For many couples, taking engagement photos is a way to celebrate their new relationship status. These photos, which usually happen shortly after a proposal, tend to be used for save the dates, the wedding website, social media, and most often, as a personal souvenir to remember this special period of time. So, selecting what to wear can feel like a big decision. Depending on your style, you could keep things casual or use this photo shoot as a reason to go fully glam.
Whether you envision a dramatic gown with opulent details, or something relaxed and carefree, there is a wide variety of engagement photo dresses to choose from—catering to all budgets and bridal styles. If you're not sure where to start when it comes to dress shopping, the best rule of thumb is to choose a style and hue that makes you feel comfortable—one that also highlights your personal aesthetic. After all, these pictures will live on forever and you want to be sure you look back on them fondly.
Read on for the best engagement photo dresses for every style, season, and budget.
Most Romantic: Needle & Thread Lilacs Bow Ankle Gown
Price at time of publish: $939
It truly doesn’t get sweeter than this pastel dress embordered with wildflowers and bows. The Sequin trim, ruffle edges and flowy skirt exudes romance and femininity.
For the Casual Bride: Lulus Little Bit In Love White Surplice Puff Sleeve Mini Dress
Price at time of publish: $57
Want to take engagement photos that showcase your laid-back aesthetic? This puff sleeve mini dress from Lulus is elevated yet casual—ideal for shoots at home, on the beach, or any place relaxed and laid-back.
Best for Fall: Jenny Yoo Ellis Velvet Open Back Dress
Taking engagement photos in the cooler seasons? This dress is for you. Jenny Yoo's open-back dress will make you feel at once warm and luxe.
Best Jewel Tone: Undra Celeste New York Turtleneck Wrap Joi Dress
Price at time of publish: $117
If you want your photos to have a polished and poised look, Undra Celeste’s merlot Joi dress will fully fit the theme. The turtle neckline, keyhole detail, and wrap-around ties will complement every figure.
Most Sexy: Reformation Chania Silk Dress
Price at time of publish: $428
For a look that screams "va-va-voom", this silky gown from Reformation will surely turn up the heat. The flattering style also comes in black, green, and a floral print, if you’re looking to save white for the big day.
For the Glamourous Bride: Retroféte Olivia Embellished Tulle Halterneck Gown
Price at time of publish: $1,575
If you want to go full glam for your engagement photos, this gown in all-over sequins and tiny crystals will make you feel like a star. Keep accessories simple–this shimmering dress does all the talking.
Best Slip: BHLDN Cali Satin Charmeuse Midi Dress
Price at time of publish: $168
For those longing for something sleek and sophisticated, BHLDN's "Cali" slip dress kicks things up a notch. Opting for white always is a classic choice but if you're looking for something bold, this style comes in over 12 different colors from pastel blue to emerald green.
Best Jumpsuit: SAFIYAA Flysa Strapless Crepe Jumpsuit
Price at time of publish: $1,15
If you'd prefer to switch things up, opt for a jumpsuit. You'll make a powerful impression in your photos, and we're sure you'll wear this piece long after the wedding festivities have come and gone.
Best Cocktail Dress: Adrianna Papell Structured Cape Sheath Dress
Price at time of publish: $160
This elegant cocktail dress, with a fashion-forward cape, is the epitome of bridal chic. It'll be able to elevate even the most casual engagement shoot settings.
Best Sparkle: Revelry Bardot Sequin Dress
Price at time of publish: $189
If you're looking to shine in your photos, then Revelry’s Bardot dress is a must-have. This figure-flattering fit is covered with sequins and comes in a variety of colors for every bridal aesthetic.
For a Destination Shoot: Dolce & Gabbana Pleated Printed Cotton-Poplin Dress
Price at time of publish: $2,371
We can't help but love the tile print on this poplin mini dress. If you plan to have a beach or island wedding, this Dolce & Gabbana dress will perfectly fit your theme.
Most Bridal: Tobi Analise White Plunging Floral Maxi Dress
Price at time of publish: $69
Tobi’s Analise maxi dress comes in multiple hues. But, no matter the color you choose, the luscious lace overlay and dramatic plunging neckline makes it an engagement photo favorite.
For an Outdoor Fall Shoot: Lulus Modena Rust Brown Dolman Sleeve Bodycon Sweater Dress
Price at time of publish: $64
Autumn-loving brides, meet the sweater dress of your dreams! This medium-weight, ribbed knit bodycon comes in rust brown and sage green—and will look right at home in an orchard, pumpkin patch, or just cuddled up in the cold.
Most Formal: Wtoo Baylie Gown
Price at time of publish: $200-$220
Floaty sleeves, a thigh-high slit, and an off-the-shoulder neckline come together to create Wtoo’s famed Baylie dress. Offered in over nine colors, and ranging in sizes 00-26W, this sophisticated number is a showstopping selection for any bride.
Most Sophisticated: BHLDN Dylan Satin Charmeuse Maxi Dress
Price at time of publish: $248
Hello, gorgeous! Bring on the Hollywood vibes with this elegant charmeuse maxi from BHLDN. The one-shoulder neckline is balanced by a deep slit, so select your hue (it comes in over 10 colors) and get ready to feel like you're walking the red carpet.
For the Lace Lovers: Chi Chi London Gilded Grace Lace Dress
Price at time of publish: $149.99
Layers of tulle, metallic gold accents, and allover lace makes this dress a favorite amongst brides. It's the perfect choice for a photoshoot at a ritzy hotel, cute coffee shop, or something in between.
Most Boho: Milumia Bohemian Drawstring Waist Lace Splicing White Long Maxi Dress
Price at time of publish: $37.99
Breakout your flower headband and pack away your shoes, because this lace maxi dress is meant to be worn amongst nature. The flowy fabric is a wonder in hot weather, and the drawstring waist makes it comfortable to wear long after the photo session is over.
Most Tropical-Inspired: Reformation Daytona Silk Dress Es
Price at time of publish: $248
We love this tropical twist on a floral pattern. The ruching at the bust is flattering while the relaxed fit and lightweight fabric make this Reformation frock a dream to wear in warm weather. Pair with block sandals or wedges to complete your look.
What to Look for in an Engagement Photo Outfit
There are no rules when it comes to your engagement photo outfit. Want to wear a jumpsuit? Go for it! Looking for something colorful? Be bold! Opting for a totally bridal look? Options abound! No matter your personal style, there are plenty of photo-ready outfits on the market. To make the shopping process a little easier, it's helpful to keep in mind the setting of your photo shoot and during what season it's taking place. For example, the bride-to-be snapping pics at a garden venue in the spring or summer should opt for breezy silhouettes in white cotton or floral prints while fall and winter venues are more suited to velvet, long sleeve, or embellished dresses. Another important factor to remember is whether you want your engagement photos to reflect the theme of your upcoming nuptials. If you're throwing a destination wedding, for example, you may want to choose a beach venue for the engagement photos or keep it fun and casual with an at-home shoot for a backyard wedding.
Do I have to wear a dress for my engagement photos?
Not at all; when it comes to your engagement photos, the most important thing to remember is that they’re a celebration of your relationship. While lots of couples choose to dress up for the occasion, there’s no rule that says you have to wear a dress—wear something that feels true to you and makes you feel comfortable.
Am I supposed to wear white for my engagement photos?
There’s no rule that says you have to wear white for your engagement photos. While lots of brides choose to as a nod to their wedding, you should wear something that feels true to your personal style and preferences.
How do I pick an engagement photo dress?
If you’re taking photos at home or in your favorite coffee shop, something comfy and casual will complement the locale. Whereas, if you’re at a nice venue or luxe location, opt for something a little dressier.
Why Trust Brides
Rachel Varina is a full-time freelancer with over 10 years of editorial experience and six years of experience in the wedding industry. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health, Elite Daily, Betches, Zola, and more.