emily chappell

photographing joyful weddings since 2013

emily chappell

photographing joyful weddings since 2013

July 24, 2017

Wedding Wisdom: The Best Engagement Session Locations in Dallas

Best Engagement Session Locations in Dallas

Are you looking for ideas on engagement session locations in Dallas?  Never fear! I’m asked fairly often to help couples in choosing locations.  Luckily, I’ve been doing tons of engagement sessions recently and have had the chance to explore many great places.  Of course, I am more than happy to share some of my favorites!  From urban settings to more natural backdrops, this list is sure to help you decide on a great spot.

Below each location you find links to blog posts featuring engagement sessions I have personally photographed!  But remember, no two engagement sessions are the same!  I can just about guarantee that you as a couple will bring your own unique energy to each location.  So have fun picking a spot that best represents you both and enjoy getting all dressed up!

 

Favorite Engagement Session Locations in Dallas

 

White Rock Lake in Dallas

White Rock Lake Engagement Photos
Romantic White Rock Lake Engagement Session at Sunset
White Rock Lake Engagement Photos

There are so many reasons to love photographing engagement sessions at White Rock Lake!  There’s lots of natural greenery with trees and fields and a lake dock.  It is especially great for couples who love the water or who are planning a beach wedding.  And the sunsets off the water are amazing!  White Rock Lake is a popular recreational spot, so it can get busy on the weekends.  I recommend scheduling engagement sessions on weekdays to avoid crowds.

Fees: None

Parking: Various lots; I prefer the lot in front of the Boat Club which is on Lawther Drive!

Session Photos: View a summery White Rock Lake engagement session here!

 

Lakeside Park Dallas

Lakeside Park Engagement Session
Lakeside Park Engagement Session

Lakeside Park is a great option for couples who love an idea of an outdoor engagement session, but also want to retain the more manicured appearance. Nestled in the beautiful Highland Park area of Dallas, Lakeside Park is a hidden gem! I do recommend starting earlier here because the tree line can make it feel much darker, much faster.

Fees: None

Parking: Street side parking available.

Session Photos: View beautiful Lakeside Park engagement session photos coupled with Arlington Hall photos here!

 

Uptown Dallas

Engaged couple embracing in front of heart mural in Uptown Dallas

For couples who prefer a fun, city feel, Uptown Dallas is a great option for engagement session locations in Dallas.  The best way to describe it is preppy, but not so much that it feels too buttoned up.  There are lots of street textures and sometimes a cute mural or two.  Landscaping is always on point, and street lights provide beautiful depth.

Fees: None

Parking: Street parking for a cost, or parking lot above Whole Foods (my preference).

Session Photos: View a fun Uptown Dallas engagement session here!

 

Winspear Opera House in the Dallas Arts District

Urban engagement session locations in Dallas

I adore the Winspear Opera House for engagement sessions!  Located in the Arts District of Dallas in the AT&T Performing Arts Center, its modern architecture lends a sophisticated feel to any photos.  A well-known photo spot is the diamond wall on the back of the building (see above image).  I personally love the super reflective wading pool in the front.  Couples never want to miss a chance to get their feet wet at the end of their session for some cute photos!  The Winspear Opera House is centrally located, making it easy to get to other engagement session locations in Dallas.

Fees: None

Parking: Can be difficult.  Parking available on the street or about .75 miles down the road in a for-fee parking lot.

Session Photos: View a sweet Winspear Opera House engagement session here!

 

Deep Ellum District in Dallas

Quirky and urban engagement session locations in Dallas with murals

Deep Ellum is a neighborhood near downtown in East Dallas that is known for its vibrant music and arts scene.  It’s also been made popular by the 42 Murals Project. This group invites artists to paint murals on walls in Deep Ellum in hopes of preserving the culture and heritage.  Lots of vibrant texture, color, and definitely a unique energy!  Choosing Deep Ellum for your engagement session location will mean a good bit of walking to find great murals, so pack comfy shoes!

Fees: None

Parking: Street or lots.  One great lot is at the corner of Main and Good Latimer.

Session Photos: See a fun, colorful Deep Ellum engagement session here!

 

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Engagement Photos in PlanoArbor Hills Nature Preserve Engagement Photos

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is most definitely a favorite among brides and grooms to be!  With tons of natural greenery, it’s easy to get that soft, romantic look that many couples love when looking for engagement session locations in Dallas.  My favorite features are the abundance of trees, the creek bed (bring safe shoes to walk in!), and the open fields.  The golden hour light at Arbor Hills is stunning, too!  The only thing to keep in mind is the possibility of bugs and critters, so come prepared accordingly.  It’s a nature preserve, after all!

Fees: None

Parking: Parking lot in front of the preserve

Session Photos: View romantic Arbor Hills Nature Preserve engagement photos here!

 

Penn Farms at Cedar Hill State Park

Country rustic engagement session locations in Dallas

When I first had a couple suggest Penn Farms Agricultural Heritage Center to me, I wasn’t sure what I was in for.  However, I was so happy we made the trip!  Cedar Hill is a little ways out, but it is definitely worth the trip for couples who love a rustic look.  It has lots of overgrown greenery, fields, reconstructed historic buildings, and vintage farm equipment.  This makes it perfect for couples who like a country look!

Parking: There is an open lot in front of the farmstead.

Fees: Entrance fee of $7.  NOTE – they only accept cash at the gate.  To pay with credit card, you’ll have to park in front of their main office and pay inside.  Having cash on hand to pay is much easier and faster.

Session Photos: See rustic Penn Farms engagement session photos here!

 

Prairie Creek Park in Richardson

Natural park engagement session locations in Dallas

Prairie Creek Park is one of my favorite engagement session locations in Dallas!  I love all of the forested greenery that’s just overgrown enough for some beautiful photos.  There is also a waterfall feature that is very popular amongst couples for their engagement portraits.  I also love the fields that are perfectly backlit during golden hour with sunlight peeking through the trees.  It is such a soft, natural, and romantic spot for portraits!  It can sometimes be crowded with other photographers depending on the time of the year, so be sure to keep that in mind.

Parking: A few different street side options depending on where you want to start for photos.  There may be a bit of a hike if you want to take pictures on the waterfall.

Fees: None

Session Photos: View this summery Prairie Creek Park engagement session on the blog!

 

Historic Downtown McKinney

engagement session locations in dallas historic downtown mckinneyengagement session locations in dallas historic downtown mckinney engagement session locations in dallas historic downtown mckinney

Historic Downtown McKinney is not just a fun place to go shopping and have a nice lunch on a Sunday afternoon (although it is great for that!).  It’s also a fabulous place for engagement photos!  Many of the buildings downtown date back to the late 1800’s, which means plenty of rustic, aged textures.  Couples wanting a downtown look without too much modernity, this is the the spot for you!  PRO TIP: Make time to go to Emporium Pies after your session – their chocolate Smooth Operator pie is AHHMAZING!

Parking: There are lots of free lots – super easy parking!  Or, park street side if available.

Fees: None

Session Photos: See engagement photos in Downtown McKinney here!

 

Bishop Arts District in Dallas

Artsy urban engagement session locations in DallasBishop Arts Engagement Photos Bishop Arts Engagement Session in Dallas

When couples are looking for engagement session locations in Dallas, oftentimes they want a city look that captures what Dallas is all about.  In these cases, I highly recommend the Bishop Arts District for their engagement photos!  Bishop Arts is a shopping and entertainment district near Oak Cliff, just southwest of Downtown Dallas.  I love all of the colors and interesting textures that makes this neighborhood truly unique.  It’s also great for a “lifestyle” session approach where couples can relax, get a drink or two, and just have fun while I snap away!

Parking: Street parking available with some lots depending on how far you’re willing to walk.  I usually park off the street in the residential side, since I don’t mind walking to meet.

Fees: None

 

Adriatica Village in McKinney

Elegant Engagement Session at Adriatica Village in McKinney

Elegant Engagement Session at Adriatica Village in McKinney Elegant Engagement Session at Adriatica Village in McKinney

Adriatica Village in McKinney is definitely a hidden gem that I was excited to discover!  It consists of retail, residential, and commercial space with amazing architecture designed to resemble a Croatian village.  Couples love the Old World feel of the streets, the lakeside backdrop, and the gorgeous secluded Bella Donna Chapel.  (Note that access directly to the chapel is not allowed.) I’ve recently discovered that there are lots of open fields, and even a small vineyard!

Parking: There is a free parking garage nearby.

Fees: None

Session Photos: Check out this romantic Adriatica Village engagement session here!

 

The Harbor at Rockwall

Lakeside engagement session locations in Dallas

If you love gorgeous sunsets right off the lake and beautiful golden hour photos (the 30 minutes-1 hour right before the sun sets), The Harbor Rockwall is a great choice!  The Harbor Rockwall features lots of dining, entertainment, and shopping – but the best parts are the lakeside dock, lighthouse, and boat tours!

Parking: You may have to park a good bit away in the parking lots – be prepared for some walking.

Fees: None

Session Photos: Check out this romantic sunset engagement session at The Harbor Rockwall here!

 

The Shops at Legacy

Engagement Session at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve and Shops at Legacy

The Shops at Legacy was one of those locations that I’d often frequented and finally decided to suggest for an engagement session! I was so excited when one of my couples took me up on the idea because it looked SO beautiful! The street view allows for some more modern (but not too urban) backdrops while the water feature provides a softer, natural look. The added bonus is that Arbor Hills is just 10 minutes away!

Parking: Free parking in the parking garage, some walking needed.

Fees: None

Session Photos: Check out this super sweet Shops at Legacy Plano engagement session here!

The wonderful thing is that many of these locations are just minutes away from each other, so you could combine two to create added variety in your Dallas engagement session! For example, you could consider Arbor Hills and Shops at Legacy, or Arlington Hall and Lakeside Park! These are just a few of the great engagement session locations in Dallas I’ve discovered so far!  This list is ever-growing and I will add to it as I continue to capture engagement sessions.  In the meantime, if you’re recently engaged and looking for Dallas wedding photographers, I would love to discuss photographing your special day!  Visit my website to view more Dallas engagement photography or click here to contact me!  I can’t wait to hear from you, and look forward to connecting!

 

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