What to Wear to Your Engagement Photoshoot

A Wardrobe Guide to Each Season

In this blog, we’ve collected ideas, inspiration and our wardrobe formula to help you choose outfits for your fall, spring, summer or winter engagement shoot. 

Let’s Solve Your Wardrobe Stress:

  • Engagement ring – check!
  • Telling your friends and family – check!
  • Booking your engagement photos – check!

Now, you have to decide what to wear. You want to look and feel amazing in your engagement photos, but you’ve been having a hard time deciding what clothes you (…and your partner) should wear to your engagement shoot. You’ve searched Pinterest, scouted out your friends’ photos on Instagram, asked your mom – but now you feel like you just have a bunch of idealistic visions to live up to. 

That’s so much pressure, and getting ready for your engagement shoot shouldn’t feel stressful! 

At Morning Light Photography, we know how much pressure is already on you to plan a wedding – planning your engagement photoshoot shouldn’t cause you extra stress! We are committed to helping our clients feel amazing about their shoot and the photos they get from it. We wanted to put this wardrobe guide together to help make the outfit decision easy-peasy lemon squeezy! 

Here’s how we want you to read this:

  1. Read through the article
  2. Decide which season appeals most to you (or find the season you’ve already booked an engagement shoot for)
  3. Write down the words, colours, ideas that appeal most to you

When you’ve done that, you’re going to have a much clearer vision of what vibe to curate for your photos, from clothes, to accessories to themes. You can funnel all new ideas through that filter, so that you don’t keep having to juggle multiple visions. 

And, for those of us who can never choose just one look, we get it – that’s why we welcome our clients to bring two outfit changes to their engagement shoot! That way, you can either see which style you like best in your photos, or you can have two different styles for two different uses. 

(We’ve written a blog about the different ways you can use your engagement photos right here.)

Have You Booked Engagement Photos Yet?

There’s no pressure to follow an exact timeline here. We just recommend getting them done within 3-9 months of your wedding so you have time to get them back, use them at your wedding and also reflect on them; afterall, engagement photos are a nice way to try things out before the wedding. 

(For example, do you like being photographed with your hair down or up? Do you like your wedding photographers? Do you need some time to practice being photographed?)

Engagement photos are also great because they’re an opportunity to capture this really exciting, fleeting moment in your story together. We’ve written more about how to rock your engagement photo shoots right here if you want to learn more. 

Whether you have a fall engagement shoot, a winter engagement shoot, a spring or summer shoot, we’ll help you decide what you need to look and feel your best. 

Our Simple Wardrobe Formula:

We’re almost ready to dive in, but first, if you’re the kind of person who loves a plain and simple formula to follow we’re going to give it to ‘ya straight: 

 Colour + Style + Comfort = the perfect photoshoot outfit. 

That’s right. Choose colours that compliment each other. Choose styles that complement each other. And absolutely, without a doubt, most importantly – BE COMFORTABLE. Style is never worth the price of: 

  • Scratchy materials that will give you hives
  • That trendy-baggy look that leaves you adjusting your shirt the entire time
  • A dress that forces you to wear that bra that pinches you 

You need to feel like you can move and stand naturally at your photoshoot – not holding your breath, not constantly fixing that drooping tank top strap, or wishing you had brought shoes you could walk in. 

From our years of experience, we also have a few helpful tips of “what not to wear”: 

  • Neon colours because they will cast a hue on your face 
  • Too much bright red because it doesn’t usually show well in photos 
  • Make sure the two of you aren’t too matchy-matchy (ie. 90s family photo, white-t-shirts tucked into your jeans)
  • Something you don’t feel comfortable moving around in (ie. if you’re wondering about a short skirt, maybe go for a lengthier option if you are planning to sit on the beach, if it’s windy outside, or if you want to get some piggy back shots) 

If you’ve talked to us before, you’ll know that our usual go-to is soft colours and neutrals, so we can create that light and airy effect in the golden hour sunshine.  

Okay, with that last word of advice, let’s get your vision board started! 

  • What to Wear to Your Fall Engagement Photos:

Fall is all about earthy tones, and portraying your romance as a warm and cozy kind of love. Of course in the fall, the colours are incredible when the leaves change colour so we find outdoor photos are a great option. Although we also love going to a warm cafe (maybe where you had your first date) to capture those cappuccino tones. 

Here’s our quick fall-photo cheat sheet:

  • Biggest Selling Feature: Fall leaves 
  • Favourite Activities or themes: jumping in the leaves, going for a hike, sipping a hot drink at Balzac’s
  • Colour Palette: Golden hues and earthy tones (coppers and golds, camel-browns, wheat-yellows, rusty oranges, sage greens, charcoal greys …  and oh, those gorgeous off-whites – beiges, creams). The single tone beige outfit has really come back, and we find it looks really great at the end of fall and beginning of winter. 
  • Fall Fabrics: vegan suede or leather if you like the brown tones, or knits, cashmere, flannel, dark denim (dark blue or black) if you like that soft and cozy look. 
  • Favourite Things: Cute leather booties, fedora-brim hats (we LOVE these ones), sweater dresses, blanket scarves, sherpa jackets, 
  • Top Locations in Niagara: The Niagara Glen, Ball’s Falls, Balzac’s 
  • Outfit Inspo: We love some of these ideas from Everlane’s 2020 collection:  
  • What to Wear to Your Winter Engagement Photos:

Some couples stay away from winter engagement photo sessions, but we actually love them. When it’s warm and the sun is out, it’s impossible to stay indoors. But when the weather is cold, it’s more tempting to stay inside – and indoor photos mean you can do a lot more with backgrounds and props. Do you and your partner love to cook? Head to the kitchen for your shoot! Plus any opportunity to wear off-white and burgundy in front of some evergreen trees? You can sign me up.

Here’s your winter wardrobe cheat sheet:

  • Biggest Selling Feature: Snow
  • Favourite Photo Activities or Themes: Ice skating, winter walks, sitting by a fireplace
  • Colour Palette: You have a few more options with this season, depending on where they fall before Christmas. If you want darker winter colours without relying on those Christmas-plaids, then go for the jewel tones – emerald greens, mustard yellows, deep pinks and mulled-berry mauves. If you want that lighter, more minimalist palette consider soft whites, dove greys, champagne pinks and navy blues. 
  • Winter Fabrics: Winter is such an amazing season to bring different textures into your photos: velvet dresses, silky ties or lamé sweaters if you like a little shine and shimmer. Or for that soft cozy feel, you can pull together wooly mittens, or chunky cable-knit sweaters or a soft flannel. We’ve seen some people pull off the fleece and fur look too, especially in the snow! And if you want to get really dressed up, tulle is never out of the question either, no matter what season. 
  • Favourite Things: A little sparkle (whether it’s a shiny new watch or a statement necklace), champagne glasses, hipster toques, winter vests, jeans and a bobble-stitch sweater, holding hands in mittens,
  • Top Locations in Niagara: Wayne Gretzky Skating Rink, downtown Jordan Village or Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake, or The Commons (evergreen trees!)
  • Outfit Inspo: How about this combination from Banana Republic:

     

  • What to Wear to Your Spring Engagement Photos:

Unlike the simpler, snowy white backgrounds in winter, spring blooms into a complete outdoor palette. Bright greens, pinks, purples and sweet yellow are on display, so we recommend keeping it fresh and simple with your outfits. Spring is when the world emerges from a months-long hibernation, and brings to mind lightness, optimism, and sweetness. If those words resonate with you, then definitely book your session in spring, and use our guide below to create your look! 

Here’s your spring session cheat sheet:

  • Biggest Selling Feature: Blossoms (magnolias, peach blossoms, gardens) 
  • Favourite Photo Activities or Themes: Walking through orchards, picnics in the park, going strawberry picking 
  • Colour Palette: Blush pinks, baby blues, floral patterns, whites 
  • Spring Fabrics: If you like that neat, fresh spring look, we recommend cotton, denim and chambré dress shirts. But you can also dress it up into a more ethereal spring look with lace, chiffon blouses, tulle and voile skirts, or full-length georgette gowns (for that billowing in the wind look)
  • Favourite Things: trench coats, white t-shirts and high-waisted jeans, linen-wrap dresses, a convertible, a bouquet of flowers, picnic baskets, silk neck scarves 
  • Top Locations in Niagara: The Commons in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Botanical Gardens, 
  • Outfit Inspo: The Dori linen dress from Linenfox

This simple outfit from Everlane

  • What to Wear to Your Summer Engagement Photos:  

Ahhh, summer. It’s a popular time for engagement photos for a reason! The warm weather and long days mean we can make the most of that dreamy golden hour light. Think light and soft for a summertime shoot. It is such a fun time to channel your future bride and don a long flowy white dress. And almost as important as what you wear is what you will bring – blotting papers and water bottles should be the first thing you pack to handle that summertime heat! 

Here’s your summertime-fine cheat sheet:

  • Biggest Selling Feature: Sunsets and water 
  • Favourite Photo Activities or Themes: Wandering in a field/meadow, strolling down the beach, walking through the vineyards (especially if you can get a wine-tasting out of it!) 
  • Colour Palette: For much of the summer, light colours are excellent – whites, soft yellows, dusty blues, apricot orange or peachy pinks. We often find as the end of August/September hits, our clients start going a shade darker for that Tuscan feel – terra cotta browns, rosey pinks, beige-white, even darker greys like charcoal. Lighter- colour denim blends well in both ends of summer too. 
  • Summer Fabrics: Think light fabrics that can blow in the breeze and keep you cool in the hot sunshine. Poplin or light cotton sundresses, sheer blouses, gauzy skirts and light muslins and linens. 
  • Favourite Things: Floppy sun hats, strappy sandals, denim shorts, Keds, off the shoulder tops, splashing on the beach, flowers in your hair, long dresses with a slit, loose waves, 
  • Outfit Inspo: A summery outfit from Roolee

Simple summer outfit from Duer

Conclusion:

Now that you’ve gotten a rundown on the special features of each season, what one feels right to you? More casual? Or Elegant? (Or would you want to bring two outfit changes?) If you’re drawn to more than one, consider picking one for your engagement photos, and scheduling your wedding for your other favourite season! That way you will get treasured photos of you and your love in multiple seasons. 

Once you put your look together, feel free to reach out and run it by us! After 6+ years as photographers and hundreds of thousands of photos (yes really that many!), we have a pretty good sense of what looks great on camera. You want to look and feel your best at your engagement shoot, and if you’re reading this it means you’re already on your way there! Doing some research and finding what suits you and your partner best is what will yield the best results. 

P.S. Want to read more articles about your upcoming engagement photos? Check out our other articles: 

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