function initPage(){ }
Man holding and kissing a woman at the beach in front of the sunset

What to wear for Cape Cod engagement photos | Cape Cod Wedding Photographer

Stressing about what to wear for your Cape Cod engagement photos? In the next five minutes, I can help you figure everything out. Let’s get to it!

Man and woman holding hands while the man looks at the woman and the woman looks at the camera
Photo credit: Adventures and Vows Photography. But I did all the outfit planning myself 😉

What is the best color to wear for engagement photos?

I don’t know that I can limit the best color down to just one… but I can pick the best palette. For romantic, light, epic Cape Cod engagement photos, you’ll want to stick to a neutral color palette. 

Now, a neutral color palette does not mean that you can only wear white, black, and gray. Thankfully, the term “neutrals” expanded beyond the traditional definition, so there really are lots of neutral options to choose from. Think of light and muted colors, if that helps. Pinks, light purples, calm blues can all fit into a neutral color palette. So can a sage green.

Honestly, if you think of the beach at sunset, those are the perfect colors to choose from. So whether you’re pulling your inspiration from the sea grass, light sand, or cotton candy sky, you can find the best colors by going back to Mother Nature’s perfectly honed eye.

Why are neutrals the best option? Simply put, they’re timeless. You’re not going to look back at your Cape Cod engagement photos and regret thoughtful neutral pieces, even if it’s been decades since you took them. 

Neutrals also help amplify the natural setting instead of distracting from it. The sunset really does get to be a major component of the images we create together because it’s not fighting to be seen behind a hot pink dress.

Couple holding hands and walking on the beach with boats in the background The Knob Falmouth, MA Cape Cod

What colors not to wear for engagement pictures?

In a similar vein, super bright or neon colors should be avoided in engagement photos.

While I appreciate bold colors and even wear them in my regular wardrobe, they aren’t the best options for pictures for a few reasons.

The first is that bright, bold colors can create something called a color cast on your skin. A color cast is when light bounces off a bright or deep color and then tints something around it–namely your skin. 

This is why if you’re wearing crimson red or hot pink your face might look a bit flushed. Bright yellows and oranges can also add let’s say…interesting… hues to your skin.

Since you’re literally wearing the bold colors, the color casts become part of your images. These color casts can’t always be edited out, so sometimes your skin tone can look a little bit off.

As previously mentioned, bright colors can compete with the background of your images. So if you picked a beach that you love for your Cape Cod engagement photos, but then you wear a bright color, the human eye can’t help but stare at the bright colors first, distracting you from the emotions in the image as well as the stunning background.

Woman holding onto a man's arm as they walk on the beach Chapin Beach, Dennis, MA

What types of clothes do you wear for engagement photos?

For romantic images, I always recommend soft, gentle, flowy fabrics. Think chiffon, tulle, silk, lace.

You want clothes that look lightweight and can move. Twirling photos, anyone?

If you’re comfortable in them, I recommend dresses and skirts. You can pinch a skirt, twirl in it, take epic “running” shots (you won’t really have to run, don’t worry!), and so much more. Dresses and skirts actually provide more natural movement and posing opportunities than pants.

For gentlemen, dress pants and a button down shirt always look fantastic. If it’s not blistering hot outside, layers also add a masculine yet romantic feel. 

I provide a style guide for my clients that goes a bit more in depth for outfit recommendations, but this should give you a good head start.

Man picking up and kissing woman on the beach

Where do you buy dresses for engagement photos?

Of course, anywhere you want! But I’ll link some of my favorite stores for finding romantic looks:

Morning Lavender


Baltic Born



Monique Lhuillier

Couple holding hands and walking the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University Boston, MA

Do you need two outfits for engagement photos?

Do you need two outfits? No. Are two outfits a good idea? I think so!

Two outfits will naturally add a ton of variety to your final gallery. It will feel like you took pictures two separate times, but with the bonus of only having to truly get ready once.

I love when my couples make the most out of their engagement sessions, so I encourage two outfits. Of course, the choice really is up to you.

Man hugging woman and looking down at her while she looks at the camera on the beach Wingaersheek Beach Gloucester, MA

Should you get your hair and makeup done for engagement photos?

Like before, professional hair and makeup isn’t a life or death “need,” but it highly enhances the experience and end result!

When you know that your hair and makeup are flawless, you get that little confidence boost. Confidence shows up in pictures!

Plus, it’s normal for makeup to not show up as strongly in camera as it does in real life. So when you’re used to doing makeup for daily wear, going a little heavier may feel foreign. A makeup artist knows exactly what to do for professional photography, so they will have you camera ready!

If you would like hair and makeup artist recommendations, I’ll link a few artists for you that I truly admire:

Jennifer McLaughlin Makeup Artistry and Hair Design

Karen Attardo Beauty

Emily Fraser Hair and Makeup

Boston Beauty Network

Jane C Makeup

Man and woman holding hands and walking at West Dennis Beach, West Dennis, MA Cape Cod

Ultimately, wear what you’re comfortable in.

I want you to enjoy and cherish your Cape Cod engagement photos! So if you love a dress and it’s not a neutral, it’s best to trust your own judgment. 

If you’re uncomfortable in your images, it will show. So don’t follow any piece of advice just because you “should.” 

Also, even if a piece of clothing is in the recommended color scheme and fabric but it feels itchy or you’re constantly adjusting it, don’t wear it for your engagement session. Please! Your discomfort will show, and it will be frustrating to be constantly adjusting your clothes for an hour. 

For beach photography especially, don’t stress about shoes. It looks so natural to not wear shoes in the sand, which is what most of my couples end up doing. If you end up wearing flip flops to the session, no one has to know. So don’t fret!

I’m always here to help my clients as they pick their wardrobes for their engagement photos. I love it when I get a text with different options! If you want more support after reviewing my style guide, I’m here for you! I always want to be helpful.

What are you going to wear to your Cape Cod engagement photos? I want to know! And if you’re still looking for an engagement photographer, I’d love to be that girl. You can inquire with me by clicking here!

Until next time,


Looking for more wedding advice? See what else I’m recommending:

Why do brides wear a veil?

Sunset Portraits: What to Expect

Want to see some of my recent work? Take a peek below!

Sarah and Dan’s central MA elopement

Courtney and Schuyler’s Boston Seaport engagement

Ashley and JJ’s The Coonamessett wedding