Photo: Brooke Roberts Photography
Engagement pictures are a chance to capture all that pre-wedding excitement between you and your fiancé in some professionally shot, we-are-looking-better-than-ever images. One of the best parts about the tradition is getting to choose a unique place to host the photo shoot, especially if you're hoping to highlight a gorgeous season like autumn. Here are 10 of our favorite ideas for fall engagement photo locations — you probably won't get married in any of these spots, but you'll definitely want to capture their beauty beforehand.
1. On a Lavender Farm
Imagine roaming through fields of fragrant lavender with your soon-to-be spouse. The Peace Valley Lavender Farm in Bucks County, PA, lets you do just that any Thursday through Sunday by appointment. Call ahead and prepare to take some gorgeous shots against a rustic barn, next to a vintage bike, or between hanging lavender. Carry a basket of the purple flowers as a prop and you'll get some of the calming benefits too.
2. Beneath a Lighthouse
If you and your partner are nautically inclined, the lighthouses on Cape Cod can serve as a stunning backdrop. Chancey Charm Boston/Cape Cod Wedding Planner Jyl Deering suggests Chatham Lighthouse in Chatham, MA. You won't be able to have your wedding in or near the buildings, so might as well take advantage during some pre-wedding pics.
3. Amidst Ancient Driftwood
The hauntingly beautiful tree graveyard that is Driftwood Beach makes for some one-of-a-kind engagement photos. Find the secluded escape on Jekyll Island, GA — just between Jacksonville, FL, and Savannah, GA — where off-the-beaten path beauty reigns. The quiet setting is perfect for taking some romantic shots.
4. Over a Scenic River
When it's not open to the public (i.e. before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m.), reserve use of Vista House at Crown Point on the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon for your personal photo sesh. Melanie Marconi of Where Will They Stay? recommends the spot for stunning early morning or late sunset shoots overlooking the river from a unique octagonal stone structure vantage point.
5. At Joshua Tree
If you're not keen on throwing your wedding way out in a national park but love the idea of some natural and outdoorsy photos then strap on your hiking boots and take photos at a forest like Joshua Tree in southern California. Jagged rocks dot the desert-like panorama, lending a rugged edge to your otherwise sweet engagement stills.
6. A City Station
Going for an urban or architectural vibe? Union Station in Denver, Colorado, not only has luxurious velvet couches and dark wooden benches, but it's packed with fresh florals throughout the year at Bloom flower shop. Pick up a small bouquet to use as a prop, or park yourself in front of the store for some floral romanticism. Chancey Charm Denver Wedding Planner Lauren Groeper also says to make use of the station's holiday décor around Christmastime.
7. At a Waterfront Park
This may be an obvious choice, but consider checking out a waterfront park like Downs Memorial Park in Pasadena, Maryland, for some extra special options. The waterfront landscape lends itself to views of the glistening Chesapeake Bay while scenic trails (both paved and unpaved) are covered by a canopy of trees. There's a foot bridge between areas of the park and even a fishing pier for walking along hand-in-hand. The fall foliage will only add to the natural beauty in your photos.
8. Your State Capitol
Government may not go hand-in-hand with your idea of passionate love, but there are some breathtaking state capitol buildings that might set the scene for striking engagement pictures. You can usually count on an impressive set of front steps, which wedding planner Kelli Corn says can add some dramatic height and allow you to take photos from many different angles. Up-close feels personal and can capture some of the architectural details while wide lens shots incorporate the whole building and give the aura of grandeur. Some surprisingly beautiful buildings? Montpelier, Vermont and Des Moines, Iowa.
9. On Above-Water Rocks
There's nothing quite as quaint as your local coffee shop in the fall. Main Street in Richmond, VA, has plenty to choose from, and tons of cobblestone streets to walk in between - all for great photo ops. Chancey Charm Richmond Wedding Planner Alana Futcher says to stop by the James River where you can walk on some above-water rocks with the city skyline lighting up the background.
10. At Your Local Fair
You probably won't host your wedding at a carnival or amusement park, so why not take some fun engagement shots there? Stephanie Yonce of Stephanie Yonce Photography likes the idea of seeking out state fairs, arcades, or festivals for some lighthearted time in front of the camera. She suggests the Virginia State Fair or at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA.