Engagement Shoot Style Guide

So booked your wedding photographer, you’ve set a date for your engagement shoot and three months later, it’s here. Now let’s be real- you’ve been planning your outfit in your head and on your pinterest board for those whole three months. It’s okay, I did too, we’re just SOO excited to have beautiful pictures with our soon to be husband we want to look AMAZING. And not only do you have to worry about what you’re going to wear you also have to worry about what HE is going to wear. Now there are some men out there that are pretty good at dressing but probably more men out there that just don’t care. ‘What do you mean you’re wearing a hoodie and tennis shoes?!’ And even if he does look like he stepped out of GQ you still have to compliment each other. And we haven’t even addressed hair and make up yet!! Oh man this is getting stressful. Okay CALM DOWN.  We’re going to figure out how to break this down to make it not only stress free but FUN AND EXCITING!


Hard Rule 1- two people should NOT both wear patterns. You’ll either match in a very strange matchy matchy vibe or completely clash. If one you HAS to wear a pattern, keep it to one person. I prefer the lady to wear the pattern, but sometimes you have to let the guy have a win. Let’s face it, they really don’t want to be doing this in the first place.

Avoid wearing white. Period. White washes people out, absorbs other colors and other problems.

Hard Rule 2 – No logos or writing on your clothing. And although this isn’t a hard rule I would recommend avoiding sleeveless shirts. Depending on the person, sleeveless doesn’t tend to flatter a person’s arms.


1 Choose clothing in the same level of formality. The lady shouldn’t be in a long dress standing next to cargo shorts and tennis shoes.

2 Accessories! Belts, watches, jewelry, hats, headbands, etc.

3 Layers! Sweaters, jackets, scarves etc will give more depth to your outfit as well a one piece of your outfit having a pop of color.

4 Find a color palette and choose your outfits based off of those colors.

5 Fitted clothes. Not overly tight or baggy. Fitted is the most complimentary on people. So hide his baggy jeans ladies and go buy a pair of nice pants or jeans.


Last but not least, the biggest tip I can give you ladies for your engagement shoot is to get your hair and make up professionally done. Not only will this make you feel extremely confident and more relaxed for your shoot but your make up artist knows how much to apply for a photo shoot and can make sure it won’t go anywhere if it’s 98 degrees and high humidity or a sudden rainstorm.

These are just a few out of many tips for dressing for your engagement shoot. If you feel like you want more information get on Pinterest or google engagement photo shoot style guides to help you narrow down your outfits for that special day!


Rachel McDowell

Hi! My name is Rachel (Snyder) McDowell and I am a Grand Rapids, MI based wedding and portrait photographer. I love all things animals, reading, ballroom dancing (though I never leave out just a good 'ol get down and boogy). I can't wait to talk to you about your vision for your wedding! Photographer. Scared to blog. Ballroom dance instructor with stage fright. Grew up as a missionary kid in Haiti and dreams to someday live on a boat.