Whether you’re an NYC-living couple, you met in the city, you took your first vacation there as a couple, or you just have a thing for the Big Apple, there’s always a reason for an engagement photoshoot in the city that never sleeps. And there’s no better place for quintessential New York engagement photos than Central Park. It could be teeming with green or golden foliage, cast under a snowy winter-wonderland spell, or awakening fresh and pink with cherry blossoms, but there is seriously no bad season to take your engagement photos here. No matter where you look, there’s beauty and magic in every corner. Coupled with its vast size, it can be hard to narrow down a few spots to express your love.
To help you out, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite Central Park spots, from the classic and iconic to the hidden gems.
There’s nothing quite so classically Central Park as taking a rowboat for two out at the Boathouse. Row on down the lake for some dreamy city romance and even dreamier engagement shots.
The Bow Bridge
Another iconic spot not to be missed? The Bow Bridge: the epitome of New York romance. The spring fog and hazy sunlight make for an epic shot, but this looks good in any season.
Although Central Park is rife with dozens of picturesque spots, sometimes the most adorable and candid engagement photos are those taken when walking the park’s maze of pathways—like this cute hand-holding couple.
Bethesda Terrace Arcade
From the detailed Minton tile ceiling and rich, decorative side panels to the ornate archways, the architectural splendor of the Bethesda Terrace Arcade paints the perfect backdrop for an engagement shoot. Besides, where better to celebrate than what has been dubbed the heart of the park?
Okay, so this spot is technically part of Bethesda Terrace as well, but the location calls for more than one golden moment. One of the first structures built in the park back in the 1850s, the charming and historic Bethesda Fountain is a must for a pair of lovers.
Get adventurous! Any of the large rocks in Central Park make for a good photo op if you’re willing to climb, but the one in front of Wollman Rink offers grand skyline views of midtown Manhattan. Just make sure to hold on tight to that new ring!
There are a ton of hidden gem locations around the lake; stumble upon them for stunning, scenic shots that capture the nature of the park. We suggest scouting for a spot along the east side of the lake so you can get the towers of Central Park West in the backdrop.
The grand structure, stone facade, and striking turrets of Belvedere Castle can whisk any couple into a different world with its Romeo and Juliet-esque vibes, complete with gorgeous views.
The Mall is the only deliberate straight pathway inside the park; flanked by American elms that create a splendid canopy overhead. This highly-photographed area is perfect for getting both perspective and horticultural beauty in your engagement photos.
Southeast Reservoir Bridge
Don’t let the Bow Bridge steal all the limelight—the park is filled with other secret and not-so-secret bridges that each have their own bit of magic. The cast iron Southeast Reservoir Bridge is just plain pretty, characterized by a flat platform and lush foliage. Having your shoot in a less touristy and well-known spot will bring something different and unexpected to your photos.