Congratulations, newly engaged couple! The countdown to the altar is officially ON. Engagement sessions are so valuable in preparing you for what to expect from your wedding photographer on the big day. Engagement sessions help you by:
- Getting comfortable and confident being in front of the camera
- Learning popular poses & prompts to make taking professional pictures feel more natural
- Meeting me in person so we already feel like besties on your wedding day!
Whether you plan to use your engagement photos for your wedding website, save-the-dates, in a guest book, or to fill the frames around your home, consider this one of the only other times in your life where you get extra special photos of just the two of you and your love.
That said, choosing a location can be tough! There are so many beautiful spots around New Jersey and I’ve got the pictures to prove it. When deciding on your engagement session location, consider the following:
- What types of settings speak most to your personalities?
- What colors are you most drawn to? (If filling your frames with these photos, what colors are prominent in your home decor?)
- Where holds a special place in your relationship? (For example, your first date spot, annual vacation spot, place you met, alma mater)
- How far are you willing to travel for your engagement session?
- Do you plan on bringing any props or pets?
- Are you OK paying a permit fee if your desired location requires it?
Scroll down to see the best engagement session locations in NJ I recommend for your engagement session and click into some sample galleries!
Fisherman’s Cove Beach, Manasquan
Also referred to as the Manasquan Dog Beach, this is the perfect beach to photograph at if you plan on bringing your pup! Nestled on the west side, it makes for a scenic sunset. With couples here I typically explore the walking paths, sand dunes and by the water. View Michele & Alex’s Fisherman’s Cove engagement session.
Sea Bright Beach
A quaint and classy northern NJ beach town, Sea Bright beach has a small boardwalk, sand dunes, the water, and an adorable town with a fun Sea Bright mural for an engagement session.
Bayonet Farm, Holmdel
One of my all-time favorite rustic locations to photograph at is Bayonet Farm in Holmdel. (I did my maternity photos here!). There are two different barns – a grey and a red – a field of long golden grass, an old blue house with a gorgeous window wall and stairs leading into a garden, plus a fence on a rocky path. If farm vibes are your thing, think Bayonet Farm! View Samantha & Logan’s Bayonet Farm portrait session.
Cross Estate Gardens, Bernardsville
This gorgeous garden, located in Morris County, New Jersey is a beautiful setting for those looking for pretty blooms and sunshine. Cross Estate Gardens features a historic mansion home, perfectly manicured gardens, and a giant water tower that reminds you or Rapunzel! I love coming here for the many different background options and the stunning photos that always come out!
Princeton University Campus
This ivy league campus is open to the public. The gothic architecture and ivy lined stone walls make you feel like your in both old Europe and at Hogwarts. The white marble buildings provide a sophisticated and minimalistic background, while the vine lined iron fences and brown stone classroom buildings give a scholarly and affluent look to photos. View Kelly & Cody’s Princeton University engagement session.
Prospect Gardens, Princeton
Also located on Princeton University’s campus is the Prospect House & Gardens. These gardens bloom in the summer with the most beautiful, lush, colorful flowers. There are walking paths, benches and a fountain. To me, the photos end up feeling more like exploring an old Tuscan villa or stepping into the pages of The Secret Garden! View Kelly & Cody’s Princeton University engagement session.
A popular NJ shore destination spot located near Toms River, Lavallette offers a clean beach with sparkling blue waters and dunes. There is also the Lavallette Gazebo park area, which provides a stunning sunset on the dock since it’s on the western side!
Asbury Park Boardwalk
A quirkier beach community known for its vibrant restaurant scene, rock and roll shows and colorful art murals, Asbury Park is a super fun place for an engagement session. There is the old carousel building and casino, mural lined boardwalk, convention hall, Wonder Bar, and an abundance more of spots to choose from here! View Jill & Tom’s Asbury Park engagement session.
Jockey Hollow, Morristown
A 1917 mansion based in Morristown, NJ with a lovely garden area, reflection pool and more. The Jockey Hollow Bar & Restaurant is located right in the heart of downtown. Not too far away is also the Morristown Green, a central park with foliage, a fountain and walking paths. View Alexis & Nick’s Jockey Hollow engagement session.
Allaire State Park, Wall Township
This popular park in Wall Township on the border of Howell, NJ is known for its historic 19th-century iron making town, Allaire Village, and the Pine Creek Railroad. There are several old red brick buildings, the cutest white chapel you ever did see, paths, fields, a stream and more! This park is free and has it all.
Divine Park, Spring Lake
Several blocks from Spring Lake beach is this gorgeous park that I consider one of my favorites. There are two long wooden bridges, a scenic sidewalk that wraps around the whole pond, and in the spring, beautiful cherry blossoms! If choosing Divine Park for your engagement session, we can also do some photos on the nearby beach. View Bryn & Bernard’s wedding photos at Divine Park.
Holland Ridge Farm, Cream Ridge (Tulips)
A fairly new and extremely popular farm, Holland Ridge Farm is located in, believe it or not, my hometown! So you know I love going back to visit Cream Ridge. Flower lovers, look here. While there is an entrance fee to get in, there are THOUSANDS of tulips, food trucks for after and more. Tulips are in bloom in April only.
Holland Ridge Farm, Cream Ridge (Sunflowers)
A fairly new and extremely popular farm, Holland Ridge Farm is located in, believe it or not, my hometown! So you know I love going back to visit Cream Ridge. Flower lovers, look here. While there is an entrance fee to get in, there are THOUSANDS of sunflowers, food trucks for after and more. Sunflowers are in bloom in September only.
Allaire Lavender & Alpaca Farm, Wall Township
Animal lover? Make an appointment at the alpaca farm! Located in Wall Township, Allaire Lavender Farm is home to a lavender field, several adorable alpacas and a large white barn (that doubles as an event space). During your session, we’ll get to go in the pen to feed and interact with the alpacas!
Liberty State Park, Jersey City
If you’re looking for a breathtaking background of the NYC skyline, this Jersey City park is it. The park is also home to a red and green train station building that I simply love as a backdrop alternative! View Maggie & Rob’s Liberty State Park engagement session.
Downtown Red Bank
Home to countless unique shops and eateries, this bustling downtown on the Navesink River is great for getting those city-feeling photos without traveling into the Big Apple! View Tyler & Bri’s Red Bank engagement session.
Riverside Gardens Park, Red Bank
Steps from downtown Red Bank is Riverside Gardens Park. With views of the Navesink River, docks and boats, a boardwalk and lots of foliage, it’s a great spot for photos if you live in the area! View Tyler & Bri’s Red Bank engagement session.
Mercer Meadows, Lawrenceville
Tall golden grass aplenty! These natural meadows are a romantic, airy feeling backdrop for engagement photos that come alive in the fall season. Complete with a walking path and red, orange and yellow trees, it’s a stunning spot for fall engagement photos, as well as summer ones! View Angie & Sean’s Mercer Meadows portrait session.
Christmas Tree Farms
There are countless Christmas Tree Farms in NJ. Choose your favorite or local one for an engagement session with a holiday vibe!
Now that your location is covered, it’s time to figure out what to wear to your engagement session!