8 Best Engagement Session Locations in Central Florida

The sunshine state may be known for oranges and beaches, but it has so much more to offer! Here in Central Florida, there are tons of gorgeous locations for your engagement session. Whether you want a natural or an urban backdrop, there’s the perfect spot for you. These are just a few of our favorites (and yes, they include beaches and oranges!).

1) Bok Tower Gardens

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Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales, Florida. It’s a bit of a drive for most of our clients, but it is TOTALLY worth it! We love this location because it has so much variety, and the lighting is just superb. There is a gorgeous old bell tower (hence the name), orange groves, beautiful gardens, and open fields. Whatever your engagement session style, Bok Tower Gardens has a place for you.

Something to note about Bok Tower Gardens is that they close at 6:00 PM. For this reason, Bok Tower is better photographed in the late fall, winter, and early spring when the sun sets a little earlier. There are also a few days throughout the year with extended hours.

To see more from this gorgeous engagement session, click here.

2) Lake Runnymede Conservation Area

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This is probably the location we are at most often, and it’s not hard to see why! Lake Runnymede is filled with giant majestic oaks draped with tons of Spanish Moss. When the light hits it just right, it’s a truly magical sight. Lake Runnymede also has a few open fields for a different feel. This spot is great for nature lovers who want a break from city life.

Lake Runnymede Conservation Area is truly a wild and natural park. This is part of its incredible beauty, but there are a few things to consider. There are bugs and snakes, and so proper precautions should be taken if you choose this location.

To see more from this Lake Runnymede engagement session, click here. And check out another session here.

3) Rollins College

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For those who want a little more architecture in their photos, Rollins College is a great choice. Located in Winter Park, it’s pretty central to most places in Orlando. This makes it fairly easy to get to. The old buildings on campus are all beautiful and make gorgeous backdrops. Rollins College is also a great option for rainy days because there are tons of beautiful coverings and passageways to escape the storms if rescheduling your session is not an option.

If you’re interested in Rollins College for your engagement session, then please to be considerate to the students that call the college home. Also be aware that it may be difficult to find parking on campus.

The rest of this Rollins College engagement session can be seen here!

4) Cypress Grove Estate House

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Ah, Cypress Grove Estate House. One of my favorite places in all of Orlando. This is truly a dream venue for couples, and it makes a gorgeous backdrop for engagement photos as well. The manicured gardens, that golden light, and the oak lined path are all highlights of this stunning location. Cypress Grove is perfect for couples who want that old Florida vibe.

While Cypress Grove Estate House may be in a public park, it is important to note that it is still a hugely popular wedding venue. For this reason, if you’re interested in having your session here, it should be scheduled for a weekday. If there is a wedding on the premises, you will not be allowed admission to the house grounds.

Check out the rest of this Cypress Grove Estate House session here.

5) The Beach

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Perhaps what Florida is most known for, the beach is always a great option for your engagement photos! The beach offers a simple and plain background that really allows your love and chemistry to shine and take center stage. At the same time, the beach is beautiful in its own right and offers a calm serenity to your images.

There are gorgeous beached all around the state. This particular session took place in New Smyrna Beach on the East coast of Florida. Something to consider when choosing a beach for your session is whether you want the sun setting on the water or not.

The rest of this beach engagement session can be found here.

6) Rock Springs at Kelly Park

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One of Central Florida’s most beautiful hidden gems, Rock Springs at Kelly Park is a gorgeous little paradise in Apopka, Florida. The head of the springs is a stunning area that has crystal clear water and tropical foliage. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the water is only about three feet deep in some spots, so some in the water shots are totally doable.

Rock Springs at Kelly Park is an INCREDIBLY popular swimming destination in the summer. The park often reaches capacity early on in the morning and will not admit any more people after this point, even on week days. For this reason, we only schedule sessions here at park open (8:00 AM).

More from this Rock Springs engagement session here.

7) Church Street - Downtown Orlando

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For couples who want a more urban flair, Church Street in Downtown Orlando is a great option. There’s lots of cool architecture, awesome walls, and a ton of variety. Plus, taking a stroll over to nearby Lake Eola park is super easy and offers some more natural elements. It really is the best of both worlds.

Check out the rest of this Downtown Orlando engagement session here!

8) Celebration, Florida

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Much like Downtown Orlando, Downtown Celebration has a lot to offer. We spent most of this particular session in the park just on the other side of Market Street, but there are lots of cool alleyways and buildings around Celebration too! It’s like a cute little All-American town from the 1950’s, and it makes a great spot for photos.

Want to see more from this Downtown Celebration engagement session? Click here :)

Are you ready to book your own engagement session? Click here to reach out!

So which of these locations is your favorite? Or do you have a favorite we didn’t mention? Let us know!

Howey Mansion - Venue Spotlight - Howey In The Hills, Florida

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Miguel and I had the pleasure of walking through the stunning Howey Mansion today. This mansion just opened for weddings earlier this year, and it's not hard to see why. I mean, look at how beautiful this place is!

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This grand staircase greets you as you walk through the door, and what a lovely greeting it is.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

The Library

The Library

The library has a pretty cool secret: a hidden lock to open a prohibition era cellar. How cool is that!? Couples can choose to rent out the hidden cellar as a speakeasy for their wedding. That's pretty much the most awesome thing I've ever heard.

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The Ballroom

The Ballroom

The Ballroom is a beautiful spot for your reception. Having a large wedding? No worries, the outside courtyard seats well over 200 guests!

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There are so many beautiful spots all over the property for photos! The Howey Mansion is truly a photographer's dream.

The Courtyard

The Courtyard

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When you rent The Howey Mansion for your wedding, your rental will include bride and groom suites for getting ready. The groom suite is below.

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The Bridal Suite

The Bridal Suite

There are so many gorgeous details all around the mansion. Check out that coffee table! I seriously wanted to take it home with me. 

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Both the bride and groom suites have their own private terraces. 

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We are so very happy that someone rescued The Howey Mansion and restored it to its former glory. We look forward to being able to share in a couple's happy ever after at this gorgeous new venue!

Are you looking for an Orlando Wedding Photographer to capture your big day? Click here to contact us to schedule a coffee date!

Four Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - Part Four

This is Part Four in a series. To read Parts One - Three, click here.

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It's time for the last mistake in this series. I hope these posts have been helpful for you!

Mistake #4: Not Hiring A Videographer

When I polled my married friends about their biggest wedding planning regret, this was the one that came up the most often. Probably because hiring a videographer is not something that most people do. Yes, it can be a costly addition to the wedding budget, but it is something that you will treasure always. They day flies by in such a blur, and it is such a gift to be able to watch a video of it on your anniversary, or whenever you feel like reliving the day. I love to watch the video of my wedding with Miguel. I barely remember the day because it was so hectic, and the video allows me to travel back in time to those oh so important moments.

How To Avoid This Mistake

This one is simple: hire a videographer! Are you unsure who to hire? Start with your photographer. Chances are they have a list of amazing videographers they would love to recommend. I know I do! This may seem like an unneeded added expense at first, but I can assure you it is one you will NOT regret! But you might just regret not hiring one.

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Are you looking for an Orlando Wedding Photographer for your Central Florida wedding? Click here to contact us today.

The Four Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - Part Three

This is Part Three in a series. To read Parts One & Two, click here.

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Last week, we covered how to avoid doing too much DIY. This week, we'll discuss a mistake that is near and dear to my heart

Mistake #3: Skimping on the Photographer

One of my favorite things to do when I visit my grandmother is look at through all of her photo albums and at all the pictures on her walls. Her home is covered in them, and they tell the story of her life. The story of my mother's life. The story of our family. Photographs are SO SO SO important to pretty much everyone I know. This is why it is of the utmost importance that you hire a competent photographer with a style you LOVE to capture the biggest day of your life to date.

These images will last forever. They will be a tangible way for you to look back on your wedding day for years to come. You will show your wedding photos to your children and your grandchildren for the rest of your life. 

Why then would you trust the capturing of those photos to a rookie? Or even worse: the cell phone of your friends and family?

How To Avoid This Mistake

Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, hire an excellent wedding photographer! And even more important, make sure you love the photos you see on their website. Ask to see a full gallery so you know what to expect from every part of the day. The photos of this day are priceless. They are too important to trust to someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

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Next week we'll deal with Mistake #4, so make sure to check back in!

Are you looking for an Orlando Wedding Photographer for your Central Florida wedding? Click here to contact us today.

The Four Biggest Wedding Planning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them - Part Two

This is Part Two in a series. To read Part One, click here.

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Last week, we talked about how to handle it when family tries to have too much say. This week is more about when you try to put too much on your plate.

Mistake #2: Doing Too Much Yourself

Listen, I get it. Weddings are EXPENSIVE! Gorgeous florals? Expensive. Excellent photographer? Expensive. Dinner for 150 people? Expensive! Weddings are also a once-in-a-lifetime event, and taking on too much can make them so much more stressful than they need to be. 

My mother and I did the centerpieces for my wedding ourselves after getting the quote back from the florist and deciding that was way too much money. But you know what? We could have easily recovered that money from other parts of the day (We had FOUR different favors! FOR 200 GUESTS!) and had the expert do the flowers. And they would have been so much more beautiful than the hodgepodge of things we came up with.

When you leave the entirety of decorating up to you and your entourage, it makes for a VERY busy morning of. You should be relaxing and enjoying being pampered the morning of your wedding, not sweating your booty off trying to finish everything in time.

How To Avoid This Mistake

Hire the professionals. Start with a wedding planner. Trust me when I say that wedding planners are 100% WORTH IT. They save you so much headache and heartache, and they make your day flow like a dream. They also know what they are doing and how to keep you from making a huge mistake with your planning.  

Hire a florist for the centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and ceremony decor. Hire a calligrapher for the wedding invitations. Hire a DJ for the music. 

Need ideas of where to cut corners so you can hire the pros you need? Start with serving only wine and beer. People will still have a good time, I promise! Have your escort cards do double duty as favors, or forgo favors all together. Choose the cheaper dinner options. No one will really care that they didn't get filet mignon at your wedding. Just make sure they're fed!

Saving the money is usually not worth the added stress.

Cypress Grove Estate House Wedding

Next week we'll tackle Mistake #3, so be sure to come back!

Are you looking for an Orlando Wedding Photographer for your Central Florida wedding? Click here to contact us today.