WHAT TO WEAR: A STYLE GUIDE FOR YOUR ENGAGEMENT SHOOT

mammoth lakes wedding photographer

Chances are if you’re reading this you are recently engaged and looking for help planning your engagement shoot! First off I want to offer a warm “Congratulations!” I am so glad you’re here. The process of planning your elopement or intimate wedding is ahead of you and you are not alone in this! This blog post is full of resources to help with planning your engagement shoot. Engagement photos are not just about getting all dressed up and having a fancy photo shoot. They are more about crafting an experience for us to take photos together that reflect the true YOU. Images that will hold lifetime memories that you can cherish together.

mammoth lakes elopementCan I let you in on a little secret? I LOVE to shoot engagement sessions! It gives you and I more time to spend together and get to know each other before your big day. One of the most common questions couples ask me is: What do we wear for our engagement shoot? I think there can be a lot of stress trying to think about how to dress based on what you’ve seen other people do. Like there is a Right and a Wrong way, right? Well, no! If you show up as yourself and are ready for a good time, I believe you can’t go wrong. With that in mind here are a few suggestions that might make your planning process smoother. Use these suggestions with the above sentiment in mind—we are crafting an experience that reflects YOU. Now dive in.

1. JUST BE YOU

Try to be yourself! If you are feeling comfortable and being yourselves, it will reflect in the photos. The whole reason for having an engagement session is to capture your real personalities and your relationship together. If you both are a jeans kind of couple, wear jeans! Wear something that defines you at your best! And you can always bring the jeans outfit and a fancier outfit if you want to express yourselves with both styles.

2. COORDINATE, BUT DON’T MATCH

There’s no doubt that couples want their engagement photos perfect! One thing you should always keep in mind is not to match your outfits too closely. Unless this reflects you two and your humor, then I say go for it. But there is a way to dress similar without being identical. You two can plan for different color outfits from the same palette. So, If one of you is wearing a turquoise blue dress, then the other can wear a turquoise blue tie or shirt that will complement their dress and will not look too matchy!

mammoth lakes elopement photographer

Protip: I have a pinterest board that gives examples of color pallets to dress with. You can find my pinterest page here.

3. DRESS ACCORDING TO LOCATION

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If you want to get stunning images, you can also consider dressing according to our location. Think about where we will be having our shoot and what colors are naturally present. We want to avoid blending in with the scenery. If we are shooting in a more forested area with a lot of greens and browns, I recommend choosing colors to complement those. Selecting reds and blues would be a great option. Are we wandering around in the desert of Southern Utah? Choose those blues, greens, and yellows. If you have your pictures in a city, bright colors with a good dress will help you stand out in the photos! Whatever the situation is, be creative and rock your session!

4. SIMILAR STYLE VIBES

Whatever you are planning to wear for your shoot, it is nice to look alike. For instance, if you are going for a formal look, go all in. If one of you is wearing a fancy dress the other should meet the level of dress wear. Your clothes should give a similar vibe. Again, the more confident you feel the better the photos will feels so avoid wearing something that you don’t want to be in!
zion national park engagement session

5. COLORS AND SEASON

Seasons are significant for the color selection of your engagement clothes. How? Let’s say it’s a fall—what colors will complement the fall season? Colors that give a rustic vibe. Like beige, brown, and red, most likely. What about the spring season? Something that gives a happy-go-lucky vibe. Like, bright and colorful dresses. For summers, most probably light and soothing colors that do not look off in harsh sunlight and also give a relaxed vibe! Lastly, in winters, you can choose to all dark and vibrant colors!
mammoth lakes engagement session

6. DIFFERENT OUTFITS

This option depends on your choice and mood. Some people prefer to get their session done in a single outfit. But, some couples like to add an element of creativity in their photos. For such purposes, you can start with a formal shoot and then switch to the casual one. It will bring variety to your photos!
mammoth lakes engagement shoot

7. DRESS UP 


• For Her—This tip may seem to conflict with tip#1. But, in the end, it’s your decision what you wear. I’m just offering ideas for you to take or leave. If you feel more comfortable in loose and comfy dresses, wear that! This is your engagement session! If you want the chance to get all fancy and feel glamorous, let’s do it. If the thought of being in front of a camera wearing a dress stresses you out, then don’t! You can wear anything you want, from long flowy maxi to tulle skirts to slacks.
• For Him—Men, y’all look GOOD and dapper in well-tailored suits. Don’t hesitate to have one before your engagement shoot. Most of the women’s dresses go well with solid colors like Grey and Navy blue. Also, let’s talk shoes. Brown leather looking shoes pair well with most outfits. But I also understand if you’re more of a Converse kinda person. 😉
• For Them—The suggestions remain the same. I want you to dress and feel 100% yourself. What makes you come alive? How do you like to dress? Wear whatever makes you feel the the badass you are. That can be from the suggestions above or something completely different. I’m here for it.

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8.  ADD SOME ACCESSORIES

Adding accessories to the outfit will be like a cherry on top! It can help photos pop and add a little sparkle to them. Women can add extra jewelry items or blazers. And men can add ties, pocket squares, belts, and even watches that match their outfits.

9. AVOID LOUD BRAND NAMES

Try not to be a running advertisement for a particular brand in your engagement photos. That will not look cool but distracting and tacky in photos. So, try your level best to avoid loud brand names.

10. HAVE FUN

 Engagement sessions are all about celebrating you two as a couple. All that matters is the fun and romantic moments you have spent together. So, don’t miss the fun element. I will take care of the rest!
mammoth mountain wedding
In the end, we hope that the above guide will give you some direction and will help you in planning your outfit for an engagement shoot. But, no matter how brilliant you’ve dressed and the fancy location you choose. All that matters is how happy and content you are together! I look forward to shooting you two and having so much fun in the process. Want learn more about the engagement sessions I offer?

Shoot me an inquiry and I’ll share even more juicy details with you.

mammoth lakes elopement

  1. There are so many helpful tips for what to wear in this blog post! I loved your point about not matching too much unless that is true to the relationship. Beautiful images as well!

  2. Samantha says:

    OKAYYYYY this blog post is INCREDIBLE!! You included some hella good tips that are often overlooked and paired your advice with some KILLER images!!! Love, love, love!

  3. Sienna says:

    This is really helpful for newly engaged couples! Love the tip for them to just be themselves; that is so important to be able to document them as they are!

  4. Stacy Garfield says:

    Such helpful tips for engagement sessions! I especially love that tip about matching the landscape. The images are beautiful and will give people lots of wonderful ideas for how to dress for their engagement photos, so they will love their photos even more.

    • Jaymie Shearer says:

      Thank you Stacy!!! There are so many lovely locations around Mammoth. Working with the natural colors is always a good move.

  5. Heather says:

    Thank you for putting this together! Awesome tips– and I LOVE your images…wow! <3

  6. Raelin says:

    Thank you for encouraging folks to be themselves AND showing it in the engagement photos you’ve done. Everyone’s personalities really shine through so it’s encourages me to also be myself! I think the tip to plan your outfits according to the location is also another favorite, that really makes the photos stand out!

  7. Rebekah de la Fontaine says:

    This is so good! So helpful for couples wanting help with choosing their outfits. I think the number 1 tip is the most important! And I am glad you brought it up! Ultimately–be you! If you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, then you’ll look super confident in photos1

  8. Shanna says:

    Great tips! I agree – make sure you’re comfortable! Doesn’t matter how beautiful the dress is, if you’re uncomfortable in it you won’t have fun. Thanks for putting this guide together!

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