Top Spots for the perfect Charleston engagement session
When it comes to finding the perfect place for your Charleston engagement session, there are plenty of amazing locations to choose from. From downtown Charleston to the beaches and plantations, you can find a spot that is perfect for your unique style and personality. But with so many options available, how do you decide where to go? Here are some of our favorite places for an unforgettable Charleston engagement session.
Planning your engagement session and not sure where to go?
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Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in the world! Don't believe me? Well, it’s the ninth straight year that Charleston has led Travel + Leisure’s best U.S. cities list. A rapidly growing number of people are choosing to get married in Charleston and the surrounding cities each year.
If you're one of those lucky couples, you'll want to take advantage of the natural beauty that surrounds us by doing your engagement photos in Charleston.
We've put together a list of the best places for an unforgettable Charleston engagement session. From downtown Charleston to the beaches and plantations, you can find a spot that is perfect for your unique style and personality. So take a look through this list and get ready to put your love on display in Charleston!
Charleston Engagement Shoot Locations
Location, Location, Location. While that phrase is often heard in the real estate world, it also rings true for photography. The right photography location is essential in setting the tone of your engagement session. Picking a setting that fits your style as a couple will help to facilitate a fun and meaningful shoot. While the choices in Charleston are endless, below are my top 10 suggestions for your engagement photo locations (in no particular order):
For an engagement session that screams romance, consider doing your shoot at Waterfront Park. This park is the perfect setting for a couple who wants to enjoy their time together while having access to downtown Charleston and its amazing skyline views. Choosing Waterfront Park for your engagement session will mean that you'll be in prestigious company. Many famous people have been photographed at this park, including the Kardashians and Reese Witherspoon. If you feel like getting your feet wet, there's also a fantastic fountain.
Leopold's Ice Cream
Leopold's Ice Cream is a historic ice cream shop in the heart of downtown Charleston. This place is a favorite of locals and tourists alike since the ice cream is made with home recipes from the owner's great-grandmother. There's also a large selection of flavors to choose from. Try something different like lavender or honey basil, or stick to your favorites with some vanilla or chocolate chip.
The Battery at White Point Gardens
If you love historical sites, make sure to include White Point Gardens on your list of possible locations. This beautiful garden has been around since 1767 and used to be part of a neo-Gothic castle. The Battery at White Point Gardens is the best place to find some fantastic architecture and unique photo opportunities.
Marion Square is another one of Charleston's oldest parks, and it has been around since 1848! Another excellent option for an outdoor photo session is that you can enjoy the park's peacefulness while also taking advantage of its picturesque views. There are plenty of buildings surrounding Marion Square that can be used in your photos, so consider doing various shots.
Waterfront Park + Rainbow Row
If you want to include some history in your Charleston engagement session without sacrificing outdoor locations, take a photo or two on Rainbow Row! Situated along East Bay Street, this block of colorful townhomes is an excellent place for a romantic photoshoot. Since you'll be doing your photos in the middle of downtown, you're also going to get those fantastic skyline views that we know and love so well.
If you want to take your engagement session somewhere further out, consider Daniel Island. This peaceful, tree-lined neighborhood is the perfect place for couples looking to escape from downtown Charleston for their session. You'll be able to enjoy some fresh air while also getting some fantastic shots of you and your significant other on this quiet street.
Rainbow Row + the Arthur Ravenel Bridge
Some couples like to include a little activity in their engagement session, and there's no better way to do that than by taking photos next to the historic Arthur Ravenel Bridge! This suspension bridge has been around since 2005, but it looks like it belonged in 1855. You'll get breathtaking views of downtown Charleston from the bridge while also mixing things up by doing some action shots.
Cannon Green + Rainbow Row
The last location on our list is perfect for couples who want to enjoy two sites in one session! Since these two locations are so close together, you could easily do your photos at both and mix up your backdrop. Cannon Green is an excellent spot for couples who want unique shots on the grass, while Rainbow Row is a beautiful place to show off your outfits.
Boone Hall Plantation
This picturesque plantation will be perfect for couples looking to add a little history into their session. The plantation is surrounded by lush greenery and features some of the most majestic live oaks in South Carolina. If you're looking to do something a little different, don't be afraid to include these gorgeous trees in your photos.
Magnolia Plantation + Boone Hall Plantation
If you're looking for a special place to do your Charleston engagement session, consider doing a joint session with your photographer at both Magnolia Plantation and Boone Hall Plantation! Since these locations are less than 10 minutes from each other, you'll be able to get a little bit of everything into one session. You could start at Magnolia Plantation and then drive to Boone Hall Plantation for some outdoor shots. Since these plantations are located on opposite sides of Charleston, your photographer will be able to capture the city from both locations!
For couples looking for a unique shot that nobody has ever done before, consider doing your session at one of the historic graveyards in Charleston. Magnolia Cemetery is known for its unique tombstones and surrounding 100-year-old oak trees! You'll be able to get some incredible photos here while also enjoying the serenity that comes with being surrounded by graves.
A top location in Charleston has to be Citadel Mall! This shopping center is perfect for couples who want to include some shots where they're getting ready. You'll be able to mix things up by including the mall's grassy areas and trees while also having access to some great shopping opportunities. You can even get a little silly and take photos with some of the mall's funny mannequins!
Another perfect location for couples looking to include some nature shots is Stono Park. This waterfront park is the ideal place to shoot if you're interested in doing something different with your photos! You'll be able to get up close and personal with the water without having to leave Mount Pleasant.
Your Wedding Venue
Some couples choose to have their engagement photographs to be taken at the site that they have chosen for their wedding. Not only does this provide some sentimental value to your photos, but it also gives us both the chance to get a close-up feel for the venue prior to the Big Day: we can find great spots for portraits, meet with the on-site event coordinator, and/or start talking about your vision for your wedding day.
Your Special Place
Those of us who have spent any time in Vermont all have a special place. As your engagement session should capture the both of you and your unique personality as a couple, why not choose your "place" to take your photos? Perhaps you met on your college campus? Do you have a favorite hike, spot, or restaurant? It's wonderful to watch the photos come alive when taken at a location that is special to the hearts of those being photographed.
A College Campus
South Carolina is known for its gorgeous college campuses. From Clemson to the University of South Carolina to the College of Charleston, there are many photo opportunities here!
Your Family Home
If South Carolina holds special meaning for you due to the memories formed in your family or vacation home, this could be a beautiful place to have your engagement photographs taken. I always consider it a privilege to be invited to shoot at someone's family home as the resulting photographs are always full of life!
Q: What if I'm not from Charleston?
A: No problem! Our favorite locations can be enjoyed by couples from all over.
Q: What if I'm not engaged?
A: That's ok, too! Our list of favorite locations is perfect for anyone who is looking to take some amazing photos or selfies!
Q: When should we schedule our session?
A: The best time to schedule a session is going to depend on the location you select. For example, if you're interested in having your photos taken at Boone Hall Plantation, you'll want to avoid peak times like Spring Break and Summer. If you're not sure when peak times are, schedule a meeting with your photographer to discuss options.
Q: What if I'm not getting married in Charleston?
A: Again, no problem! Our list is great for anyone who wants to incorporate some amazing locations into their session. Even if you're using Mount Pleasant as a backdrop for your photos when you travel to the city, this list will still be perfect for you