How to Choose Your Engagement Session Outfits | PMA Photography

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I'm Amber, a Harry Potter obsessed wedding and brand photographer for those who are anything but ordinary based in Phoenix, Arizona.

When I don't have a camera in my hand, you can find me hiking with my husband, snuggling pups, or planning my next Disney trip.






How to Choose Your Engagement Session Outfits

How to choose your engagement session outfits by Phoenix wedding photographer PMA Photography.How to choose your engagement session outfits by Phoenix wedding photographer PMA Photography.

I am seriously all about the engagement sessions.  I think they make such a big impact on your wedding day and are also a great way to get cute photos of you and your partner in something other than wedding clothes (I mean, we can only hang so many pictures of ourselves in formal outfits, right?!) So, now we are left with the question of what to wear for our engagement session.  Not to worry, I am laying down my step-by-step guide to choosing your outfits below!

Couple wearing blue and white casual outfits for their engagement session by PMA Photography.

Number of Outfits

The first question to answer is how many different outfits you will have during the engagement session.  You really only need one well thought out outfit.  But, if you want some more variety, you can do a more formal/fancy outfit and a more casual outfit.  Or a themed outfit and a more regular/everyday outfit.  (Wizarding robes anyone?! I generally advise couple to keep the outfits to two at max.  However, it would be easy to squeeze in a third if you were simply throwing a sports jersey over your casual outfit.

Always check with your photographer about outfit changes too.  You may need to extend the time you have for your session to allow for enough time to have more than one outfit.  Also, consider the location of your engagement session.  If you are in an urban area, it is fairly easy to find a bathroom to change in.  But, if you are out hiking a trail somewhere, you may have to find a bush to hide behind!  I have a pop-up beach tent I bring to my adventure sessions if my couple wants to do an outfit change.  No need to find a bush/tree/cactus!

How Formal or Casual?

For your formal outfit I suggest you take it one – two steps above their everyday wear.  If you are a band t-shirt and jeans kind of person everyday, then maybe something like a cute summer dress or blouse and a button up shirt with dressy jeans would be nice.  If you normally wear nice blouses/button-up shirts and dressy jeans, wear something like a cocktail dress and a blazer jacket.  You can also think of it as how you would dress up for a Christmas dinner!

For your casual outfit, I would keep it closer to your everyday wear.  Though you will want to make sure you are wearing the nicer of your casual clothes.  Try to wear some of your newer pieces of clothing so they are not faded or have any holes in them you didn’t notice until you arrived for your session.  Think of how you would dress for a friends casual birthday dinner!

Detail image of a couples engagement session outfits in navy and blue by PMA Photography.


You could wear just about any color under the sun that you choose.  If you plan on using your images for a save the date or engagement guest book, you could wear pops of your main wedding color!  Or, if you wanted to pay homage to your Hogwarts houses, you could pop colors from your houses in your outfits!  Another great idea, is to just wear the same colors you naturally do.  If you just take a quick look in your closet, you will see some color themes.  If you are still not sure, stick to a more neutral color pallet: navys, whites, blacks, greys.

Another thing to think about is contrasting the location you have chosen for your session.  If you are going to the desert, avoid wearing tans as they will blend into the background.  If you are headed to a red rock location like Papago Park or Sedona, avoid light pinks.  You get the idea.  Try to wear lighter colors for a dark backdrop and darker colors for a light backdrop.


Once you have picked a formality for your outfits and colors for your outfits and focus on coordination not matching.  (Do you remember that trend where everyone would wear a white shirt and khaki’s for their photos? 🤮 My family for sure has those pictures.)  You want to coordinate the formality of your outfits as well as the colors of your outfits.  If you are wearing a sundress your partner should wear a button-up shirt (not a tux) or another sundress (not a gala dress).

For example, your partner could wear a blue button-up shirt, you can wear a white blouse/dress and accessories with the same color blue.  Or your partner could wear a black button up with maroon pants and grey suspenders and you can wear black pants and a grey shirt and black suspenders.  Or you could wear a black dress with a red floral pattern and your partner could wear a red dress with black accessories.


Same sex couple's engagement session outfits coordinating pinks, whites, and blues by PMA Photography.


I love patterns! The best patterns are simple and limited to two-three colors.  The more colors and the more involved the patter, the more distracting they will be in the pictures.  Try to stick to stripes, polka dots, and simple florals.

You also want to think of the location of your session when deciding on a pattern.  Outdoor locations are generally more appealing for patterns.  But if you are going downtown to an art-district to take photos in front of busy murals, it is best to stick to solid colors.

Be Yourself, Its Your Engagement Session

Don’t feel obligated to wear heals or a tie just because you saw it on Pinterest.  Or to dress up to the point you are uncomfortable.  Be true to your own style and your partners’ style!  If you guys have different styles, I suggest one of two things.  1. Find outfits in each of your styles that coordinate.  2. Compromise and do something in the middle!

Detail image of a couples casual engagement session outfits for their fall engagement session by PMA Photography.

Speaking of Pinterest, if you need more outfit inspiration, this can be a great resource.  Check out my Engagement Session Outfit Inspiration board for some more ideas.

Check back in next Tuesday for 5 more tips for amazing engagement photos.

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