Shelly Pate

Engagement Shoot Outfit Guide: How to Dress for Every Season

The fall season is the prime time of year for an engagement shoot in the DC Metro Area. It can be at the beginning when the fall leaves are brightest and just beginning to turn. Your session can also happen at the end of the season as we transition into winter when the air is crisp and all the leaves have fallen to the ground. Regardless of the season you choose for your own engagement session, the following engagement shoot outfit tips apply to every season!

couple walks holding hands at outdoor sunset engagement

How to Coordinate Your Engagement Shoot Outfit Color Palette

Reflect Your Environment

The color palette you select for your engagement session outfits should coordinate both with each other and with your background. You can start by pulling colors from the environment of your chosen outdoor or indoor engagement location (like a cocktail bar!).

If you are unsure even after selecting your location, I’m happy to provide feedback and review your fall engagement photo outfit ideas. When in doubt, neutral colors are always a safe choice and warmer colors look great in the fall! When you complement your color palette to the selected photo spot, you will fit well into your surroundings.

couple walks dogs at fall washington dc engagement session

One of my favorite outdoor fall engagement photo ideas is shooting at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. This haven of trees placed in the heart of DC offers an open field, woods, and the stone-made Boulder Bridge.

Colors, Patterns & Textures

couple walks holding hands wearing engagement shoot outfits
  • Patterns and texture for an engagement shoot outfit is OK! You just want smaller patterns rather than large ones avoiding louder patterns like giant dots and large visible branding. 
  • In general, I recommend avoiding bright colors. But, you can use a neutral shade of something like yellow instead of the neon version. Never wear entirely matching outfits like those classic family portrait beach photos where everyone is wearing a white top and jeans! 
couple holds dogs in field at sunset engagement session
  • These couples found ways to coordinate by slightly matching through the neutral colors of black and white. One set each wore differently styled white tops, while the other coordinated with the groom wearing a black top and the bride wearing a black skirt.
couple holds hands walking in forest at sunset engagement session

Engagement Shoot Outfit Changes & Accessories

Couples usually bring two different outfits, one that’s dressy, and another that is more casual. Choosing a fall engagement photo dress is a great option while having at least one outfit with pants allows for additional poses. Bring comfy shoes for walking too!

groom holds bride in field at engagement session

Changing takes time and having too many fall engagement shoot outfit ideas can ruin the flow of the session. You can do three outfits max and request an extended session if you prefer additional outfits.

The great bonus to wearing engagement shoot dresses is they add movement to your poses through the natural flow of the fabric. Other ways to add variety is to swap out the accessories of your engagement shoot outfit. These accessories can include hats, scarves, shoes, coats, and jewelry. The simpler your jewelry the better, you don’t want to create visual distractions in your engagement shoot photos.

I love hats, coats and gloves during the colder month for providing warmth and easily creating a third look during a winter engagement session. Jackets can be taken off making your outfit look entirely different as well as adding movement if you flip the jacket over your shoulder. The same rule applies to hats: they can be really fun especially if it is one that looks cute held in your hand. Layers can create so much variety while also being practical!

couple poses with dog wearing engagement shoot outfit with hat

How to Dress for Your Engagement Session in Every Season

Do you want something way better than an accessory to liven up your photos? Bring your pups with you! I can never say enough about how much I value including your furry friends as part of your fall engagement photo ideas or any other time of year!

dog kisses couple at fall engagement session

The number one tip for choosing your engagement shoot outfits is to make sure it fits you comfortably and that you feel confident wearing it. If you aren’t feeling amazing wearing it, this sentiment will show in your images. Let your outfits help your personality to shine through instead!

For more tips and outfit inspiration check out my Engagement Shoot Outfit Pinterest board and the following Engagement Photo Tips:

  1. How to Get Ready for Your Engagement Session
  2. How to Stay Cool at Your Summer Engagement Session
  3. Best Places to Propose in Washington, DC


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