There’s something so magical about a winter engagement shoot. You might be planning a winter wedding and want to create a dreamy, on-theme engagement shoot to use for your wedding website. Or, you just got engaged and want to capture this exciting time—and it just so happens to be snowing outside. This is a season that sparks romance, so pair it with the right scenery and outfit to match the mood.
“High-quality engagement photos give you permanent and tangible memories that you can look back on,” says stylist Naina Singla. “This is a milestone in your relationship that should be treasured and captured on camera,” she adds. With that in mind, choosing an outfit (or several) for your winter engagement photoshoot might feel a little overwhelming, especially when considering the monumental feeling of the occasion. But, at the end of the day, Singla says you can’t go wrong with something that feels “authentic and representative of you as a couple”.
If you’re feeling stuck on what to wear for your winter engagement shoot, read on for our top tips on what to buy and how to wear it, based on insights from style and engagement photo experts.
Singla recommends wearing a pair of knee-high boots—either with a dress or jeans—for a stylish shoe look. “Chunky boots can appear bulky and heavy, so instead opt for more tailored boots,” she explains. The Steve Madden Lizah Knee High Boot fits the requirement with its sleek construction, stylish block heel, and trendy square toe. It comes in both black and cream in a buttery leather finish.
Price at time of publish: $100
If you plan to wear a dress or skirt for your winter engagement shoot, a pair of tights is a must-have, not only for warmth, but to also to elevate your winter look. These tights are an investment, but they’re worth every penny. Constructed with ultra-strong polymers, they’re designed to resist ripping, snags, and more. The tights are even machine washable, which speaks to their overall durability. So, whether you’re trekking through a wintery scene for your photo backdrop or want a pair of tights that will last long after the last shot, these will do the trick.
Price at time of publish: $35
Velvet is one of the most luxurious seasonally-appropriate fabrics out there, so it’s definitely an option to consider for a winter engagement shoots. This dress comes in your choice of a gorgeous plum purple or wintery teal blue—both hues add a nice pop of color to a snowy backdrop. It works well with boots or heels and also looks great with a faux fur coat.
Price at time of publish: $99
When styling a winter engagement shoot, Singla says that accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are important. “These will not only provide warmth, but they also add texture and dimension to your outfit,” she explains. We love this super soft, faux-fur accented wool beanie for an engagement shoot—it has an ultra-chic and timeless wintery feel. It’s also made from a thick wool and acrylic blend, so it will be sure to keep you toasty and comfortable in frosty climates.
Price at time of publish: $50
“A statement coat is a great option for colder temperatures,” says Singla. If you want to add a touch of style to your photos with a long statement coat, the UGG Gertrude Long Teddy Coat is our top pick. This stunning piece is made from signature UGG sherpa, so it’s ultra-cozy with lots of incredible texture. On top of that, it has a full-length silhouette, so it can keep your upper and lower body warm while taking pictures in the snow.
Price at time of publish: $248
Much like a beanie, a soft scarf can also add a nice touch to a wintery engagement look. Our favorite is this design from Everlane because it has a classic look, but it won’t appear bulky in photos. Milled in Italy, it’s made from 96 percent recycled cashmere, with 4 percent recycled wool so it’s good for the environment, too. And, while it looks lightweight, it offers plenty of warmth.
Price at time of publish: $140
If knee-high boots aren’t your thing, you can also achieve a chic engagement photo look with ankle boots. This leather bootie comes in several different colors—including a gorgeous cream color that would look amazing in front of a city backdrop—and is constructed from buttery soft leather for a luxe finish. On top of that, it has a relatively minimalist design, so it goes well with virtually anything and can get lots of wear after the engagement shoot.
Price at time of publish: $72+
“Wearing multiple layers gives depth to your outfits,” says Singla, emphasizing that winter engagement sessions are a great opportunity to take advantage of layers. “Grab a blazer to wear for some photos, and then take it off for a few shots to add variety.” For a winter-approved blazer, we love this options, which boasts lots of amazing texture and a timeless silhouette. On top of that, the blazer has shoulder pads for a more vintage-inspired feel.
Price at time of publish: $108
If you plan to wear jeans for your engagement shoot, a dark wash is recommended. Our favorite pair of dark wash denim is the Good American Good Legs Skinny Jean, which features a leg cut that pairs perfectly with knee high and ankle boots alike. Additionally, the high-rise jeans are made with a gap-proof design, so they provide a second skin fit and are ultra-stretchy for long-lasting comfort.
Price at time of publish: $99+
For a more casual engagement shoot look, consider wearing a cozy sweater with a pair of jeans or even a plaid mini skirt. Available in a beautiful bridal white and a rich burgundy, this luxe sweater is constructed from a mohair and wool blend yarn, giving it a warm and fuzzy finish. Plus, the cropped, relaxed fit makes it a great pick for more casual outfit changes.
Price at time of publish: $120
If your engagement shoot is outdoors in the snow, gloves are also a must-have accessory for your shoot. These budget-friendly ones from Amazon come in a variety of colors—including a stunning white as well as some sparkling options—and have a simple design so they won’t distract from the rest of the outfit. Plus, they’re super soft and double layered for extra warmth.
Price at time of publish: $18
What to Look for When Buying Clothing for Winter Engagement Shoots
“The most important thing to consider when planning your outfits is to coordinate looks with your partner,” says Singla. While you want to avoid matching and wearing the exact same colors, it’s OK to feature complementing hues and styles. “So, if one partner is wearing jeans, the other should be in casual attire like a knit dress and tall boots,” she explains.
You’ll also want to make sure that patterns go together and don’t clash. “Avoid having too many different prints and patterns,” she says, noting how one person in plaid and the other in florals can look too busy and distracting. “Instead, have one partner wear a pattern and the other be in solids.”
When shopping for engagement photo outfits—no matter the season—Singla says that the color palette of your photo location matters, too. “Use those colors as inspiration for your outfits,” she explains. “For example, if you’re in the city by the water, neutrals like cream, black, and gray will photograph beautifully against the water and surrounding modern buildings; If your location is in nature, earth tones and soft neutrals can work well.”
If you plan to use your engagement photos for save-the-dates or your wedding website, Singla says “it’s good to choose an outfit that aligns with your overall wedding vision, theme, or colors” to keep everything cohesive. With this in mind, she recommends having a couple of outfit choices on hand.
Material and Movement
When selecting an outfit for an engagement shoot, stylist Lauren Field says that “movement is something that often gets overlooked.” If you plan to walk up a flight of stairs, throw snow, or even pose with a cocktail at your local bar for photos, she says to consider how your clothes move with you. “You want to be comfortable once you are finally in front of the camera, so you don’t have to worry about any wardrobe limitations and can focus on the fun you will certainly have,” Field notes.
“If your engagement photo session takes place outdoors, you definitely want to stay warm,” says Singla. She explains that having photos taken in the winter months means playing around with your wardrobe—and that definitely means having good outerwear and winter accessories on the photo shoot. “Consider warm clothing like cashmere sweaters, sweater dresses, tall boots, and beautiful outerwear,” she adds.
It’s also important to think about your accessories. “Accessories should be minimal because we want to highlight that ring,” says Victoria Delgado, an engagement and wedding photographer. Instead of overdoing it with additional jewelry, try accessorizing with a chic wool hat or scarf to make a wintery statement.
In addition to the engagement timeline, the time of day is also important to consider. “Coordinate with your photographer on the best location and time of day for your engagement photos, but a good rule of thumb is to take your photos two to three hours before the sun sets,” says Kéra Golombisky, an engagement and wedding photographer. “The soft golden light highlights the best features of you and your partner.”
With this in mind, Golombisky says to also be mindful of your location and timing. “If you live in a mountainous landscape or choose to take your photos amongst tall buildings in the city, the sun will likely disappear sooner than anticipated.”
“Couples primarily use their engagement photos for formal announcements, wedding websites, and social media countdowns,” says Golombisky, adding that the images also are a wonderful way to update the walls in your home. Since engagement photos are often the first time couples have their photos taken professionally, Field says some couples might choose to use them for holiday cards as well or turn them into thank you cards.
Meet the Expert
- Naina Singla is a fashion stylist and style expert who offers in-person and virtual styling sessions with clients.
- Kéra Golombisky is a Nashville-based engagement and wedding photographer.
- Lauren Field is a wedding designer and engagement photo stylist living in Austin, Texas.
- Victoria Delgado is an engagement and wedding photographer for destination weddings and events in the Washington D.C. area.
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON Magazine to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds.