Six New England Gardens for a Stunning Spring Engagement Shoot
Bring on the sunshine and breathtaking blooms.
Delivering the latest in style, inspiration, helpful tips and tricks, and everything else you need to know to plan the perfect New England wedding.
If your idea of a spectacular date with your fiancé involves strolling hand-in-hand amongst colorful flowers and lush greenery, now is the time to celebrate your engagement with a photo shoot. Here are six spots across New England where you’re guaranteed the perfect springtime snaps.
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum
For more than 125 years, Blithewold has dazzled visitors with views of glistening Narragansett Bay and lavish gardens that bloom with daffodils in springtime. Charming cobblestone pathways lead you through the 33-acre estate’s six gardens, the indoor arboretum, and (of course) up to the stunning mansion. Don’t forget to book your shoot in advance, though: Blithewold is a popular wedding venue, too.
101 Ferry Rd., Rte. 114, Bristol, RI, 401-253-2707, blithewold.org
The arboretum is a stunning choice for an engagement shoot at any time of year, but the 281-acre national historic landmark is truly at its most breathtaking in spring, when all that pesky snow is nothing but a distant memory. The crown jewel of the season? The arboretum’s 397 lilac plants, which put on a spectacular show every year from late April to early June, providing the perfect pop of purple for your photo shoot.
125 Arborway, Boston, 617-524-1718, arboretum.harvard.edu
Tower Hill Botanic Garden
This 132-acre property offers 17 vastly different gardens, making the scenery options truly endless. Explore Pliny’s Allée, a pathway surrounded by lush oak trees and shrubs that bring white flowers in the spring. For a flower-filled shot choose the lawn garden, where thousands of bulbs flourish in a stunning array of colors, or the apple orchard, where the trees are pink with apple blossoms. Take note: You’ll need to book your shoot at least two weeks in advance, and photo permits cost $150 for a 90-minute session.
11 French Dr., Boylston, 508-869-6111, towerhillbg.org
Lyman Estate Greenhouses
One downside of spring in New England? The rain. Yes, it happens, and not infrequently. Fear not, though: At Lyman Estate Greenhouses, you can take advantage of abundant greenery whether or not the skies decide to cooperate. Dating back to the early 1800s, the greenhouses are among the nation’s oldest (and most stunning) conservatories, complete with exotic plants, citrus fruits, and colorful camellias. Word to the wise: In addition to a signed contract between the photographer and the venue, all professional photo shoots require advanced approval and may also include fees.
185 Lyman St., Waltham, 617-994-5913, historicnewengland.org
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
With 295 acres of flowers, greenery, and ponds, this Maine oasis is the largest botanical garden in New England and offers an abundance of enchanting backdrops. Stroll along brick pathways and pose among beds of daffodils, magnolias, rhododendrons, and azaleas, not to mention charming bridges, benches, and arbors. Just be sure to plan in advance, as shoots require a $50-per-day fee in addition to the cost of admission.
123 Botanical Gardens Dr., Boothbay, ME, 207-633-8000, mainegardens.org
The Botanic Garden of Smith College
For an array of varied (yet equally beautiful and flourishing) landscapes, head west to Smith College. Here you’ll find an arboretum with 127 acres of trees and gardens, including the rhododendron-filled Woodland Garden and the ever-calming Japanese Garden. The campus’s most celebrated treasure, however, is the 12,000-square-foot Lyman Conservatory. The greenhouse dates back to 1895 and features more than 3,000 native and foreign plants that provide a jungly backdrop for every one of your shots.
16 College Lane, Northampton, 413-585-2740, garden.smith.edu.