Help make it a memorable and enjoyable experience for you both.

Do remember that I'm not there to make men look cheesy, only extra handsome! 

Clothing Coordination

Try not to match, but rather coordinate. Choose colors that belong together, not the same shade of the same color. The problem with same colors is that they blend together and then instead of two gorgeous people, you’re left wondering whose sleeve that is over there in that part of the photo, or whose arm is that right there.

Engagement photo sessions with me mean that you have time for two outfit changes. So, if you’re ever feeling unsure about your choices, bring several outfits with you and I’ll offer you my recommendations based on the light, the location, and the angles.

Accessories & Layering

If it’s cold outside, then it’s time for layers. We’re at an advantage in the Pensacola area because it’s rarely ever freezing cold. So, we have options for cold weather that are still camera-friendly.

A long-sleeve shirt with a vest, a scarf, with some tights and a midi skirt and heels would be a good option for the ladies. Men, you should be set with a suit jacket, slacks or jeans, and a button up shirt.

If it’s super hot, then think flowy. A cool, flowy dress can be dressed up with a belt, hat, necklaces, bracelets, and heels. For men, maybe wearing a hat with a t-shirt, vest, bowtie, slacks, and dress shoes might be a better solution.

No matter the temperature outside, accessories are your friend. Watches, scarves, hats, necklaces, thick bracelet bands …

Each of these items adds depth to a photo. They add a point of interest by adding detail.


Clothes with patterns are often unnecessarily avoided in photo sessions, but they really shouldn't be!

Do stay away from patterns that are really small because they can really mess with an image, creating something called Moire. Not cool and hard to fix! 

Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and textures. For example, if you have a flowery top that you’d like to pair with a lacy scarf, that’s perfect. It adds depth to your photos in a way that you might not be able to point to, but that your eye will appreciate anyway.

If you’d like to see some examples of beautiful, timeless clothing that might inspire you (careful, this site often inspires me to purchase), then take a look

The Bottom Line

No matter what, my hope is that you love your photos for decades to come and that this article gave you some insight on how to make the most of your engagement session! 

I'm Tahiry (TahitiLike the island) and I specialize in outdoor weddings for my off-beat couples. The ones that aren't afraid to dance in the rain or walk to the beat of their own drum (while getting some good shots of it, too). Sound like you? Let's connect ❤️