What to Wear for Engagement Photos?

What To Wear For Your Engagement Photos

I just recently had my engagement pictures taken in Chicago and for months ahead of time I was thinking about what would be the right outfit to wear for my pictures. I knew we would be in the city for part of the pictures and the other part would be taken by the lake.  I’m going to fill you in with my thoughts on how to pick the right outfit and show you examples from my own shoot as well as little hints and suggestions for the pictures overall.


Pictures in the City

When I envisioned pictures in the city, I saw myself wearing a short black dress which flares out and my fiancé either in a full suit or a shirt and tie. I ended up going with a black dress I found from Lulu’s which had a partially open back with a pretty cool design which made the dress less “simple” and added something fun. I think solid colors work the best because the background is so busy – big buildings, busy streets and cars, so you don’t want to have a dress with a pattern that makes the picture even busier and loses the dress or outfit in the background. I think great options for city pictures during warm months would be a little red dress or a little white dress. Other colors can work well but I envision those as working the best with the background as all those colors – black, white and red will definitely pop out. The solid colors will help both of you be the focus of the picture even with the bustling city behind you. As far as accessories go, try to stick to classy and elegant pieces such as dainty earrings and necklaces, not to take away from your ring which should be the main accessory in the pictures.

A suggestion that has nothing to do with your outfit but everything to do with how your pictures will turn out is – if you want your pictures to be free of people in the background, get up before sunrise and make it to your location as the sun is coming up. This is especially important if you are getting your pictures done at a big tourist attraction. We had to get to Millennium Park at 5 in the morning in order to get pictures with no tourists in the background and as painful as it was to get up at 3 am and get ready – it was totally worth it as our pictures are just the two of us and no one else.

Pictures by Water

In my case, knowing we would be taking pictures by Lake Michigan, I knew I wanted to have a flowy maxi dress and with it being summer, I wanted something floral. I found a white maxi with a slit at Forever 21 and it turned out to be perfect for the occasion. It was a more relaxed look that still has an elegance to it that goes well for both engagement pictures and enjoying time near the water.  While I absolutely love how our pictures turned out and would recommend other girls to wear flowy dresses or skirts for pictures near water – be warned that it is windier and you have to be careful with your outfit, or you’ll end up flashing your photographer and whoever else is around.

We had pictures taken by Navy Pier so our pictures “by water” also have some city feel to them.


Pictures in a Park

The recommendations for pictures in a park vary by season. Park pictures in the summer I recommend bright clothing (not green, or you’ll blend with the background) such as yellow, pink or sky blue as those colors would look great with the green background. For fall pictures I would definitely recommend plaid (I know, very original) and to avoid the colors that could be in the trees such as yellow, orange and red. Fall is actually a great time to wear green for the pictures and colors like purple or navy blue.

Definitely consider scarves as an added accessory as it can really make an outfit stand out. A leopard print scarf with a green top is at the top of my suggestion list as that would look gorgeous with a fall background of red, orange and yellow leaves. For spring pictures a paisley scarf or one with just white and blue design would look great with a fresh green background.


Additional Advice

A piece of advice that my photographer shared with us during our pictures when we were discussing winter engagement photos is that although they are very beautiful and snow makes a great backdrop for pictures, keep in mind that your cheeks and your nose can become red due to you being cold and make it very hard for the photographer to edit and make the pictures look good. With that being said, if you are set on winter engagement pictures make sure you have cute outerwear such as a red flared out pea coat that would look great against a white background.

Remember, engagement pictures don’t have to be done as soon as you get engaged. I would pick whatever season you envision your pictures in and the location and go from there. Consider getting them done in a different city, one that inspires you or one that has specific background that you would like in your pictures. We aren’t from Chicago, yet we wanted pictures done in a big city that also had water as well. So we made the trip and had our pictures done there and love how it turned out.

Don’t limit yourself.

Also, in case you are wondering, our photographer was Claudiu Voichin and he did an absolutely amazing job with our photos.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Sonia G. says:

    I am sure it helped that you guys are a stunning couple! Great pictures and advice, I think its helpful for any outdoor photoshoot, engagement or otherwise. Can’t wait any follow ups about wedding photos!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s