Because I offer an engagement shoot to all of my couples as part of every package, I’m often asked “What should we wear for our pre-wedding shoot?” Now, as someone who has to run each outfit past his wife to check that I’m not going to look even more ridiculous than usual, I’m guessing that you don’t want my fashion advice. So, here are 7 general tips on what you should wear for your engagement shoot:

  1. Wear what YOU wear
  2. Complement each other, but don’t match!
  3. Don’t wear your high-vis jacket
  4. Think about your choice of location
  5. Bring an accessory (or two)
  6. Avoid big logos and labels – aim for a classic look
  7. Dress for the season

Wear what You wear

I usually tell my couples to imagine that they’re going out for a nice dinner, and to dress accordingly. Now, if that usually means that you wear a ball gown and a dinner jacket, then we go to very different restaurants. But that’s fine, because it’s YOU. However, if you’re more of a jeans and nice top kind of person (like me), then brush off your best jeans and that top that makes you feel good about yourself, and wear those! The most important thing is to feel comfortable and happy in what you’re wearing.

Complement each other, but DON’T match

Ok, it would look weird if one of you is in a ball gown and the other is wearing jeans and a baseball cap. But, trust me, it looks even weirder if you’re wearing ‘his n hers’ jumpers, or even matching patterns. Matching colours can look a bit odd too, and can happen by accident. So think about both your outfits, lay them out on the bed side by side and see whether they look right together.

Don’t wear your high-vis jacket

That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but don’t go for neon yellows or luminous greens. A strong colour in isolation is ok, and can make a statement, but otherwise I would suggest sticking to neutral colours or soft pastels.

Think about your location

A practical note here: a contrast between your outfit and your location can look great. Wearing a dress and a suit in a woodland setting will look awesome in the photos. Just bear in mind that you’ll have to walk through that location, and you may want to bring something other than your best shoes to do so. It’s why I leave my Boss suits at home when I’m shooting on location!

Sarah & Daniel Engagement Shoot at Robin Hood's Stride in Derbyshire

Bring an accessory (or two)

Wearing a scarf, or a chunky necklace, or a stylish bag is a great idea. It means that we can swap these in and out of your photos during the shoot, and change your look subtly between images. Guys can wear different layers of clothes: just taking off the jacket for a few shots can change the mood and tone of the image completely.

Avoid big logos and labels – aim for a classic look

Aim for a look that’s timeless, rather on trend right now, and certainly avoid t-shirts or jumpers with large logos on them. In years to come, you’ll want to look back on these photos and not be embarrassed by a brand or a certain fashion. Shell-suit, anyone?

Dress for the season

A winter engagement shoot calls for a different wardrobe to a summer shoot. Don’t be afraid to bundle up in the winter or autumn, but don’t be surprised if I ask you to ditch the big coat for a few shots either! Your choice of season will probably feed directly in to our choice of location too, so that may factor into your style choices.

Whatever you decide to wear, just remember that the most important thing about the engagement shoot is that it should reflect the two of you as a couple. And that whatever you’re wearing, you’ll still probably be more fashionable than me!

I’m Jon and I’m a wedding photographer based in Derby, covering weddings across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and around the UK. I chose to specialise in weddings because each one is unique and special to the couple. If you’re getting married and would like to know more, get in touch!

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