What To Wear For Your Engagement Session

July 9, 2015

One of the professional photography services I highly recommend (that’s also included with most of my photography collections) is the engagement session. This pre-wedding day photo shoot offers a chance to capture the spirit of excitement that comes before pledging your eternal love to the partner of your dreams. Typically the Hawaii engagement photo session happens about three-to-six months prior to the wedding, and you can use these images your wedding reception. Now what to wear to your engagement session is a whole other task hopefully we can help you with.
What To Wear For Your Engagement Session, hawaii, waimanalo, oahuWhat To Wear For Your Engagement Session, hawaii, oahuWhat To Wear For Your Engagement Session hawaii, oahu

A lot of the couples I work with have never had professional photos taken since their high school days, so the engagement session gives them the opportunity to get comfortable with working with your photographer. During the engagement shoot, you’ll have the opportunity to practice various poses with your partner, which tends to save time during wedding day shoots. (After all, your wedding day goes by so fast and you want to spend your time with family and friends, not stuck trying to get the perfect shot!) Your engagement photo session should be fun, more relaxed than the wedding day, and provide a chance to connect and reflect on the journey that brought you and your honey together.What To Wear For Your Engagement Session, hawaii, oahu, wardrobeWhat To Wear For Your Engagement Session, engagement, engagement outfit, wardrobe

What to wear the your engagement session, Hawaii, Oahu

Amber chose to wear her Cowboy boots along with her honey Josh who brought his guitar. It’s a great way to show your personal style

What to wear the your engagement session, Hawaii, Oahu

What To Wear For Your Engagement Session, same sex engagement

For engagement session locations, most couples prefer outdoors — the three most common settings are urban, beach, and forest, though they can be done anywhere that might have significance to you both. I use North Shore as a backdrop a lot because of the incomparable backdrop it offers. Some couples have an idea of where to go especially if it has meaning to your relationship. Think about your shared activities and hobbies when picking location — places that are special to you as a couple. I prefer to shoot late afternoon, towards sunset, since the light is most flattering during this time of day.

What To Wear For Your Engagement Session, engagement outfit, hawaii, waimanalo, oahu

The little black dress goes with just about everything… 

What To Wear For Your Engagement Session

Alvin being an avid 49’s fan wanted some fun images of he and Rachel.

sport jersey, What To Wear For Your Engagement Session, waimanalo, oahu

As a Hawaii wedding photographer, I’m here to capture the best shots surrounding your Big Day, but it’s also our job to make sure you have the right tools to guarantee you look gorgeous in front of the camera.  For the conundrum of what to wear, I encourage couples to dress based on their individual style — basically keep it simple with outfits that you are comfortable in. As you might expect, an urban setting lends itself to little black dresses and high heels, maybe a suit and tie for him. (Think classy, not “prom.”) A beach backdrop might call for a more natural and casual style, although if done right, combining formal wear with the natural setting can make for stunning images.

The following guidelines can help you pick out the perfect ensembles for your Hawaii engagement photography session:

  • Coordinate colors/patterns with your partner. For example, if your guy wears dark jeans and a light shirt, you can get away with pretty much any outfit to complement this simple style. But if he’s going a little edgier with an aloha shirt or mixed pattern, better to stick to a solid colors and avoid the prints.
  • Under no circumstance do you want to be “matchy-matchy.” While this may be cute for the kiddies, it adds a superficial quality to professional photos.
  • If we’re shooting outside, bring slippers as walking on sand or rocks in heels or dress shoes is next to impossible. (albeit unsafe!)
  • Think about what props you might want to include, if any. Oftentimes, I’m able to assist with scoring certain items to add a little ambiance to your engagement photos, for example a floral crown or vintage chair, beach cruiser, or guitar. Some couples will want to bring their own props and remember let me know so we can work together to ensure everything is coordinated.

What To Wear For Your Engagement Session, hawaii, oahu, ukulele

  • Avid sports fans love to wear their team’s Jersey’s.
  • Have a special four legged friend? Bring them along, but please make sure your pet is well-behaved and consider bringing a handler to care for him/her during the shoot.
  • Avoid big logos, midriff tops, and white matching shirts paired with khakis (all white looks nice but when paired with khakis looks old school family portrait session).

I recommend to all my couples to bring along four wardrobe changes for both of you. If you’re not quite sure if certain colors or combinations will work, feel free to text or email me pictures of the outfits you might be considering for your Hawaii engagement shoot.

engagement outfit, hawaii, oahuengagement outfit, hawaii, oahu

engagement outfit, hawaii, oahu


Jeannemarie is a wedding photographer based on the islands on Oahu and Maui. She is available to photograph your wedding or event on any of our beautiful Hawaiian islands. Contact her today about your BIG DAY!


[…] I’m happy to help you decide the scenic locations that best reflect your values as a couple and recommend wardrobe ideas for you and your fiancée. This is a fabulous opportunity to advantage of your hair and makeup trial. For tips on style, have a look at my previous blog What to Wear for Your Engagement Session. […]

Add Your Comment