Best Engagement Locations in Northern Virginia | Sarandipity Photography | Virginia Wedding Photographer

Looking for an engagement session location can be overwhelming! Northern Virginia offers such a wide variety of spots, it’s definitely hard to narrow it down to just one. There are so many “popular” locations, along with so many hidden gems, and I am going to share my top 10 favorites with you! These spots are perfect for any vibe! Whether you’re looking for a spot that means something to you and your relationship, or just somewhere absolutely gorgeous, NOVA fits any aesthetic.


Top 10 Spots are:

Old Town Alexandria

Salamander Resort + Spa

Manassas Battlefield

Great Marsh Estate

River Farm Alexandria

Blandy Experimental Farm


Great Falls Park

Riverview at Occoquan

Blue Hill Farm



1. Old Town Alexandria

Engaged Couple cuddling on Alexandria cobblestone streetCouple kissing in front of historic blue door in Old Town alexandria under hot pink crepe myrtle trees Couple walking hand in hand down brick paved street with green and white shutters behind them. Girl in pink and blue floral dress, guy in dress pants and white shirt Couple standing in middle of brick paved sidewalk in front of Union Street Pub sign

Old town Alexandria is one of the most popular locations for engagement sessions, and it’s honestly one of my favorite! One of the main reasons Old Town is used so frequently, is there are TONS of different backdrop locations! You have everything from the waterfront, to cobble stone streets, to cool alley ways, and even historic buildings. This location can be molded to fit any style, and is perfect in any season. During peek session seasons (May-Oct) I am in Old Town Alexandria practically once a week, so I am super familiar with the area, and I love seeing how each of my couples make Alexandria their own.

2. Salamander Resort + Spa

Couple walking through trellis in garden in black dress and grey suit Couple sitting on bench in garden. Girl with legs crossed, in Louboutin red bottom heels and black dress. Guy in grey suit Couple standing nose to nose in front of Salamander Resort and Spa

Salamander Resort is a bit of a hidden gem to some! This gorgeous locations offers rolling hills and a gorgeous garden terrace area that blooms beautifully in the spring and summer. This location is most gorgeous in the warmer months, when everything is bright and colorful! I believe there is a photography permit fee required to shoot on the property, but I would definitely check before hand to make sure!


3. Manassas Battlefield

Couple standing in open field with tall grass. Guy in Marines uniform, girl in white and blue floral dress Girl in white and blue floral dress being lifted by a Marine in a field of tall grass at sunset Marine hugging blonde girl in blue and white dress laughing in open field with tall grass

Manassas Battlefield is another popular spot, but its easy to see why! This location doesn’t offer as many different options as Old Town Alexandra, but it’s its own kind of beautiful! Witness the most amazing sunset up on top of the big hill at the Old Stone School, or visit the secluded spot off 29 next to the cemetery with a huge gorgeous oak tree! Either way, the tall grass and rolling hills make for a fun and beautiful textured backdrop.

4. Great Marsh Estate

Couple in front of grand estate, girl in red dress being lifted into air by guy in all black Blonde girl in red dress walking in front of guy in all black, pulling him towards her as she looks at camera blonde girl in red dress looks surprised as guy in black sprays champagne on terrace

Great Marsh is not only one of my favorite engagement spots, it’s also one of my favorite venues! This gorgeous estate has great views around back, but the estate itself makes for a stunning backdrop. The porch, stairs, terrace, and tree-lined drive are also wonderful additions to your session! There is a photography fee required to shoot on location, but the epicness truly makes it worth it!

5. River Farm Alexandria

blonde girl in pink dress and guy in white shirt smiling as they hold their beagle mix dog in between them in a garden girl in pink swinging dress as her and guy walk through garden girl in pink being lifted into air by guy in white

River Farm in Alexandria is one of my hidden gems! These gardens are PERFECT for any spring or summer session, and have the most beautiful blooms! I love the quite of this venue, and the fact that it’s so close to me! You do have to make an appointment to photograph there, and there is a small $50 photography fee, but the staff is super accommodating, and friendly, plus they leave you be and let you explore – save for a few other guests, it’s like you have the whole property to yourself.

6. Blandy Experimental Farm

red headed girl in long blue dress leading guy in blue dress coat through green garden same red head girl in floral dress walking with guy towards camera in front of stone walk way Red head girl in long blue dress walking hand in hand with guy down path at sunset - they're laughing

Another semi-hidden gem! The only downfall of this location is its distance. It is a bit of a hike, but honestly, I love this location so much that I’d hike it no problem! Despite the weird name, Blandy Experimental Farm is actually one of the most beautiful gardens in Virginia! It’s actually home to UVA’s research field station, and is considered a Virginia Arboretum! I absolutely love this spot in either spring, summer or fall – with the extensive tree collection, floral population, and foliage, you’re sure to get a good array of color any time! Best of all, it’s totally free!


View more of their Blandy Farm engagement here

7. Airlie

very wide shot of couple embracing in the middle of a garden maze couple nearing a kiss in front of green ornate door to garden entrance
couple walking towards camera laughing in front of white hydrangea bushes

Airlie is another venue I love! This location offers both a beautiful garden and a European feel! The immense staircase in the back of the venue resembles Spanish steps, and makes for a gorgeous photo-op! There is also a delicious restaurant on property to visit after! This location does require an appointment and has a small photography fee of $35. Unfortunately the grounds are closed due to COVID as of right now, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for when I can visit this beautiful venue again!

See a gorgeous Tuscan inspired shoot at Airlie here

8. Great Falls Park (VA side)

Great Falls Park is an easy peasy engagement session destination! It is best to do your sessions as close to sunset as possible, since the sun does set behind the falls and creates a stunning view of the rock formations! This is also a pretty decent off-season (non-colorful) location as well, since the real show stopper is the water below, and that doesn’t change with the seasons! There is a $25 entrance fee to the park, but other than that, you’re free to roam as necessary! There are bathrooms on site as well for outfit changes!

9. Riverview at Occoquan

White golden doodle dog panting towards camera while couple out of focus behind him guy kissing girl on cheek as she leans back and smiles at camera couple in casual clothes walking towards camera in front of large brick building couple in casual clothes sitting with on brick ledge with dog laying at their feet, all smiling looking at camera couple snuggling on brick ledge

River View at Occoquan is a bit of a hidden gem, and another super close location for me! Right off Ox Rd, this venue has full river views and a couple of different spots to visit – this is another good sunset location, since the sun sets behind the venue and the side of the river we’re on! This location also has a restaurant attached for a post-session date night, and is pet friendly for anyone interested in bringing their pup(s) along (which is my favorite thing, ever).

10. Blue Hill Farm

couple embracing on fence over looking rolling hills couple walking hand in hand, girl leading in front, with rolling hills and fence line behind them couple embracing in front of fence, background is blurry but has fence line

And lastly, this intimate wedding venue in Waterford is perfect for engagement sessions too! Blue Hill Farm has one of my favorite views of the rolling hills of Waterford, and also provides some tall grass backdrops as well. Shirley + Waldo are also the kindest people, and their dog, Yogi, will steal your heart, and lick your armpits, which is kind of an added bonus in my opinion. There is possibly a photography fee required, and this is another sunset-perfect location.

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