Don’t want to venture into Washington DC for your session and deal with potential traffic or crowds? Northern Virginia is a beautiful area with many great engagement session locations to choose from, not far from DC. I’ve lived in NoVA my whole life and I feel like I am always still discovering new spots! Here are some of my favorite Northern Virginia engagement session locations:
Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria is one of the most popular spots and for GOOD REASON! It is charming historic district with cobblestone streets, brick sidewalks, and quaint shops and restaurants. The area offers a variety of backdrops, including colorful buildings, waterfront views, and hidden alleyways that make for such a beautiful Northern Virginia engagement session.
Similar spots to check out: Historic Downtown Leesburg, Downtown Middleburg .
Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park is another stunning location with scenic views of the Potomac River and the Falls. The park is dog-friendly and offers many different areas for photo opportunities, including overlooks, trails, and woods. I usually shoot on the Virginia side, but there is also a Maryland side to Great Falls that is beautiful as well!
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a beautiful park with endless gardens and trails. There are so many types of flowers, trees and fields that offer so many different vibes and colors in your photos in such a short period of time. Permit Required.
Manassas Battlefield Park
Manassas Battlefield Park is a historic site with rolling hills, tall grass and golden fields that look absolutely stunning year round, especially at golden hour! There are many different spots here that offer a chill, secluded area for your photos that’s straight out of Pinterest. It’s also perfect for dogs that are good on or off leash.
Bluemont Vineyard is a beautiful winery located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The vineyard offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and rows of grapevines, providing a romantic and picturesque setting for engagement photos. Permit Required.
Other Wineries/Breweries: Stone Tower Winery, Fleetwood Farm Winery, Greenhill Winery, Vanish Brewing, Dirt Farm Brewing
Great Marsh Estate
The Great Marsh Estate features a stunning 19th-century mansion, a pond, a fountain, and a variety of sculptures, providing couples with a romantic, elegant setting for their photos. beautiful historic property with over 120 acres of gardens, meadows, and woodlands. Permit Required.
Other Manor Houses: Goodstone Inn, Oatlands Historic House & Gardens, Morven Park, Airlie, Carlyle House & Gardens
Sky Meadows State Park
Sky Meadows State Park is SUCH a stunning location offering picturesque meadows, rolling hills, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Permit Required.
Other nature locations to check out: State Arboretum of Virginia, Bears Den Overlook
Leeslyvania State Park
Leesylvania State Park is located on the Potomac River and offers water views, beachy vibes, and lots of trails and pretty woodland! Nothing beats the actual beach, but I love this spot if you want to go for a slightly beach inspired shoot and run around in the sand without having to drive too far.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is massive and a fantastic option for my adventurous couples out there who are up for a drive for some mountain views and stunning light. I have spent years exploring the park and have endless options for different overlooks and hikes that are stunning for photos. SNP Add On/Travel Fees required.
These are just a few of the many Northern Virginia engagement session locations, and I am sure I will add and update to this list in the future! Overall, my number #1 tip when picking an engagement session location is don’t overthink it. It’s not the location that makes a session special, it’s you and your love. Prioritize choosing a location that reflects your personal style as a couple or is special to you, and one that makes you feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera – you’ll be golden!