5 Types of Indoor & Outdoor Engagement Photo Session Venues in New Jersey


Most people prefer to take engagement photos outside with beautiful scenery. They choose places like wineries, lakes, boardwalks, and gardens. Their pictures come out wonderful for their save the dates, but what happens if the weather is less than perfect - the wind is blowing hard, the sun is extraordinarily hot, it’s extremely cloudy, or just too cold? What if it rains on the day you’ve scheduled your photographer? If this happens, here are five types of venues in New Jersey you can use for indoor engagement photos.

1. Boathouses


Boathouses are great for pictures when you want a beautiful waterfront. Even if the weather is bad, waterfront backgrounds still look great. Try boathouses that have patios, gazebos, or large open windows that view the water. The Boathouse at Mercer Lake is just the place you’ve been dreaming of. This boathouse overlooks the Mercer Lake as well as a park garden. They have a covering on their outside deck so you can still take photos outside. If you love sunsets on the beach, try taking a sunset picture at this boathouse.

Other Boat House Options:

  • Atlantic City Boat House - A well kept secret that has bountiful space and overlooks the Chelsea Harbor as well as the Casino skyline.

  • McLoone’s Boathouse - An American Restaurant with waterside dining and a flagstone covered patio. Opens early afternoon, so morning photos are great.


2. Botanical Gardens

Who wouldn’t want a beautiful background of flowers and trees in their pictures? It’s one of the most attractive and desired backgrounds for photography. The Camden Children’s Garden is a great place to take pictures especially if you have a little one that you want included in your save-the-dates. They allow you to rent a one of two of their tents that are surrounded by beautiful gardens and features the Philadelphia skyline.


Other Garden Options

  • Sayen House & Gardens - A historically elegant house that features 30 acres of beautiful scenery. Within the garden, there a a couple of gazebos for photos.

  • GreenWood Gardens - An upscale, formal Italian gardens with stone tea houses, pebbled walks, and colorful ornamentation.


3. Museums & Art Galleries
Grounds for Sculpture is a famous spot for wedding photography. While they boast on their outdoor gardens, they also have exquisite indoor galleries for inclement weather. This venue is a bit pricey as it has a flat rate of $600, plus a $75 an hour golf cart fee, and requires advanced approval of photo sessions.


Other Art Gallery Options:

4. Castles & Mansions


Every princess wants a castle! If that’s you, then register to take pictures at the Lambert Castle Museum in Passaic County. For indoor use, you and your bridal party will have exclusive rights to the inside of the castle and museum for a fee of $250. You’ll be able to take pictures in the main entrance hall, grand staircase, skylite atrium; and second-floor gallery (balcony area surrounding the atrium). There are blackout dates from October to December and time restrictions during the summer. Although, you can’t sit on the furniture, the inside decor is fit for royalty!


Other Castle Options:

  • Skyland Manor - A romantic castle that offers a private chapel by a lake or by a tree-lined orchard. It is housed within the NJ Botanical Gardens.

  • Smithville Mansion - An elegant piece of history with a victorian dining room as well as a large tent in the mansion courtyard.

5.  Lighthouses


Lighthouses are a quaint and picturesque photo opportunity, especially if it had living quarters. There’s usually a background of water from a unique perspective. Most lighthouses also have a building that’s adjacent to it so that you can get a picture of the lighthouse in the background. The Absecon Lighthouse is special place that has a covered patio that’s perfect for photos. With two-acres of land you’re sure to get great photos.  

Other Lighthouse Options:

  • East Point Lighthouse - A quiet spot to take breathtaking photos under the covered porch or inside the house by the large windows that view the bay.

  • Tuckerton Seaport Lighthouse - The perfect backdrop for a photo that features a large venue three other unique special occasion sites.  

It’s best to have photos taken during the week rather than the weekends since these are places of business with many customers. Also, please check each website for photography rules as some places require a permit and fees. Remember, you can always reschedule when the weather is bad, but you may be gambling with your photographer’s busy schedule. Lastly, if these options don’t work for you, there’s always the intimate moments captured in bad weather -  which can sometimes be a great background.

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