How fun are engagement photoshoots! Not only are they the best way to capture that magical and OMG feeling of your engagement, but they’re a perfect opportunity to help yourself get comfortable in front of the camera before your big day. Luckily, we have so many amazing spots for pictures near our local area, so it’s easy to plan a fun and unique shoot — I just love these engagement photo locations near Alexandria, Virginia!
I encourage my couples to think of their photo session as a date day, planning a fun activity you’ll love and I’ll be there in the background, snapping away! What date activities do you love? Or, what’s something unique you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t yet?
To help you get started, these are some of the most fun and picturesque engagement photo locations near Alexandria in Northern Virginia.
1. Old Town Alexandria & Waterfront
Engagement photos in Alexandria are gorgeous! The Old Town is full of historic cobblestone streets around Prince Street and the Captain’s Row Houses make for classic outdoor images, or grab a drink at the bar of Daniel O’Connell’s — amazing food!
Oh, and in summer, we’re definitely taking pics with the famous ice cream from The Creamery! Both Old Town and the waterfront are places where I know we can always get amazing photos, no matter what time of year.
2. Carlyle House
Carlyle House Historic Park is an elegant stone mansion dating back to 1753 and conveniently located right in Old Town. With elegant furnishings and formal gardens, you’ll love your engagement photos here!
Oh, and it’s also one of the best Alexandria proposal spots, for anyone thinking of popping the question!
3. River Farm, Alexandria
In spring and autumn, I really love River Farm! It’s a historic manor home overlooking the Potomac and it’s also the headquarters of the American Horticultural Society.
There are 25 acres of gardens and forest, so get ready for dreamy, secret garden images. A permit is required to shoot here, but it’s easy to organize!
4. Manassas Battlefield
For couples who love history, the Manassas Battlefield can be a unique place for photography. Now a National Park, the battlefield has serene hiking trails chock-full of wildflowers, forests, and rolling hills. Plus, pets (on a leash) are allowed too!
5. Prince William Forest Park
Another park ideal for engagement photography in Alexandria is Prince William Forest Park, a wooded park with cute cabins originally built in the 1930s. Quaint bridges over bubbling brooks and lots of great camping and hiking spots, this place is a true hidden gem and ideal for outdoor engagement photography!
6. Great Falls Park
The Virginia side of Great Falls Park is unbelievable! Sure, you’ve got the roaring waterfall that always takes your breath away, but the park also has picnic areas, hiking trails, and really lovely forests.
Great Falls can be popular, especially on weekends, but I can help you time your shoot to minimize crowds!
Airlie is a lux countryside retreat and hotel in Warrenton, known for its gardens and unique architecture. Stroll through the formal gardens or steal a kiss under the property’s iconic pavilion — everything here is honestly so photogenic!
And if you really fall in love with Airlie, they do weddings there too!
Here’s what you need to know about scheduling an Airlie photoshoot.
8. Northern Virginia Wineries
Looking for fun engagement photo ideas near Alexandria? How about we pop over to one of Virginia’s epic wineries, like Stone Tower Winery or Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery, and you enjoy a wine tasting — so fun!
Whether you love or hate ‘em, I’m sure we’ll get some beautifully candid photos of you having the best time together as you sample each wine!
Wedding photos taken while working as a second photographer for Birds of a Feather Photography.
9. Great Marsh Estate
Great Marsh Estate seriously brings Downton Abbey vibes! This drop-dead gorgeous historic mansion, in Great Marsh, has spectacular gardens that will make for such dreamy photos.
Beautiful stonework, sprawling gardens and manicured open lawns, plus classic Georgian architecture — engagement photos here will create classic European feels that you’ll love.
Wedding photos taken while working as a second photographer for Hana Gonzalez Photography.
10. Sky Meadows State Park
How about a scenic adventure photoshoot at Sky Meadows State Park? Hiking, horseback riding, or access to the Appalachian Trail are all possible here, giving us quintessential country Virginia scenery for your photos.
It’s particularly gorgeous at sunrise and sunset too!
11. Scott’s Run Nature Preserve
Set within Fairfax County, Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is part of the Potomac Gorge and offers wildflowers, scenic hikes, and vistas easily accessible from the road.
There’s a small waterfall, lots of beautiful creek and river views, and beautiful forests offering solitude and peace and quiet.
12. Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah is just over an hour from Northern Virginia, but it’s worth the drive for anyone looking for something a bit more adventurous!
Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is famous for its waterfalls, dramatic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and gorgeous overlooks around every corner. Go for a hike, bring a picnic, or get lost on the trails — it’ll lead to epic adventure elopement photos!
Or, you might want to consider a Shenandoah elopement, as it’s perfect for couples who want something special and off the beaten path.
13. Red Rock Wilderness Overlook
In nearby Leesburg, head over to Red Rock Wilderness Overlook for an outdoor engagement shoot with stunning Potomac River views. There are also a few historic stone buildings along the trails that make for unique photo backdrops!
14. State Arboretum of Virginia
The State Arboretum of Virginia, part of Blandy Experimental Farm, is easily the best place for a garden engagement shoot! There are so many unique landscapes here where we can take photos, including a forest of golden ginkgo trees and a huge array of stunning boxwood trees.
It’s dog-friendly and no permit is required, making it super easy to plan a spontaneous shoot!
15. Bear’s Den Park Trail
Looking for a fairly easy hike that still delivers OMG-I-can’t-believe-we-hiked-that views? In that case, you’ll love Bear’s Den Park Trail for a shoot or even for a nature elopement.
This 1.7-mile return trail has an epic stone overlook, views as far as the eye can see, and beautiful, vibrant sunset. The fall foliage is amazing here too!
I hope you love these amazing engagement photo locations near Alexandria! I can promise these locations are all ideal for adventurous and free-spirited couples looking for an authentic and meaningful shoot! Some locations might require permits, but don’t worry — as your engagement photographer in Alexandria, I’ll help guide you through the process if your location needs one.
Seriously, I am so excited to help you plan your engagement shoot! The engagement time is such a magical part of your relationship, so please get in touch to start planning a shoot that you’ll love!