Charlottesville has become a sought-after wedding destination and for darn good reason! Whether it’s the perfect rows of grapevines lining a rolling hill, a fairytale-esque forest trail, or the red bricked downtown area, there is something for everybody. Home to a blend of quirky, breath-taking, and timeless locations, this small town is a fantastic spot for your engagement session. Here are just a few of my favorite spots for engagement photos in Charlottesville, Virginia.

1. University of Virginia

Best time of year: ALL SEASONS

Not just for alumni, the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s university offer an array of options for your engagement shoot. Lush gardens surrounded by ancient brick walls are ideal for intimate moments surrounded by flowering trees and bright green grass. From there, you’ll dance along a balustrade fit for a fairytale and play hide-n-seek between tall white columns on a white marble floor.

2. Rivanna Trail

Best time of year: SPRING & AUTUMN

A winding path that follows babbling a brook as it weaves through the forests of Charlottesville. Tall trees waving in the breeze. Bright colors and fresh air. The Rivanna Trail is a perfect location for an “outdoorsy” couple whose passion is experiencing nature. Beneath a canopy of leaves, you’ll walk hand-in-hand along a moss-covered trail enjoying each other’s company in the quiet woods. Small clearings of tall grass spot the trail which make for dream-like images in an almost surreal location.

3. Boar’s Head Resort

Best time of year: SPRING

After a casual stroll around the lake, pausing for a moment on a picturesque bridge, you’ll find yourself in a deep embrace beneath the boughs of a massive oak tree. Then Immersed in a sea of wild flowers you’ll whisper into each other’s ears as butterflies float by. If you’re feeling slightly adventurous, a large boulder is ripe for climbing that will result in epic photos among the clouds.

4. Veritas Vineyards and Winery

Best time of year: SPRING, SUMMER, & AUTUMN

Let’s be honest — you’re getting married in central Virginia for one reason and one reason only… the vineyards. Veritas Vineyard and Winery is the quintessential location for green vines, blue skies, and mountain views. After a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, a glass of wine is definitely in order. And, just for fun, there is a wooded area at Veritas where you can break out the flannel and scarves for a cozy autumn vibe.

5. McIntire Plaza

Best time of year: ALL SEASONS

Funky, urban, modern, industrial — McIntire Plaza is a great location for quirky couples who love to be different. Bright oranges, purples, yellows, and greens pop off the walls of storefronts, loading docks, and alleyways perfect for fun and unique images. After a kiss in front of a wall-sized mural, grabbing a cup of Joe at a local coffee shop if the perfect way to round out the day.

6. Ivy Creek Natural Area

Best time of year: SUMMER & AUTUMN

When they talk about nature “calling” they’re actually referring to Ivy Creek Natural Area — a series of short and shady hiking trails that weave through the woods. An adorable creek leads to lake views perfect for those Virginia autumn colors we all love.

7. Downtown Mall

Best time of year: ALL SEASONS

Coffee shops, restaurants, and red bricks make up the heart of downtown Charlottesville. The quaint, open-air mall is on just about every postcard you can find in the city and for good reason. Surrounding the mall is a series of hidden gems from cute side streets to interesting parking garages that make for unique and timeless images.

8. Somewhere meaningful to you

Best time of year: ALL SEASONS

While Charlottesville and the surrounding area are saturated in picturesque and unique locations, sometimes the best spot for some beautiful photos is the one that’s meaningful to you. Maybe there’s a grassy field where you shared your first kiss or a vineyard where you you got engaged. Exploring a place that has meaning for you as a couple can evoke some of the best emotions and definitely make for some stunning images.

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