So you’re engaged!? Congrats!! Now it is time to start planning your engagement announcement. But where to begin?! Once you have your photographer, you should start thinking about locations.
Here are my top engagement locations in Northern Virginia:
1. Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria is one of my favorite places to shoot! There are a variety of little streets and alley ways that make this the perfect setting for an engagement shoot. If you want more of a beachy vibe, you can go to the wharf for some docks and water. If you want more of the city scape, I recommend starting at Prince and Union and walking up towards the Athenaeum.
2. Carlyle House
We can easily also go to the Carlyle House if you get a permit!
3. Manassas Battlefield
The Manassas Battlefield has some great rolling fields for dramatic sweeping landscapes perfect at sunrise or sunset. The best locations here are the Stone Bridge and the Old Stone House.
4. Bluemont Winery
Virginia has some amazing wineries that provide the perfect romantic backdrop. Bluemont Winery has amazing hydreangeas that bloom in late summer. This was close to September.
5. Morais Vineyards
Morais has an Italian style house with lots of Portuguese architecture. You have to arrange a permit and time slot with the owners but it is darling! I also love Blue Valley if you want more of a view.
6. Stone Tower Winery
Stone Tower Winery is one of my favorite ways to spend a weekday. They do require a permit fee but you have use of the whole property! Green Hill Winery, Breaux and Bull Run also offer photo options.
7. Great Falls
Great Falls is a great location if you are up for a little adventure. TECHNICALLY these photos are done at the Maryland side near the visitor’s center but I still count it! Some other overlooks for more mountainous looks include: Bears Den, Sugarloaf, Raven Rocks, Hawksbill Mountain, Dickey Ridge, Sharp Top Mountain (at peaks of otter near Bedford), Humpback Rocks, Buzzard Rock (Near Front Royal), along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Rocks State Park…. but this is the closest!
Oatlands is magical. They require a permit but the gardens and house is stunning. If you want a romantic garden engagement, this is your spot. For smaller, permit free gardens, you can check out Holmes Run, Green Spring or Bon Air Park also have some lovely foliage.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite spots! The permit fee is reasonable and it has a new glass atrium.
I love downtown Middleburg! There are also amazing resorts closely like Salamander, Glennstone Gardens, and Red Fox Inn that would be an amazing shoot locations!
11. Goodstone Inn
I am low key obsessed with Goodstone. You must email for a permit but the grounds and pool are stunning in all seasons!
12. Rust Manor
Rust manor is a quaint little house and garden and is run by NOV parks! Must email for permit but they are dog friendly!
Airlie also requires a permit but they have lovely gardens and a killer staircase that feels Italy inspired. They are pet friendly as well! Great Marsh is a more English alternative to this!
14. Morven Park
Morven Park has English garden vibes. They require a permit and the grounds are massive! I like the house area the best. Other local farms and parks could be a seasonal replacement like Burnside farms (tulips), Seven Oaks Lavender Field (Lavender), 48 Fields, and even Mckee Beshers Wildlife Management Area (sunflowers) all provide great seasonal backdrops for your portraits. Be sure to call ahead for any permit requirements!
There you have it folks!