Planning an engagement session in London and wondering what to wear? Here are my top tips on getting the most out of the experience.

As a London based wedding photographer I get to photograph engagement shoots with around 40 awesome couples each year. Some of these are my wedding couples but the majority are tourists visiting London on a fun and romantic holiday.

After location recommendations, what to wear on an engagement shoot is the most common question I receive from my couples. So I thought it might be helpful to share my top tips on what to wear in an article.

The most important part of an engagement shoot is always going to be you the couple and the connection between you both. However, what you wear can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable and allow more of your amazing personalities to shine.

Here is my list of 8 top tips on what to wear for your engagement shoot in London

Photo of Asian couple during their Regent's Park engagement photo shoot in London wearing summer clothes

1. Be Yourself

Firstly, and most importantly – be yourselves. As well as celebrating your engagement, the shoot is a great opportunity to capture this exciting time in your lives. To aid with this, wear clothes that you would normally wear on a day out in the city. Clothes that you feel comfortable in and make you feel good about yourselves.


2. Wear Comfy Footwear

On your engagement shoot you’re probably going to do a fair bit of walking around. The last thing you want is to have a look of pain on your face in your photos because you have sore feet. You might also be walking on grass, soft ground and potentially slippery surfaces. Wearing shoes with a bit of grip will maximise the amazing locations that can be used in your shoot (example below along the Thames beach at low tide).

Also note, that your shoes are probably not going to be in the majority of your photos and even if they are, they’ll probably be pretty small.

Photo of couple during their Tower Bridge engagement shoot in London wearing winter clothes

3. Dress for the weather

With most engagement shoots lasting 1-2 hours, the experience could become very uncomfortable if you don’t dress appropriately for the weather.

London weather can be a bit temperamental with the occasional hot winter day and cool summer spells. So it’s best to keep an eye on the weather forecast in the lead up to your engagement shoot. It’s worth noting that the forecast here isn’t always that accurate. Your local photographer shoot be able to give you the best advice on this.


4. Mix it up with layers

I am sometimes asked about doing an outfit change during an engagement shoot to get 2 different looks. Although this is possible, it can cause a few complications. You’ll need a location to get changed half way through which may limit where you can have your engagement photos. You’ll also need to bring bags to carry the second outfit which can be a big distraction during the shoot (see the next tip).

A great alternative, if you’re keen to have different looks, is to wear layers. Plan ahead to wear a nice jacket and a nice outfit underneath. This way you can take off your jacket to reveal a different look. Carrying around a couple of coats/jackets is a lot easier than two complete outfits.

A couple laughing on their engagement shoot in from of the Tower of London and an Underground sign.

5. Don’t bring a bag

During your engagement shoot we want the focus to be on you, your relationship and the city of London (your third wheel for the day). Having bags in your hands can be a distraction in both the photos and in the moment you share together. One option is to put them to the side/ground when we take photos. Plus this isn’t the safest solution and we don’t want you keeping one eye on your things when your full attention should be on your partner.

Another option is for me to carry them, which is fine with a small backpack or handbag (not a bad look on me I’ve been told), but it can be more tricky with larger bags or ones you need to carry in your hands.


6. Avoid too much white

We want the clothes you wear to highlight your awesome personalities, not distract from them. When looking at a photo, our eyes are often pulled to the brightest element of that photo (link). If you’re wearing mostly white clothes then this will be where the eye is pulled, away from your amazing faces and expressions.

Cameras have a habit of making bright thing brighter and dark things darker than the human eye sees (known as a lower dynamic range for any camera fans out there). This effect is even greater when the sun is out and white clothes reflect the light.

Some white in your clothing is absolutely fine, just try and avoid fully white tops or shirts.

Photo of couple wearing tshirts in front of Big Ben during their London engagement shoot

7. Avoid intense patterns and big brands

As well as bright elements, the eye is drawn to bright colours, intense patterns and familiar shapes (like brand logos). To ensure your clothes aren’t distracting too much from yourselves, try and avoid these elements.


8. Have fun and enjoy the experience!

Having fun on your engagement shoot will have two key benefits. 1) it will lead to better photos with amazing expressions and moments that highlight your love for one another. 2) when you look back at your photos in years to come, you’ll be taken right back to that moment and reminded of the fun times you shared.

If you’re visiting London from overseas your engagement shoot is a great way to experience some of this awesome city with a local tour guide. Being a bit of a history buff and lover of a good story I always loving sharing some London tales with my couples.

Photo of couple walking with blue sky for their Albert Bridge engagement shoot in London wearing summer clothes

And that’s a wrap!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top tips on what to wear on your engagement shoot be it in London or another amazing location. Best of luck with all your exciting adventures together!

Planning an Engagement Shoot and think I’d be the perfect fit to photograph it? I’d love to hear from you!

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