Throwing an engagement party is a great way to celebrate with your friends and family. But, in case you end up celebrating a little too much, engagement photos are often a more memorable way to mark the occasion.
In all seriousness, there are many reasons why an engagement photoshoot is a wise choice. First of all, it gives you an opportunity to work with your wedding photographer for the first time. This helps you adapt to their working style and become more comfortable posing in front of the lens.
You might also submit one of your favourite shots to the local newspaper as part of an engagement announcement or include one of your engagement photos on the wedding invitation or save-the-date cards.
As such, a few snaps at your local park won’t exactly cut it. So where should you and your intended head for the perfect set of engagement photos? Keep reading to find out some of the best location ideas!
1. On the Beach
Call it classic, call it a cliche, but there’s something about beach engagement photos. With a combination of romantic muted colours and the drama of crashing waves, beach settings offer interest without ever drawing attention away from the couple at the heart of the photos.
For couples in the Oxford and London areas, a coastal engagement photoshoot obviously means taking a trip to the seaside. But where should you head for the best beach engagement photos?
It depends on the kind of beach scenes you’re looking for. Kynance Cove in Cornwall is home to eye-catching rock formations and turquoise waters. Botany Bay in Kent boasts imposing white cliffs and miles of open sand. Or, Llanddwyn Beach, which a little further afield in Anglesey, features a quaint lighthouse, golden sands, and breathtaking views of Snowdonia.
2. First Date Spot
Meaningful locations such as the cinema you went to for your first date or the park where you shared your first kiss are ideal for creating unique engagement photos with a personal story behind them.
You could even use these settings to recreate your first date with poses and props to suit the occasion. As for the photos themselves, a mix of tender moments and funny engagement photos will ensure the shoot doesn’t get too sentimental.
3. Rolling Fields
Engagement photo ideas don’t come much better than posing with your intended surrounded by miles of fields. The open skies and distant horizon help to create real impact while the softness of your natural surroundings offers romance and whimsy.
One of the best examples is Hitchin Lavender Fields. As well as 35 miles of breathtaking lavender rows, sunflowers bloom in the area from late August onwards. Depending on when in the year you visit, you could even take photos in both areas to see which setting you prefer.
Grassy fields full of poppies and other wildflowers can also be beautiful if you’re looking for something a little more low-key. Or, you might prefer an engagement photoshoot in a wheat field for the sunny golden hues.
4. London Landmarks
From Big Ben to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Marble Arch to the London Eye, there are plenty of diverse London landmarks for an engagement photoshoot to remember. You could even take some funny engagement photos posing like tourists on a double-decker bus or in the back of a black cab.
In most cases, you’ll need to get up early to beat the crowds. But imagine how amazing you and your partner will look, embracing in the middle of Tower Bridge at dawn or strolling through the deserted streets of Notting Hill.
There are also plenty of natural landscapes, parks, and gardens to choose from in the London area. Richmond Park is home to lakes and wildlife, while the Hill Garden and Pergola offers a picturesque setting in the heart of London.
Are you and your intended big wine lovers? Or maybe your first date involved more than a few glasses of the good stuff. Whatever your motive, a vineyard makes a stunning setting for engagement photos, especially in the spring and summer months.
The best part is, you don’t even need to head abroad for the perfect vineyard backdrop. There are 16 vineyards in Oxfordshire as well as many more in the surrounding area. You could even combine a wine tasting session with your engagement photoshoot for a great way to toast the happy news.
6. Historical Buildings and Grounds
Oxfordshire has more than its fair share of historical buildings and landmarks. You might even be planning on getting married in one of them.
One of the most distinctive of them all is the 18th-century building Radcliffe Camera. Known for its iconic circular dome and drum, it offers the perfect backdrop for your engagement photos.
Of course, we couldn’t list perfect engagement photo locations without mentioning Blenheim Palace. Whether you go for winter engagement photos or a summer photoshoot, the grounds are the ideal setting for romantic shots. With arches, trees, greenery, water features, and the palace itself, there will be plenty of ways for your photographer to bring both architecture and nature into your shoot.
7. On Top of a Mountain
While Oxford isn’t known for its mountain ranges, there are several hills in the surrounding area.
Shotover Hill, in particular, is a hidden gem that lies only a short distance from the city centre. As well as amazing views overlooking south and east Oxfordshire, the upper plains of Shotover Hill provide the perfect natural setting for a memorable engagement photoshoot.
Or, if you’re willing to travel a little farther and hike a little more, there are plenty of stunning mountain locations across the UK. From Scafell Pike and Cat Bells in the Lake District to Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, adventurous couples can create stunning engagement photos with a backdrop to match.
8. Sand Dunes
If you’re drawn to the drama of the desert, there’s no need to go abroad for your engagement photoshoot.
The Holkham National Nature Reserve in North Norfolk boasts an impressive display of rolling dunes for the perfect sandy backdrop. Open skies, foxtails swaying in the breeze, and more than a hint of the wild make this unspoilt location ideal for couples looking for something a little different.
9. Quaint Country Village
You rarely have to travel far in the UK to find a quaint village, but the Cotswolds is packed full of them. As such, this nearby area of outstanding beauty offers the perfect engagement photoshoot location for those of you looking for some old-fashioned charm and character.
From pretty Bourton-on-the-Water to tranquil and charming Burford, the hilltop views of Stow-on-the-Wold to scenic Stanton, you’ll have a hard time choosing between so many stunning spots. Although, many agree that picture-perfect Castle Combe takes the winning prize.
As this photoshoot in Buckinghamshire’s Black Park shows, areas of dense woodland are perfect for adding depth to your engagement photos.
For autumn and winter engagement photos, the combination of tall trees and hints of a low-hanging sun makes for an atmospheric backdrop if you get your timing right.
What’s more, even in summer, the repetitive background draws attention to you as the focus of the photos. And, by playing with light and shade, there are lots of opportunities for your photographer to get some stunning shots.
11. Botanical Garden
Oxford’s Botanic Garden has the honour of being the first in the country, making it both a beautiful and historical location for your engagement photoshoot.
Depending on the season, your engagement photos could be full of colourful blooms, autumnal displays of changing leaves, or even a sprinkling of snowfall. What’s more, the gardens are also home to romantic trellises, lakes, trees, and lily ponds for the perfect natural setting in the heart of the city.
12. Museum or Art Gallery
Museums and art galleries such as The Ashmolean in Oxford are becoming more and more popular as wedding venues. They also provide a great setting for engagement photos thanks to features such as impressive facades, sprawling grounds, dramatic staircases, and plenty of light and space.
And, if your chosen museum or art gallery allows you to take your engagement photos in one of the exhibition rooms then there’s also the possibility of posing against works of art and historical artefacts.
The Best Locations for Engagement Photos
With so many great options for where to take your engagement photos, you might have a hard time deciding on your favourite location.
Luckily, years of experience have taught us at Zaki Charles Photography that some locations that work better than others depending on the couple, the season, and the time frame you’re working with.