The Dos and Don’ts of Picking an Outfit for Your Engagement Photos

I really like our engagement photos, but whenever I look at them I just get one pang of regret, and that regret is my dress. I was very foolish and put off choosing my engagement photo outfit until the very last minute. Why, you ask? One, I gained about 15 pounds in the past year and didn’t want to try on any of my clothes, as I knew my favorite outfits would be too tight. Two, I can’t really buy clothes in Japan as most stores only sell size medium (which is an American size small). Three, I was in the midst of a very cold winter, and it was not fun to try on summer clothes (the engagement shoot was in sunny South Florida) in my poorly insulated apartment. In the end, I settled on wearing an old but well fitting green dress.


My old, but well fitting, green dress

However, when I went to the States and told my mom and sister what I planned on wearing they were both underwhelmed. I started to get worried and foolishly ran to the mall and bought the first dress that fit me decently. I regret buying that dress to this day!

In order to not let my dress fail go to waste, I am making a list of dos and don’ts so that no one will make the same mistakes as me.

Do put some time and effort into thinking about what you are going to wear in your engagement photos. These are your engagement photos and will capture a very special time between you and your fiance. You will probably end up using them for your save the dates, invitations, or home decor.

Don’t run to mall and buy anything in haste.

Do find an outfit that fits your personality. If you are a outdoorsy person wear outdoorsy clothes. If you love your university,wear your university T-shirt with pride! I often wear dresses, but the dress I wore for the engagement session was not me at all. The sleeves are pointy and the dress is very structured, while I am more of a flowy dress kind of girl. I so wish I had bought a long, flowing dress and put a flower clip in my hair. That would have been so much more me.

Don’t wear something fancy because someone else thinks your engagement photos should be fancy. I wish I had gone with my initial instinct of wearing my well fitting green dress rather than succumbing to pressure and getting something fancier.

Do wear something that suits your body. If you have an awesome part of your body that you love, show it off! If you have a part of your body that you are self-conscious about, cover it up. I am very self conscious about my arms, but for some reason I thought that wearing a cardigan would accentuate them even more. I went with the blue dress that I wore because I thought the pointy sleeves would make my arms look skinny. They did not. I wish I had covered them up.

Don’t wear clothes that wrinkle easily. See the photo I used for our save the date? When I look at it my eyes go straight to the wrinkle in the middle of my dress.


So many wrinkles!

Do take some time to debate style over substance. I knew that we were going to do lots of waking and I decided to wear my very comfortable heels from Easy Spirit. My feet and I are very glad I did, but when I look at some photos I wish I had worn a cute pair of shoes. Perhaps I could have bought a pair of sexy shoes to change into for full body shots.


My boring black shoes

I hope that this “dos and don’ts” list helps those who are planning engagement photos. Don’t let my hasty dress decision be in vain!

I must admit that that I may be over critical of myself. The first thing that everyone comments on when they see our engagement photos is how much they like my dress and the color. I think my bridal brain is skewing my perspective!

For those who have already taken engagement photos: Did you love or hate what you wore to your engagement photo shoot?


Mrs. Gondola

Wedding Date:
December 1969
The One With All The LWDs
Great White
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  1. Member
    ladyamalthea 1400 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:00 am

    Thank you so much for all these tips! My fiancé and I were on our way to take our engagement photos, but it started raining so we postponed it :/ But it turned out for the best, I definitely hadn’t picked the right outfit, and now we’ll be able to work with our wedding photographer instead of someone else!

    And your dress is gorgeous, maybe it could’ve been more “you,” but from an outside perspective your photos are completely adorable. :)

  2. Member
    missslipper 55 posts, Worker bee @ 9:06 am

    Definitely Helpful list!! I’m planning to take my engagement Photos during our Christmas break… and didn’t really think about how detailed this list would be! I should start looking now! lol Thanks!

  3. Member
    wouldyoukindlyy 234 posts, Helper bee @ 9:33 am

    For what its worth, your pictures are gorgeous, your dress is gorgeous, and YOU are gorgeous.

    The picture you said with the wrinkles? MY eyes go straight to your face, you look so happy. That is one of the the cutest pictures I’ve ever seen.

  4. orchard Member
    orchard 72 posts, Worker bee @ 9:51 am

    I definitely wore outfits for pictures that were old- in fact one outfit was from our first date. I just knew that since I am experiencing the frustration of gaining weight before the wedding instead of losing it I wanted to wear clothes I knew I would feel good in. Without layers of Spanx! That being said, you look lovely in your photos and that color is fantastic on. And I thought your shoes were classy not boring! :)

  5. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 11:42 am

    Oh, I think both your dress and shoes look very nice, and the color is absolutely fabulous!

    But, agreed, very over critical of self… I hated the fact that I’m stupid and didn’t pull the tags off of everything and check it before I wore it for the pictures, and I ended up leaving the little “X” sewn on the back of the blazer I wore, and it’s visible in a few of the pics, which is embarrassing to me. Also, I thought I grabbed a pair of skinny jeans to show off my flats, when in fact I grabbed a pair of super-long jeans that have the same color wash, which I can only wear with heels. I stayed calm and just wore them, rolling them up to walk long distances and then rolled them down for the actual pictures, but I am mad at myself for making such rookie mistakes!

    Lay everything out and pack it in a bag ahead of time, don’t grab the wrong thing like me!

  6. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:32 pm

    I think we tend to be overly critical. I noticed that most comments from your engagement pictures post were about your lovely dress :)

    Thanks for the tips though, I’m sure other bees will find them useful!

  7. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:07 pm

    Aw, I think we are our own worst critics because I love your dress and never would have noticed any of the ‘flaws’ you pointed out!

  8. Member
    RoadWarrior 28 posts, Newbee @ 5:57 pm

    Also DO think about how your outfit will look from every angle. I have a bunch of beautiful shots that I don’t like how much I pulled my shirt down (makes my belly look bigger) and FH said he should have totally emptied his pockets and ironed his pants better

  9. Member
    Dancing-in-September 478 posts, Helper bee @ 6:03 pm

    I also think your dress was nice!

    I just wore one outfit for mine. One of my favorite dresses, black stockings and my favorite boots. I picked my outfit the morning of..

  10. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:30 am

    @ladyamalthea: Thank you! And I’m glad you found it helpful! And that you got a second chance!
    @MissSlipper: I’m so glad it was helpful! Good luck clothes shopping!
    @wouldyoukindlyy: Thank you. I think Im just being over critical. Its so easy to fall in that way of thinking.
    @Miss Orchard: Thank you! Oh, You are wearing your first date outfite in your engagement photos?! Love it!
    @Blonde17Jess: I admire your ability to stay calm. Im sure your photos came out awesome!
    @Mrs. Waterfall: Thank you! It’s so easy to be over critical when you”re bridal mode. Must stop!
    @Mrs. Pony: You’re so nice! Thank you!
    @RoadWarrior: Such a good point!
    @Dancing-in-September: Thank you! I love dresses and boots together- Cute!

  11. Member
    cosmo_gmr 488 posts, Helper bee @ 1:24 pm

    That color looks amazing on you!!! You look very beautiful in your pics.

    I concur with everyone else that said that sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and end up being too critical.

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