If you’re engaged and you live in the DC metro area, you may be looking for the very best places to get your engagement photos taken. Engagement photos are a unique opportunity to get beautiful portraits of you and your fiancé that express your partnership and relationship dynamic, not only to use in Save the Dates but to have hanging in your home and stashed away for your wedding countdown on Instagram! Keep reading to hear about the top engagement photo locations in DC to have your engagement photos done.
The Hampton Mansion is a certified U.S. Historic Site in Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. This peachy toned mansion estate has historic colonial architecture with a fresh modern feel, and I love the grey and white marble staircase! It has been beautifully preserved, and the grounds provide a wonderful backdrop for capturing your love amidst the historical Northeast. Whether you prefer a manicured garden maze, a whispy fiel, a romantic oak tree, brick-and-glass greenhouses or wrought iron and stone gates, this engagement photo location in DC has a little bit of everything!
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, also known as the Kennedy Center, is an iconic Washington, DC, arts fixture. This DC engagement photo location is perfect if you and your fiancé are avid supporters of theater and music, but it makes the number 2 spot on my list for its mid-century take on DC views. Funky architecture meets a timeless skyline view here, and I can’t get enough of the drapey willow tree and whispy purple field or the golden pillars.
One of my absolute favorite engagement photo locations in DC of all time! Dumbarton Oaks is a beautiful estate with sprawling, well-maintained gardens and stone steps perfect for a portrait session. The Orangery offers a completely unique photo location that feels like a garden cottage forgotten by time as greenery drips through the greenhouse ceiling and along the walls. Stone and wrought-iron gates with lots of fluffy greenery and ivy lined stone steps make this photo location feel like a work of art from every angle. Every inch is a dream!
This is DC at its dreamiest without being too on the nose!
You can’t list DC’s most iconic engagement photo locations without mentioning the monuments! Pay homage to a historic piece of Washington, DC and the place you built your love by getting your engagement photos at the Lincoln Monument. Don’t worry—there’s a lot more interesting shots to be had than simply the two of you hanging out by Lincoln’s left knee! I strongly recommend a sunrise session to catch the sun rays coming up between the pillars (and to avoid too many tourists!).
The DC War Memorial is an amazing and under-rated place to shoot your DC engagement photos! Not only can you take show stopping images in the gorgeous stone columns of the memorial itself, but the park around the War Memorial is absolutely beautiful. If you want spring engagement photos in DC, look no further! As with most iconic sights in DC, I would recommend aiming for a sunrise session to keep your session as private as possible.
The Meridian House is an astounding historical site with 18th century European architecture both inside and out! The perfect balance of DC stonework with a pop of greenery, the Meridian House has lots of tucked away spaces that make for dreamy and intimate engagement photos. Love a dramatic shot? I can already picture stunning silhouettes in front of Meridian Houses’ floor-to-ceiling windows and a big dip kiss with the terraced fountains in the background.
If you’ve ever dreamed of a Parisian engagement then the Larz Anderson House is THE photo location for you! The Larz Anderson House is a historic home nestled in trendy Dupont Circle on Embassy Row filled with antiques and old-world style architecture. Between the dramatic lighting and unique style, it’s easy to picture a magazine-worthy engagement session here.
You know I’m looking out for my greenery lovers! The National Arboretum is about as close as I’ve seen DC get to an Italian ruin. Celebrate your love story amongst the sprawling lawns, reflecting pool and signature open-air stone columns. Best for a sunrise session to beat the crowds, the National Arboretum is home to an incredible glow between the trees that makes for truly magical portraits.
Don’t get me started! An engagement session at the iconic Union Station in Washington, DC, gives a timeless and chic vibe to your engagement photos. I consider this the perfect spot for my vintage-loving couples or the couple who loves to travel together. Between the classic domed arches and the architecture of the bustling main concourse, you truly can’t go wrong here. I do strongly suggest that you plan for a sunrise style engagement session here as Union Station can be busy with travelers and tourists during the evenings.
The Washington DC Culture House is an explosion of color and artistry! Founded on the mission statement that art is a catalyst for the community, this traditional church was turned into a cold and colorful mural piece that now serves as a local non-profit. This is the perfect backdrop for a creative, modern couple that packs a punch of personality to all your engagement shots. The outdoor “Avant Garden” is partnered with Culture House to features a series of rotating murals and sculptures so your portraits will be as unique as you!
Looking for a truly unique rehearsal dinner location? Culture House is also available to be rented out as an Air BNB or an event space!
You might have seen this location floating around my website before, because it’s definitely a favorite! Great Falls National Park straddles the Potomac River on both the Virginia side and the Maryland side, so it’s actually been featured in both my blog on Virginia’s All-Time BEST Photo Locations AND my blog on Iconic Engagement Photo Locations in Maryland! (You know what they say: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!)
Whether you’re looking for that incredible waterfall view or prefer something more woodsy, Great Falls is a staple for couples who want the feeling of an adventurous engagement session without having to travel too far outside of the city.
Bonus points: Not all national parks are pet friendly, but Great Falls is! I don’t know which you’ll love more, the views or having your whole little family involved! 😉
Choosing a non-traditional location for your engagement photos is the easiest way to make a session feel like a true representation of your partnership and relationship dynamic. (In such a historic city, sometimes we want to break out of the norm a little bit and leave our own mark on the town!) Consider places that are meaningful to your relationship in some way, whether that looks like re-visiting a milestone moment or highlights a shared interest between you two.
When it comes to non-traditional locations, you can get your wheels turning by checking out local breweries, stylish Air BNBs or Peerspaces, coffeeshops, record stores, parks, ice cream parlors, monuments, parking garages with epic views, festivals or even your own home!
If bold outfits or unusual locations aren’t your vibe, consider doing one of your fav date night activities together like baking together or snuggling up to make s’mores in your backyard.
Let’s do this!
Whether you’re looking for something dreamy and intimate or want to feel like you’ve walked out of the pages of Vogue, it’s all possible. Send me a message HERE and mention this blog post to receive an extra half hour of engagement photos on me. (This offer is open to any couples who haven’t previously inquired with me.)