NYC Engagement Photos: The Best Romantic Location Ideas for 2023

December 24, 2022

NYC engagement photos are a dream for couples across the world. Whether you take them in Central Park, on the Brooklyn Bridge, or atop a spectacular skyscraper, you’re sure to make absolute magic.

That’s because these special locations are iconic worldwide. And when captured by the right photographers, there’s no place more epic than New York City to commemorate your love.

Yet with so much variety, it can be difficult to choose a spot for your NYC engagement photo session. You may even want to do pictures at multiple locations.

From noteworthy nooks to rooftops of the city’s tallest skyscrapers, the ideas are endless for NYC engagement photos. You have an endless bounty of beautiful backdrops to celebrate your engagement to the most amazing person on earth.

As editorial-style wedding photographers based in New York City, we’ve had the privilege of photographing engaged couples all across this extraordinary metropolis.

Let our images inspire your own NYC engagement photo ideas and help you discover the best spots for your taste.

Table of Contents

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1. Take romantic NYC engagement photos at Central Park

Central Park is an obvious choice to put first when talking about the most romantic engagement photo locations in NYC. But where exactly in the massive park is best for capturing a newly engaged couple in love?

After photographing dozens of couples in every season all across the epic park, we’ve narrowed down our favorites to the following spots in Central Park:

Bethesda Terrace Arcade

Those epic archway shots in front of a stone staircase that you’ve seen all over Instagram’s #newyorkcityengagementphotos hashtag? Those were taken right here at Bethesda Terrace Arcade.

This beautiful structure is found smack in the center of the park. Just enter around 70th Street from either side and head toward the middle.

Constructed in 1860, the terrace is an oasis of solitude in the midst of the busiest (and, perhaps, loudest) cities in the world, where you might find performers chanting or singing opera to make the most of the ethereal acoustics the tiles and open-air setting provide.

The terrace is unique for being the only place in the world that uses special encaustic tiles in its ceiling. It’s also one of the most epic romantic locations for engagement photos in NYC, as you can see below.

Bethesda Fountain

Right outside the south exit of Bethesda Arcade Terrace is its namesake fountain, another beacon of beauty in Central Park.

Often flanked by tourists from across the world, you must have patience when taking photos here. Thankfuly, we find ways to photograph couples that make the area look virtually empty except for them, even on crowded days.

Of course, it’s always the best idea to schedule Central Park engagement photos on off-days and off-hours when you can make the most of the park being empty — and avoid constant photobombs from well-meaning but oblivious tourists. 😊

The Loeb Boathouse

Are you down to hop into a rowboat for the sake of awesomely epic NYC engagement photos? Then the The Loeb Boathouse at Central Park is the perfect location for you.

Located a short stroll north of Bethesda Fountain, the boathouse has a fleet of 100 rowboats for rent, weather permitting.

Note that there’s a fee of $15 per hour with $4 for each additional 15 minutes of boat time. It’s also cash only, and a cash deposit of $20 is required.

The gate attendants are also strict about enforcing closing hours, so plan on arriving at least 30 minutes before closing time.

As for actually rowing the boat, have no fear!

We may be engagement photographers, but we’re also a couple, and we had our own romantic NYC photos taken out on the lake at The Loeb Boathouse at Central Park.

We were a little nervous about rowing, but thankfully it’s not that hard to get the hang of it, even with no prior experience.

You’ll have plenty of time to row yourself into an optimal position on the water for your NYC engagement photos to truly capture the romance and significance of this moment in your lives, right in the center of New York City.

Bow Bridge

This 60-foot bridge made of ipe, a South American hardwood, sits just about mid-park at 74th Street. Simply stated, it’s one of the most stunning engagement photo locations in NYC.

Featured in multiple movies and emblematic of New York City’s refined, cosmopolitan side, it’s a must for any elegant couple’s NYC engagement photoshoot.

2. Go extra epic with NYC engagement photos at Top of the Rock

You might think the Empire State Building is the best idea for rooftop engagement photos in NYC . After all, it’s the city’s signature skyscraper and New York is known as the Empire State.

But here’s the thing:

It’s hard to marvel at the architectural beauty of the Empire State Building when you’re standing on top of it.

The Empire State Building is also all the way down on 5th Avenue and E. 33rd Street, not the best vantage point for taking in Central Park in all its splendor.

That’s where Top of the Rock comes into play.

Located about a mile north of the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock is the rooftop deck of one of the skyscrapers at Rockefeller Center, where you’ll also find NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall.

With better positioning than the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock lets you see all of Central Park from its north side, while taking in Manhattan’s spectacular south side — including both the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower — from its opposite end.

When it’s best to go…

Timing is everything whenever you’re hoping to get Top of the Rock engagement photos.

It’s best to arrive right when it opens at 8am or just before sunset, our favorite time for photos there. This helps with avoiding the crowds and timing your session to coincide with the day’s best natural light.

If you want romantic and epic engagement photos in NYC, then Top of the Rock is your place. Check out our images from this amazing rooftop +below, including the red dress session that earned us “Best of Style Me Pretty.”

Make it meaningful & magical

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3. Be iconic on the Brooklyn Bridge

For couples who are fearless when it comes to heights and aggressive cyclists, NYC engagement pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge is worth the walk.

Whether you start in Manhattan or Brooklyn, it’s best to arrive suuuuper early, as the walkway can get packed before 8am.

We typically advise taking the subway to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall station (the 4, 5, and 6 trains stop there, including the 6 express) and starting on the Manhattan side.

You can also get to the Bridge by taking the J train to Chambers Street or the R train to City Hall.

From there, it’s about a 10 to 15 minute walk to where you’ll likely start taking photos on the bridge, so you may want to bring comfortable walking shoes and change into your engagement photoshoot footwear once you get closer to the middle of the bridge.

After taking engagement photos on the Brooklyn Bridge, you can walk across into Brooklyn and get some romantic photographs at Jane’s Carousel and with the NYC skyline in the background from Brooklyn Bridge Park.

(And maybe grab some Shake Shack while you’re at it.)

Related Article: Questions to Ask Wedding Photographers Before You Book

4. Get in touch with nature with NYC engagement photos at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

For couples who want to consider romantic NYC engagement photo locations in Brooklyn (and spots that aren’t on a bridge!), Brooklyn Botanic Garden is an idyllic environment almost any time of year.

There are seasonal blooms all across its 39 acres, including cherry blossoms in the spring. (Typically from April to May.)

Plus, there are special areas like the Water Garden, Herb Garden, Rose Garden, and Rock Garden.

That means you can find an abundance of colorful, textured backdrops to fit your style in this magnificent space.

You can also take beautiful New York City engagement photos at the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, where you’ll find plants like wisterias and azaleas.

Plus, there’s the Shakespeare Garden where you’ll discover more than 80 plant species that were mentioned in the English playwright’s works.

If you’d prefer to be indoors, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is also home to a handful of nature pavilions.

These indoor landscapes provide just as much flora and fauna. Plus, you’ll be air-conditioned and protected from the elements during your NYC engagement photos.

Even cooler, many of the flowers and plants in these indoor conservatories aren’t typically found around New York City. That makes it feel all the more surreal.

We’re particularly fond of the Desert Pavilion, Tropical Pavilion, and Bonsai Museum, and the Warm-Temperate Pavilion and Aquatic House are also worth a checking out. These romantic NYC engagement photos can provide some inspiration.

5. Find your NYC chill spot in Greenwich Village

If we had to choose a favorite neighborhood in New York City, we couldn’t pick just one. But Greenwich Village would most certainly make our list of finalists.

We adore this area for feeling as quaint as its name would imply, while still having the Big Apple bustle.

Oh, and that food!

If you love to indulge in cuisines from across the world, just head down to MacDougal Street.

Starting a couple of blocks south of Washington Square Park, you’ll find just about everything you could dream of eating.

With Vietnamese, Ethiopian, and regional Indian restaurants, a trip down MacDougal Street is always a feast for the senses.

No trip would be complete without ordering some Belgian fries at Pommes Frites. (And with at least a dozen dipping sauces if you’re anything like us!). Just make sure to wait until after you take your NYC engagement photos so you don’t accidentally sauce yourself up!

While you can find an array of timelessly romantic NYC engagement photo locations in The Village just from walking the narrow streets between 6th and 7th Avenues, there are some specific spots within this section of the city that we love to include in our sessions here.

Washington Square Park

This relatively small park provides plenty of romantic nooks for NYC engagement photos within its boundaries.

From the fountain in its center to the massive arch framing the Empire State Building off in the distance, Washington Square Park is a must-stop for any engagement photoshoot in NYC.

Washington Mews

When open to the public, this gated street just north of Washington Square Park looks like a block in a tiny European town.

With offices for NYU faculty, among other things, the street isn’t always accessible. But when it is, the colorful buildings and doorways make it a magical location for romantic NYC engagement photos.

Check out the pictures from Natasha and Benny’s outdoor NYC engagement photoshoot below.

6. Enjoy a romantic NYC stroll (with photos!) in Riverside Park

This four-mile stretch of greenery on the west side of Manhattan runs from 72nd Street up to 158th.

Known for vibrant blooms in the spring and summer, it’s not as busy as some of the city’s other parks. And, it offers a slice of sweet, sweet solitude to boost the romance factor of NYC engagement pictures.

There are so many scenic little alcoves and lovely backdrops for couples photos. Plus, you can venture outside the park for photos by the beautiful brownstones along Riverside Drive and local side streets.

The photos below are our favorites from a romantic Riverside Park engagement session we captured that was published on Style Me Pretty.

7. Showcase your love for the city (and each other) with NYC engagement photos in SoHo

Looking for romantic NYC engagement photos with some urban flair? Then pictures throughout SoHo is the surefire idea to add just the right city boost.

Home to countless luxury stores and fancy boutiques, along with intricate New York architecture, SoHo is full of personality.

When we photograph couples in this part of the city, we take it slow and stroll down their favorite streets to find the landmarks that mean the most to them.

Maybe we’ll stop in and grab a coffee somewhere special, or pick up a bouquet at a local flower shop.

We might even get down with O.P.P., as in other people’s property, if only for a minute to snap some photos on someone’s brownstone stairs.

It’s also a great idea to head over to your favorite hotel, cafe, or restaurant to diversify the settings within your NYC engagement photoshoot in SoHo.

Some of our favorite spots are NoMo SoHo for its all-around splendor, Mercer Street for its cobblestones and scenic staircases, and Balthazar Bakery for both eats and images.

The possibilities are endless in a neighborhood this chic, and if you’re seeking inspiration, take a peek at the romantic engagement images below:

>>> Want more of this session on the SoHo city streets? <<<
Check out the full post of editorial engagement photos
featuring the lovely Morgan & Aaron.

Finding the best location ideas for your romantic NYC engagement photos

By now it’s clear that there’s no shortage of timeless, romantic locations for engagement photos in New York City.

So, the question now becomes: What’s the best NYC engagement photo location for you?

To determine your perfect engagement session location, think about the places that mean the most to you as a couple.

Perhaps it’s the location where you had your first date, or maybe it’s where you had your proposal.

Whichever idea you decide upon for your NYC engagement photos, it should be meaningful to you. Thankfully, New York has more than enough romantic locations for any couple’s taste, to commemorate their love in any season.

photography by You Look Lovely

You Look Lovely

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