Best Engagement Session Locations in the Shenandoah Valley

March 18th, 2018

Finding that perfect picturesque location that goes hand in hand with the outfits and theme of your engagement session can be difficult. Picking the right location matters. Especially when you send out ‘Save the Date’ cards to friends and family. The location needs just the right, a romantic setting that describes you and your future spouse. Are you outdoorsy, love classic architecture, or do you want a more urban look? I’d like to share my top eight locations in Shenandoah Valley Virginia that will fit whatever look you are going for. 

engagement session at belle grove plantation in the northern Shenandoah Valley near Middletown, Virginia

1. Belle Grove Plantation

If you are going for a bright, clean, and elegant location with the pro of being free, Belle Grove Plantation is worth checking out. It is a museum/event venue in Middletown, Virginia. Not only do you feel like you’re going back through time in this lovely historic landmark, but you can also get amazing background photography for your session. You can click the link above to check out a previous client’s session.

engagement session Downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia

2. Downtown Harrisonburg– 

Let’s say you’re in the mood for classy and sophisticated yet urban. Downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia can meet your needs. With its beautiful architecture and local shops, you can be assured that your photography will come out amazing. Another perk is that its free!

raven's roost engagement session blue ridge parkway shenandoah valley virginia

3. Raven’s Roost– 

The best part about this location is, you can still have the views even with the fear of heights. Although it appears to be very high up, you’re only twenty feet from the pull off. With dramatic, scenic views, you can get the look without even having to hike! Free admission too!

4. Swannanoa Mansion

Need to get away from the hustle and bustle for a minute and just be you and your future spouse? Swannanoa in Afton, Virginia can be your little get away for a hundred an hour. Its private location and elegance, can be perfect for your session. Gorgeous roman like architecture with beautiful arches. Swannanoa is my favorite Engagement Session Location in the Shenandoah Valley. It’s secluded and a hidden gem. You drive down this back county road and suddenly find yourself at a marble mansion in Italy… it’s surreal.

5. Black Rock Summit

This is one of my favorite locations to shoot in the Skyline Drive. The view is stunning! It’s located almost right in between the 64 & 33 entrance. It’s a short easy hike to the summit which has an amazing view. And don’t worry, I’m super safe and never pose anyone close to large precipices. This couple is standing on a large boulder a few feet off the ground (just don’t tell anyone.) 

6. Grand Caverns Park-

Grand Caverns Park holds an old world charm as you navigate the natural setting with paths through the woods. There is also a cute little building near the parking lot. A beautiful natural background. Plus, it is free! This may be for you, if you love that old fashioned charm this location brings. It is located in Grottoes, Va.

6. Your wedding venue– 

 Usually your wedding venue will let you do an engagement session there for free. This is good for a pre-wedding practice and to be able to walk the ground together. The link above is a wedding venue, Four Winds at North Mountain, in Swoope, Va. Definitely make a call to your venue and check out your options.

The lovely shot below was taken at their wedding venue: Four Winds at North Mountain. They accommodate engagement sessions for all their wedding bookings.

7. Bridgewater College– 

**Must See Fall Foliage**

With stunning autumn colors, Bridgewater College campus may be the spot for you. Perfect for fall colors, the college also provides amazing architectural accents. Depending on the season, this is perfect if you’re aiming for stunning fall colors!

Feeling adventurous? Interested in exploring new places with me? Here’s my “wish list” of places I want to shoot but haven’t ventured out to yet… 

  • Boar’s Head Resort- Free
  • DelFosse Vineyards and Winery-  $50
  • King Family Vineyards- $50
  • James Monroe’s Highland- $50
  • Harper’s Ferry, WV- Free
  •  Little Stony Man Overlook- Free



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