What Do Photographers Wear to a Wedding (Dress Code)

What do photographers wear to a wedding, anyway? It can feel a bit tricky to find the right outfit to wear when photographing a wedding, since it’s both your workday and a beautiful, formal event. 

What do photographers wear to a wedding? Here are my tips! 

If you’re wondering “What do photographers wear?” don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings over the years, and I’ve definitely learned a lot about what kinds of wedding day outfits work well (and what doesn’t) as a photographer. In this post, I want to share my favorite dress code tips for wedding photographers. 

Aim for a practical, yet professional look

When answering the question “What do photographers wear to a wedding?” it’s essential to aim for a dress code that is both professional and practical. If you decide to wear a skirt or dress, make sure you can still move around comfortably and modestly in it when bending down, crouching, etc. Wedding day photography requires you to move a lot and shoot from some odd angles, so it is important that your outfit works well with that. Also, I recommend wearing something with pockets, so you have somewhere to conveniently store things like your lens cap, film, and phone. 

However, functionality doesn’t mean you should dress super casually. After all, most weddings have formal or semi-formal dress codes for guests, and you don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb. Plus, how you dress when working as a wedding photographer affects your business’ reputation. Dressing professionally helps cement your credibility as an amazing, polished photographer. 

Dress simply

What do photographers wear to photograph weddings? My answer: simple outfits that blend in with the crowd. Now, blending in doesn’t mean you should dress like a wedding guest. You’ll want to keep your outfits more toned down than a typical wedding guest outfit. Avoid loud colors and patterns and other items that could make you stand out. Typically, it’s best to wear dark colors and/or neutral tones. You can even wear all black if you’d like. 

A bride and groom embrace on the waters-edge of a mountain lake in Montana. Photo by Ashley J Photo, a Montana wedding photographer.

You can always check with your clients

When in doubt, you can always ask your clients about what you are planning to wear to their wedding. You don’t want your outfit to clash with their wedding theme, style, or culture, etc. In some cultures, wearing certain colors to a wedding is considered disrespectful or bad luck, so double-checking with your clients never hurts! The more information you have, the easier it will be to pick the perfect outfit.

Wear comfortable shoes

An essential answer to “What do photographers wear?” is: comfortable shoes! When you photograph a wedding, you’re running around on your feet all day. You should also keep in mind that many elopements require hiking to a remote ceremony location, such as Glacier National Park elopements. Therefore, comfortable shoes are absolutely necessary when photographing weddings and elopements!

In line with my earlier tip, you should try to wear shoes that are both cute and comfortable. I recommend flats like Rothy’s or even a sleek pair of boots like these Blundstones.

You need makeup that lasts all day!

Along with planning some wedding photographer outfits, you should also make sure you have some great makeup that will hold up all day. When photographing a wedding, you never know what the day may bring. You probably won’t have time to refresh your makeup throughout the day, so it’s important to wear things that last. I recommend waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipstick, like the Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink one.

Wear or bring layers

This next tip is helpful for shooting fall or winter weddings or ones held in locations with lots of weather variation. I recommend either wearing or bringing layers to your wedding day photoshoots. A wedding day may start off super chilly and get warmer as the day goes on, or it may get colder for the outdoor evening reception. In these situations, it’s helpful to wear a cardigan and/or bring a light jacket that’s easy to take on and off. You may also find yourself feeling quite warm as you’re running around taking photos, so having additional layers you can take off and have on hand for later after you’ve cooled down is super helpful.

Tip: Just make sure that whatever jackets and sweaters you bring don’t restrict your movement or get in the way of you taking photos. 

A close up of the backside of a Montana bride's dress by Ashley J Photo, a Montana wedding photographer.

A good camera bag is essential

Additionally, a post answering “What do photographers wear?” wouldn’t be complete without mentioning your camera bag. Though it may seem like any old bag could do, this just isn’t the case! You need to have a great quality, roomy bag that can safely store all your gear. Especially if you decide to wear an outfit without many pockets or need to carry a couple of different cameras around, you’ll probably want to keep your camera bag close to your side on a wedding day shoot. Additionally, you could use a multi-camera strap to hold your cameras. I like to look for leather camera bags and straps since they look great and are incredibly durable. 

Bring an extra outfit

Finally, you may want to consider keeping an extra outfit or two in your car for your wedding photo shoot days. Stains from a spilled drink or even a major rip in your pants can happen to any of us. The truth is: a situation like these probably will happen to you at some point! It’s best to plan ahead and bring an extra outfit along with you to photo shoots just in case. 

Now you know the answer to “What do photographers wear to a wedding?”

Now you know the answers to “What do photographers wear to a wedding?” and can start planning your own outfits! Do you already have some in mind? I’d love to know what you come up with and what wedding photographer outfits essentials you love. Shoot me a message to tell me about your favorites!

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Photos from the weddings Ashley J Photo has photographed in Montana, overlaid with text that reads Dress Code for Wedding Photographers Learn More.
A tan and white color block overlaid with text that reads 08 Tips What Wedding Photographers Should Wear to A Wedding. Read This Dress Code Guide.

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Photography by ashley J  ||  806.773.1941