FAQ: What to Wear for your Engagement Session ~ Chicago Wedding Photographer

It’s that time of year – when next year’s wedding couples are ramping up for their engagement sessions this fall! And I’m pretty sure the most frequent question I get asked from my couples is…. “What should we wear for our engagement session? Do you have any tips or suggestions?! Help!!”

Each time I write back with pretty much the same info in an email. It wasn’t until I started the FAQ posts that are more geared towards my couples last week that I realized – this is totally something I should have blogged about years ago! (So thanks to Emily for suggesting this topic & kicking me into gear!!)



Here are the tips I send to my couples when they’re trying to decide what to wear for their engagement session… (the same tips hold true for family sessions – FYI!)

1. Most important! Wear something that is “you” and that you feel GREAT in. If you feel confident and comfortable in your outfit – then you will look more confident and comfortable in your photos! It’s as simple as that!

2. Wear something appropriate for the location and time of year you’ve chosen. If you’re doing a shoot at a ranch among hills, trees, and nature – then a fancy dress and heels are probably not really appropriate. I always say to save the dressy-dressy outfits for more urban locations – which tend to lend themselves better to that level of dressiness… while rustic/nature locations tend to work better with more casual clothing. If it’s cold outside – bring a cute jacket, scarf, or mittens! It looks silly trying to pretend you’re not freezing, rather than just wearing something appropriate (and cute) for the weather! 🙂



3. Wear the same level of ‘dressiness’ as your partner. Meaning, if one is in a dress and heels, the other shouldn’t be in shorts and sandals. Enough said! 😉

4. Avoid all white clothing, and avoid all black clothing… neither photograph very well (unless they are textured – like the photo below – or an off-white).

5. Patterns are great! But I suggest if one of you wears a pattern – that the other wear a solid color that is complimentary to the pattern so the photos don’t get too busy.



6. While we’re on the topic of complimentary… There is no need to wear matching outfits or colors! Wear colors that compliment each other, but that don’t match. Please, please, please – no white shirts + blue jeans. No red tops + khaki pants (this isn’t Target). No his & her matching polo shirts. You are individuals so dress as such! 🙂 (I feel like this one is common sense – but I mention it just in case!)

7. Wear layers! Layers always look great in photos and in real life! They add interest and texture to outfits and photos. I’m slowly learning to do this in my own wardrobe as well. If you need inspiration – definitely check out pinterest!



8. Accessorize! Bold, colorful accessories also add a lot of interest to photos…. necklaces, bracelets, belts, scarves, shoes… you name it – bring it!

9. No big logos or words on your clothing. (This is more for kids/family sessions… but I throw it in there just in case again.)

10. If you can’t decide on one outfit – then by all means, bring two! We can do a casual look and a dressier look – and find locations that fit accordingly.

11. Ladies – if you’re going to be wearing mile high heels – make sure to bring a comfy shoe to walk around in if you aren’t comfortable trekking around in your heels. We cover a LOT of ground during engagement sessions – so make sure you’re comfortable in between shots!



12. Ladies (again) – the engagement session is a good time to do a makeup trial for your wedding day! You can see how it looks in person and captured on camera. Also – if you’re up for it – get your hair and nails done! I know I always feel better when I’ve been pampered from head-to-toe, which translates to feeling even more confident and fabulous in your photos. (Of course this isn’t necessary – but if you’re like me and enjoy any excuse to get pampered & made up… then take it and run with it! haha)

13. Relax and have fun! Engagement sessions are low-key and about capturing the two of you as you are – interacting, loving, kissing, laughing… so make sure to bring your smile and be ready to have a great time! 🙂 And again if you need an excuse to hit the town – why not head out for dinner and drinks after the session?! You’re already all done up and ready to go – so why not make a night of it?!



If you want more ideas for engagement session outfits – I’ve started a Pinterest board specifically for this topic – pinning outfits I think work great for engagement sessions! You can check them out here: http://pinterest.com/christytyler/engagement-session-outfit-inspiration/

Let me know if you have any questions!


check out OUR VERY



chicago & worldwide

Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!