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So it finally happened. The love of your life asked, and you said yes.
In the height of my days as a photographer, I got asked a lot of questions too. Very few of them were proposals of marriage. Most often, it was “Where is the best place to take engagement photos in Columbus?”
Well brides and grooms-to-be, I’ve got your answer. There are so many beautiful spots around the city, that it will truly depend on the kind of couple you are and the desired outcome you have envisioned. Are you looking for modern and urban photos? Or is rustic and cozy more your speed? Perhaps a mix of both?
In my opinion, as both a person who planned my own engagement photos and a photographer, here are the best locations around Columbus for engagement photos.
Schiller Park | 1069 Jaeger St.
Schiller Park is always my #1 recommendation for engagement sessions. No matter the season, you’re guaranteed beautiful photos. You’ll find a good variety of backdrops at the park, including the small pond complete with a willow tree and footbridge, the amphitheater with its curved stone and hanging vines, or even the small caretaker’s cottage with its brick facade. There aren’t many places in the park that you can take a bad photograph!
Bad Weather? Sadly there isn’t a lot of cover at the park. If it’s hot, find a nice shaded area. If it’s precipitating, grab some umbrellas and make it work!
German Village | South of Downtown Columbus
German Village could be broken down into about 50 smaller sections, but for the sake of time, I’ll just hit you with the best spots. It may come as a surprise, but my absolute favorite location to shoot in German Village is The Book Loft. It has an adorable garden outside, it’s mostly shaded, and it looks great in photographs. The streets of German Village are beautiful, brick-paved, and waiting for you to pose on them. Mohawk Street is adorable and if you choose to take photos there, you won’t be disappointed.
Bad weather? Head inside one of the many shops along 3rd Street for some unique lifestyle photos. Share a cupcake at Kitties Cakes or a macaron from Pistacia Vera.
Scioto Audubon Metro Park | 400 W Whittier St.
The Audubon is the perfect one-stop-shop. There are sweeping views of the Columbus Skyline, riverfront options, and tons of adorable nooks and crannies to snap a sweet pic. The walls of the Nature Center have a barn wood look. Down the hill, there is an awesome boardwalk over some wetlands. Break out the maxi skirts, because you can achieve a very coastal vibe.
Bad weather? Around the Nature Center, there are a few covered areas that you can take photos. There are also some interesting photo ops if you take the path along the river towards the Scioto Mile where you’ll be protected from the rain by the overpass. There’s interesting graffiti down there if you’re looking for an urban vibe. Otherwise, you know the drill. Break out the Etsy umbrellas and galoshes!
Homestead Metro Park | 4675 Cosgray Rd, Hilliard, OH
Located in Hilliard, Homestead Park is drop-dead gorgeous, especially in the spring. The park is filled with beautiful wildflowers, making the most romantic backdrop for stunning photos. There is a quaint faux train station, a beautiful pond, and plenty of wooded areas.
Bad weather? Don’t give up on Homestead Park just because it’s raining! There is a marvelous covered bridge over the pond that will keep you nice and dry.
Ohio Statehouse | 1 Capitol Square
Around the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse, there are several locations that can serve as a great backdrop for your engagement session. All along the outside of the building, there are staircases, doorways, and gardens that will do for a pose or two. But if you want the true Statehouse experience, you need to get a permit to have photos taken inside. The Rotunda is an Ohio classic. The Atrium connecting the two buildings is my personal favorite spot inside. The light is gorgeous and the marble columns look amazing in pictures.
Bad Weather? If you score the Statehouse permit, you’ll find plenty of places inside to get your photos. If you aren’t, you may want to retreat to one of the nearby hotels.
North Bank Park Pavilion | 311 W Long St.
Do you love this city and want everyone to know it? Or maybe you didn’t grow up here and you want to show off the city to out of town guests on your Save The Dates. Either way, North Bank Park Pavillion has some of the best views in the city. There are splash fountains for a little summer fun-inspired shoot and beautiful walking paths right along the Scioto River.
Bad weather? Sadly, this location is a bit of a bust when it comes to rainy days. There is a small covered area outside of the pavilion, but you’re not going to get the best photos ever. A short walk along the river will bring you to a spot under a bridge that can keep you dry in light rain!
Main Street Bridge at the Scioto Mile | 303 W Main St.
One of the most popular spots for engagement sessions is the Main Street Bridge along the Scioto. Bicentennial Park has some of the best views of downtown, as well as some green space to vary the backdrop of your photos.
Bad weather? Head to the stage at Bicentennial Park. The photos will have a different view of the surrounding area, but you’ll stay warm and dry!
Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens | 1777 E Broad St.
It may be one of the most used locations for engagement photos, but trust me, it’s for a good reason. The Franklin Park Conservatory has a huge variety around the grounds. There are flowers, gardens, sculptures, and even a pond.
Bad weather? Step inside the conservatory and head straight for the Palm Room. This victorian-inspired greenhouse is full of all things tropical, perfect for colorful engagement photos. Be sure to check with FPC first though, as the interior will require a permit.
Short North Arts District | North High Street
The arches. The adorable patios. The trendy art murals. The Short North has it all. If you’d like your engagement session to incorporate elements of a lifestyle shoot, then head to N. High St. Grab some ice cream cones at Jeni’s or a beer at The Eagle.
Bad weather? Dip inside one of the many shops along High St. If a bar or restaurant isn’t the scene you’re going for, head into the Hilton. It’s a gorgeous place to shoot and your photos in the sky bridge won’t disappoint.
Inniswood Metro Garden | 940 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville, OH
In my opinion, Inniswood Metro Garden is one of, if not the most, underrated locations in Columbus. It’s completely magical. I’m talking engagement photos straight out of Middle Earth level of magical. There are brick pathways, arches made of greenery, wildflowers, woods, and more. Did I mention the adorable creek and waterfall?
Bad weather? There are covered walkways, a patio, and a gazebo that are perfect for rainy days. The gazebo isn’t completely covered, but with some stylish rain gear, you can make some magic happen.
Now that you know where you want to go, looks like all you have to do now is pick the perfect outfit.
Originally published 7/27/17. Updated 9/19/19.
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