When you think of Florida, you probably think of tropical beaches or Disney, right? Well, as wedding photographers, we get to see a whole new side of this beautiful state. Engagement sessions are a key factor in our wedding experience, as it is the time we get to know our clients more and they truly get to know us! It’s also a time for our clients to learn how we photograph and our process behind the cameras. Today, we are sharing our top 5 favorite Florida engagement session locations with you to help inspire you for your session when the time comes!
For our clients looking for a classic and elegant feel to their engagement session, we always recommend Rollins College. You might be thinking, “A college campus as a background for our love story? Um… no thank you.” But, Rollins is different from the big universities you might be thinking of. As a private liberal arts college, Rollins has a unique flair to its campus. Situated in Winter Park, it is home to some of the most extensive Mediterranean architecture we’ve seen in Central Florida! The campus also is neighbors to gorgeous Lake Virginia. With beautiful rose gardens, classic brick roads, and the amazing architecture, this quiet campus gives off the perfect elegant vibe for your engagement session.
Looking for beautiful gardens and gorgeous rocks on the water to complete your session? Washington Oaks Gardens is for you. This is our go-to location for clients wanting both a costal/beach vibe and luscious gardens. First, enter the gardens to explore the array of blooming flowers on all sides. Cross the long bridge over the koi pond to find the towering oak tree filled with Spanish moss. On the other side of the oak tree, you will find the Matanzas River, where you can sit and watch the boats go by.
When you cross the street near the front of the park, that’s when the real fun begins. Now, you are standing on ginormous rocks on the Atlantic Ocean. Waves are crashing and spraying around you for the best photographs of your life. Sound like your kind of engagement session?? Let’s go on a trip to Saint Augustine and visit Washington Oaks Gardens together!
If you are one of those people who loves the feel of long golden grass and the sun peaking through vast oak trees at sunset, Lake Runnymede is your place. Lake Runnymede takes you away from that typical Florida vibe and brings you into a dreamy escape. You could really get lost in this conservation area and have a new backdrop at every turn. Lake Runnymede is the perfect engagement session location for couples who want that rustic feel.
Heading over to the Tampa area on the West Coast of Florida, Phillipe Park is one of our favorite engagement session locations. From the park, you can get a view of the Old Tampa Bay. It is also home to a Native American temple mound, which has a stunning stone staircase running around it. Covered by shade trees, it is the perfect escape from the craziness of the Tampa area. Plus, pairing Phillipe Park with nearby Sand Key Beach makes for the perfect greenery and beach duo!
We can’t NOT give you a Disney themed area. Florida IS home to Disney World of course. But, the best part of The Boardwalk Resort is that it doesn’t feel like Disney at all. The Boardwalk surrounds a gorgeous lake for many photo opportunities. Their little shops along the way take you away from classic Disney and makes you feel like you’re truly at a boardwalk. You can even catch a ride on a trolley cart! On the opposite side of the main boardwalk, you can access a beachfront property to add more variety to your session. It is the best of all worlds!
We have SO many favorites that it truly is hard to narrow down to our top 5! We also know that picking a location for your session is not easy. As client centered photographers, the best advice we can give to you is to pick a location that is truly meaningful to your relationship. If you love going to the theater together, see if you can do part of your session in a local theater! Are craft beers the thing you first bonded over? Ask the owner or manager if you can do a lifestyle session in their brewery! If nothing comes to mind, your photographer can always give you suggestions based on the feel of your session. Every couple receives an engagement location guide when they book their wedding package with us!
Want to see some more Advice from the Inside? Click below!