Called “the Sunshine State” for good reason, Florida is a top destination for stunning natural engagement photos, and Jacksonville alone offers the unique mixture of many terrains of sunny beauty along with a Southern country flare. Luxury meets history in Jacksonville, which is both the largest city by area in the contiguous United States and also the Florida city with the highest population. Boasting lush greenery and an idyllic temperate climate, Jacksonville is a wonderland of romantic nature preserves, landscaped gardens, thriving farmland, and riverside serenity, with so many options that every couple can choose the perfect way to capture the start of the rest of their lives and love together.
Cummer Museum & Gardens
For art lovers and floral enthusiasts alike, Cummer Museum & Gardens, the largest fine arts museum in Northeast Florida, is the perfect location to stage meaningful and beautiful engagement photos. A romantic location with historic beauty, the 5,000 pieces of priceless art are matched only by the location’s historic gardens, which show a backdrop of the rippling St. Johns River, a timeless element to any engagement photograph. Over 100 years of history, lush plantings, rare horticultural specimens settled by canopies of oak trees, and features like reflecting pools, fountains, antique ornaments, and sculptures, make Cummer Museum & Garden an idyllic place to capture a romance in bloom.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
Only 10 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is 126 acres of picture-perfect greenery wrapped around a shining lake, an engagement photo destination worthy of a watercolor painting. Brimming with nature trails, babbling creeks, and 13 different ecosystems, it is no wonder Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens has been known as “the hidden jewel” in Northeast Florida since it opened in November 2008. Newly planted, thriving palm, tea, pollinator, and raised bed gardens offer a wide array of backdrops for engagement shots, and 7 nature trails wind between the acres of nature, offering any number of unique, breathtaking sights to add to the magic of engagement photography.
Bordering the St. Johns River, a naturally beautiful backdrop to any engagement photoshoot, Southbank Riverwalk is a 1 ¼-mile concrete boardwalk teeming with life, the perfect mix of urban activity and scenic beauty. Usually brimming with joggers, tourists taking pictures, locals relaxing on beaches, and lovers strolling hand-in-hand, Southbank Riverwalk is known as the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sights of the riverboats, birds, and the downtown skyline reflected in the crystal river water, all perfect background fodder for an engagement photoshoot. The water taxi dock near Chart House is available for kayak launches, and kayaking is sure to add spice to any engagement photoshoot, whether in the background or as part of the main attraction.
Congaree and Penn Farm
Any couple who feels a connection to rural life, loves animals, or is just looking for a stunning landscape to celebrate their upcoming marriage need look no further than Congaree and Penn Farm. Congaree and Penn Farm is very community-based, and offers farm passes that provide full access to all 330 acres of farmland, with sprawling acres perfect for green grass and blue sky engagement photos. Little Trout River runs through the property, another prime photo location, the riverbanks lined with cypress trees and live oaks blanketed with soft Spanish Moss. Wildflowers abound during most seasons, along with pecan orchards and, for those with an interest in wildlife, great blue herons and black-bellied whistling ducks have been known to make an appearance, along with farm animals like goats, chickens, ducks, horses, and more, all providing the perfect engagement photo fodder.
Skyscrapers fill the neighboring land, and a tiny patch of green grass protects the massive Treaty Oak in downtown Jacksonville, an ancient and stunning piece of Florida history that suggests longevity, ideal for engagement photos. The Treaty Oak is more than 200 years old, a historic relic rescued by the Jacksonville Garden Club, and in particular by wealthy industrialist Alfred I. duPont’s wife Jessie Ball duPont, a lifelong member of the club, who purchased the land in 1948 to preserve the beloved tree. Her foundation gave this land to the City of Jacksonville in 1964 for use only as a public park, and her determined efforts show in the sunny piece of natural beauty that breaks up the urban bustle, with picnic tables and benches offering perfect perches for an engagement photoshoot celebrating newly planted roots.
Posted by Brad Officer on