My Picks On The BEST Dresses This Season For An Engagement Session


So many times I have clients who fret about what to wear for their engagement or portrait sessions. They usually spend days, even weeks, shopping for the perfect outfit to wear for the images that they hope to display for the rest of their lives. I was looking for a dress for myself the other day and when I came across this first dress I thought "Man, I wish my clients would show up in something like this for an engagement shoot. This would photograph beautifully." and then I thought- "AH! They can't know how to dress if someone doesn't TELL them!" SO- Here I am, sharing my TOP TEN SPRING 2017 DRESSES for engagements and portrait sessions. These dresses are ideal for many reasons and I fully intend to share those reasons for each dress as they all have different qualities. 

(Not to mention- these are suitable for almost any budget and body shape!)


1) Modcloth's Exquisite Epilogue Maxi

This dress is the one that stopped me in my tracks. I saw it and my heart fluttered. The simplicity and texture paired with that gorgeous leaf necklace would be a dream to photograph. 

Here's Why: 

The base color in this dress is white. That means that it will reflect great light, match with almost any background, and it is easy to match the mister's outfit with. 

The blue floral pattern adds a slight pop of color and the ruffles going down help elongate the body and add texture that will draw in emotion. 

The empire waist and the deep V neck create a tiny waist line and creates a subtle and romantic allure.

2) Free People's Enchanted Forest Maxi

Where to begin, right?! This dress is so ideal for my couple's who posses a wild heart. A free spirit. A bohemian style. 

Here's Why: 

The soft beige color matches well with serene backdrops. Think Wanderlust. The beach, the forest, the cobblestone streets of Europe... 

The loose sleeves create a romantic and almost angelic appeal as well as being flattering on most body types and providing coverage for those who have a little insecurity about their arms or prefer to be more modest without sacrificing beauty or quality. 

The embroidered leaves and dust ruffle skirt make this an easy switch from being serious and serene to fun and flirty in an instant. I image walking the beach and then running as the hubs surprises you with a tickle fight that lands you both in the water! 

3)Modcloth's Afloat on Flawlessness Maxi

If you have seen the new remake of Beauty and The Beast that was released last month then you'll know that these soft hues and floral prints are about to get BIG in the wedding world. This dress embodies the feeling of floating on air much like any Disney Princess does when she finally finds her prince charming. So- this is the PERFECT dress for all of you princesses out there. 

Here's Why: 

The femininity of this dress will allow for the soft, romantic, timeless and airy feel that so many people love to have in their photos.

Again, You will find that most of these dresses have an A-line skirt with an Empire Waist which helps elongate the torso and create the illusion of a small waist. (SCORE!)

The soft floral print allows for a hint of whimsy and color while keeping things neutral and timeless. Plus! The greens are a part of the Pantone Color of the Year! 

With a scoop neckline, flowing sleeves, and a sheer fabric you are able to be modest, romantic, and elegant. 

4)LuLu's Falling For You Maxi

This Rusty burnt orange gown is SO BEAUTIFUL. This is for my kindred spirits who have that naturally olive skin and can't always pull off those neutral hue's no matter how badly you'd like to. 

Here's Why: 

Featuring a sweetheart neckline with a wrapped skirt and asymmetrical sleeves, this dress will be the perfect blend between Romantic and Sexy (and again, flattering!) 

The color will make those skin tones pop and it's still neural enough to be beautiful in a photograph for the rest of eternity. No matter what the trends may be. 

It's simple elegance means that you can add in embellishments to adorn yourself in ways that express your personality through your style. (I am thinking a golden leaflet headband or floral crown!) 

5)LuLu's Blue Tie Dye Wrap Maxi

Okay! Bring on the COLOR! Not all of my clients are the same which means some of them would prefer to have a little color and funk to their outfits. How much more funky can you get than this KILLER tie-dye wrap?! This is IDEAL for my beachy-urban clients who crave fun and adventure!

Here's Why:

Obviously, the color brings in a fun and flirty mood. It's sassy. And it says HERE I AM!

The high slits and deep V create a sexy appeal- plus it's a wrap dress so it fits more body types than most dresses.

This dress tells me that I am about to photograph an incredible couple and have so much fun while we do it!  

6)Free People's Carolyn's Limited Edition White Dress

If you showed up to a session is this dress I think I may die. Everything about this screams Luxe, Beauty, Romance, Elegance, and Quality. This one is for my ladies who need to be different. Who can't handle the sub-par. Who want to stand out and put themselves on top. I picture a soon-be-bride standing in this gown at a place like Fort Morgan or a historic home with beautiful light and greenery all around. I envision candles, florals, and silk. I envision elegance. Timelessness. Perfection. 

Here's Why: 

First things first- the detail work in this dress is PHENOMENAL. Every single bead is stitched on one by one and patterned with this gorgeous, almost Aztec, feel. 

The neck line and and waist is something you won't find on just any dress. It is tasteful, romantic, and flattering. 

The mini-length lining underneath the floor length sheer skirt allows for even the shorter girls to show off a little bit of leg without bearing it all and leaving plenty to the imagination. 

All in all, this is just my picture of luxury.

7)Adrianna Papell's Sleeveless Tulle Dress With Ruffles

Blush, Tulle, Ruffles- The perfect dress for the girly girl. It is all things feminine and beautiful and it will be gorgeous as you fall in to your fiance's chest as his arms gently pull you into him and he kisses your cheek.... *sigh*. This dress takes me back to Pride and Prejudice and I really want to hear a gentleman say "Mrs. Darcy" and kiss her on her forehead and let me capture the moment. (Seriously, someone PLEASE hire me for a Pride and Prejudice shoot!) 

Here's Why: 

The elegance and simplicity of the color blended with the delicacy of the tulle take you back to a time long ago when life seemed a little bit simpler. 

The tulle bunched skirt elongates the waist and legs and the V neck draws the eye to the smallest part of your body. 

This dress brings texture and class to any shoot plus you could throw in a bouquet with floor length silk ribbon and you would have a full-blown styled session! 

8)LuLu's City of Stars Maxi

The next two dresses are fairly similar and have a lot of the same benefits as others previously reviewed. The reason they have made to this post is because they have one or two things that set them apart and are versatile enough for almost any client. 

Here's Why: 

The dusty blue featured in this gown is soft and romantic- obviously a great thing for engagement and couple's sessions. 

The neutral color and simplicity of the dress will go well for venues and backdrops like gardens, parks, beaches, and even rooftops. 

The wrap style allows for you to show a little leg which helps lengthen the body and the fit will be flattering on most body types. 

The flowy sleeves create a timelessness and elegance that the dress may not otherwise have. 

9)LuLu's Wonderful Day Maxi

Much like the previous dress, this wrap skirt and exposed leg are fitting for most body types. What sets this dress apart is the color and sleeves. 

Here's Why: 

White is the perfect color for an engagement session if you can pull it off. It allows anyone who views your images to almost instantly know that you are a bride. Some say red is the color of love but I think white is. White is the color of purity, cleanliness, and love. 

The sleeves add in texture and broaden the shoulder which makes that neckline and waist look even smaller. 

This is an all around great dress for any session! 

 10) Urban Outfitters WINONA Louise Knot Front Maxi

Last but certainly not least- this dress is for my hip ladies. (I like to think I am still young enough to attract hip people....I am, right?). I can see this being worn on a rooftop or in a swanky downtown bar with cool wine glasses and a tux. I can also see this in a forest, at a music festival, or in Downtown, Sydney (just putting that out there). 

Here's Why: 

The color and material of this dress is simply gorgeous. That's all there is to that. 

The knot front allows versatility and lets you create a new look each time you wear it, plus, it shows off that back and waist you've been working on all spring in preparation for beach season! 

Okay- going back to the color- the deep red screams luxury. Upscale. Modern. Rich. 

If you buy this dress, meet me on the rooftop in downtown and we'll grab some drinks afterwards. :D 

All of these images are taken directly from their store website to showcase the product. The direct links to those website's products are shown under each individual image. They are not the property of Abigail Wellinghurst Photography. 


There is a current promotion going on for 30% off any and all couple's sessions booked for April 24th- May 6th! For more information on the current sale, these featured products, or opportunities for collaboration please contact me at (or click "CONTACT" at the top of the page!)