What to Wear for Your Engagement Photos | Michigan Photographers

You’re engaged…Congratulations!

Now you ask yourself what to wear for your engagement photos. And it’s always a little intimidating to have your picture taken …. even if it’s just a photo on an iPhone that a friend takes. We still want to look nice, make sure nothing is in our teeth and that our hair is behaving! We realize that figuring out what to wear for your engagement photos can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips that will make your engagement photos a little more manageable!

The Location Matters

The location of your engagement session is completely up to you! Most of our couples love showcasing the natural beauty of our home state. For most of our sessions, outdoor, open-air environments are always our first choice. We love shooting in wide-open natural spaces because the light is divine, especially during golden hour. There are great options all around the state, so even if you’ve never seen us photograph in a specific place before, we’re always up for exploring a new spot together!

We encourage you to brainstorm unique places that you might have special access to that most people don’t. For example, maybe you (or someone you know) have access to an amazing location that would otherwise be off-limits, like a beautiful private estate, family ranch, exclusive country club, or luxury resort. Please spend a few minutes thinking about it and checking around with people in your personal and professional network. You’ll be surprised with what you come up with!

different locations of engagement session in Michigan



Have you been eyeing a gorgeous dress but just never had an occasion for it?

This is your chance to do it up! Remember: there’s no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your engagement session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! Some of our brides love having an excuse to go shopping and purchase a new permanent piece (or two!) for their wardrobe! Whatever works for you! Most of our brides who choose two outfits will bring one “wow” dress and a more casual outfit for a “us on a date” feel. But if you want to bring two “wow” dresses and forgo the more relaxed look altogether, give yourself permission to do it!  Remember, though, you don’t have to bring two looks if it’s too stressful. If you’d rather stick to one fabulous outfit, that’s fine, too! One look that you love will be so much better than one outfit you love and another you’re not very excited about. So, whether it’s one or two is really up to you!

If you’re having a hard time making up your mind, feel free to shoot us an email with pictures! We’d be happy to help you narrow down your options or give you our opinion about what will look best on camera!

couple walking along Ludington State Park beachcouple at Dow Gardens holding handscouple standing in field holding each other


Go Pro: Hair & Makeup

Engagement sessions are the perfect time for a hair and makeup trial! It looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. You’ll have these photos forever, so this is the time to pamper yourself! Whether it’s lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. We think it’s so important that you look and feel your best for your engagement photos – and if you’re planning to do a hair & makeup trial anyways, the engagement session is a great time to test how your hair & makeup look on camera.

couple snuggling on the beachcouple wrapped in blanket holding each othercouple standing next to rock wall whispering to each othercouple sitting and snuggling on blanket


Coordinating the Looks

When picking outfits, we recommend keeping in mind the word “complement” rather than “match.” For example, if the groom-to-be is wearing a blue and pink pastel plaid shirt, the bride-to-be may want to choose a long, soft blue dress. It can also be a great idea to choose “color-families,” such as pastels or jewel tones. Most of our brides choose their dress first and then put together their fiance’s outfit based on that.

couple standing on beach in Ludington holding each othercouple standing on beach holding each othercouple standing in grassy field about to kisscouple leaning against wall at Detroit Institute of Arts


Styling your Session

If you’re planning to bring props to your engagement session, we recommend including them only if they’re meaningful to you. Shots of drinking coffee at a local coffee shop, fresh flowers to hold, or a blanket to sit on.   Maybe you have access to some larger props that have a real “wow” factor, like a boat or classic car. Props aren’t a must by any means. Some of our couples love them, and some pick one or two items to bring. Others stick with just their outfits –– and that’s great, too! The most important things you need to bring to your session are love and laughter. We’ll take care of the rest.

couple sitting having a cup of coffeecouple standing in alley kissingcouple standing on beach opening champagnecouple standing in snow holding each other behind snowmobiles


One Final Note

At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you wear won’t matter nearly as much as the fun we have together and the memories you make as a couple. The style choices you make will definitely enhance your photos, but the most important accessory to bring with you is joyfulness –– which is the one that makes the biggest difference in your photos anyways. You don’t need to have prior experience in front of the camera. Just show up with a smile, and we’ll take care of the rest 🙂

couple standing on red bridge at Dow Gardenscouple sitting on blanket in forest snugglingcouple standing at the end of a tunnel holding each othercouple standing on road about to kisscouple standing on foot bridge over rivercouple sitting on rock by the beach

Shannon and Brian Photography is a husband and wife photography team located in Mid Michigan. Shannon and Brian specialize in Michigan wedding photography, engagement photography, and portrait photography. Are you interested in learning more about our services? Let’s chat! Contact us here.

For more inspiration on what to wear for your engagement photos, be sure to check out these engagement sessions. Paul & Emily’s Dow Garden engagement session, Derek & Arianna’s beach engagement session, and Lo & Amanda’s Detroit engagement!

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