It’s official—you’re getting married! Time to make the announcement to all your friends and family. Most couples plan to have their engagement photos taken one to two months after the engagement itself, so there’s not always a lot of time for planning. To make it easier for you and your fiance, we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful cities and sites in the U.S. to snap the perfect pictures celebrating your big announcement. Select a location close to home or turn it into a vacation and head somewhere new to capture stunning shots of you and your special someone.
Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, South Carolina
Considered to be the oldest public garden in the country, the Magnolia Plantation was originally built and owned by the Drayton family in 1676. These grounds have withstood major historical events like the Revolutionary War and the Civil War yet they still flourish with thousands of visitors flocking to the plantation each year. You can spend hours wandering through the gardens, which are separated into unique sections, including the bamboo forest, the camellia collection and Cypress Lake. Pose for a romantic shot of you and your soon-to-be spouse on the famous long bridge—a low, white bridge extending over one of the garden’s many ponds. Spanish moss draping from the live oaks makes for another enchanting shot.
While in the area, don’t limit yourself to just Magnolia Plantation—plan on visiting Charleston S.C.’s downtown area. The pastel-colored houses of Rainbow Row make for unique engagement photos that will have your friends and family itching to travel to Charleston, S.C. Turn the event into a mini-vacation by visiting Dewees Island, S.C. during your stay. This quaint little island off the coast of Charleston is only accessible by boat, so you can ride the ferry over and snap some beachside pictures as well.
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
Though not technically considered a city, Antelope Canyon, A.Z. is one of the most unique natural wonders you’ll ever see. You and your photographer will need to follow a tour guide into the canyon, but once you’re down there, you’ll marvel at the smooth, interesting patterns in the surrounding sandstone cliffs. This is one of the best places in the entire country to capture a photo of any kind because the lighting creates a beautiful backdrop as it lights the sandstone designs. Spend a few hours capturing photos and then let yourself explore the area. Because this location involves a bit of physical activity, you may want to opt for a classy outfit that allows you to move around easily or plan to bring your engagement photo outfit to change into once you’ve climbed down the canyon.
White Sands, New Mexico
White Sands National Monument, N.M. may not be surrounded by many attractions, but the scenery here is unparalleled. Created by sediment from gypsum in the nearby mountains’ soil, these sand dunes are a stunning white color. Walk to the top of the dunes to capture photos of you and your fiance surrounded by miles of sand dunes and the towering mountains of the Tularosa Basin in the back. Because the dunes are so stunningly white, you can wear a bright dress or suit jacket to contrast with the landscape.
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Just outside of L.A., Joshua Tree National Park offers a nearly endless list of possible spots for stunning engagement photos. The desert landscape is as beautiful as it is mysterious with large rock formations and unique trees and vegetation. The Hidden Valley Trail is one of the most populated areas of the park and a great spot for a few photos. Stand in front of towering rock formations or at the edge of a stunning canyon. Skull Rock is another famous rock formation in the park with two large holes eroded out of the stone to create a skull-like appearance, which makes an eerily beautiful backdrop. Head over to the park’s Cholla Cactus Garden for another unusual photo op with you and your sweetheart surrounded by these one-of-a-kind trees. The best time to capture your engagement photos here is right around sunset when the sky begins to change to a stunning light pink and orange.
One of America’s oldest cities and home to the country’s first public park, Boston Commons, Boston is an amazing city to act as a backdrop for your engagement photos. Pose along the Boston Harbor as the city’s crew teams race across the water or explore the Boston Commons, where you’ll discover dozens of blooming tulips in front of the George Washington statue. On any given day, Bostonians can be found relaxing on the lawn of this historical park. To give your engagement photos a unique angle, try staging an intimate picnic in this area of the park. Then, head over to the adjacent Boston Public Gardens to pose on one of the famous Swan Boats or snap a photo on the bridge that crosses the Lagoon.
Denver, C.O. offers a combination of beautiful city scenery and natural outdoor landscapes for your engagement photos. Stay within the city limits and visit Larimer Square, where you can pose for photos in the middle of the street surrounded by quaint city buildings and lit up at night by strands of string lights. Credited as an incredible work of Romanesque architecture, Denver’s Union Square is a gorgeous spot for engagement photos. If you’re looking for a backdrop that is centered more in nature, you can take a short drive out of the city to the Rocky Mountain National Park—an all-time favorite area for engagement photos. Some of the tallest mountain peaks here reach past 14,000 feet and are typically snow-capped year-round. No matter what part of the park you choose as your backdrop, you’re sure to capture some of the most stunning mountains in the entire U.S.
Congratulations on your engagement! Now, it’s time to start the heavy planning. Begin by selecting a beautiful location for your engagement photos whether that means traveling to Charleston S.C. or hiking up the stunning dunes of White Sands, N.M. Once the announcements have been sent and everyone is getting excited, you can move on to planning the big day exactly how you’ve always pictured it.
Traci Magnus is a realtor for Dunes Properties located in Charleston, SC. When she’s not selling houses or writing, you can find her researching the latest trends in housing development or exploring downtown Charleston with her husband, Glenn.