Longwood Gardens Engagement Photos: What You Get and Tips for Planning

November 10, 2023

Thinking about a Longwood Gardens engagement session? As a photographer, this botanical garden is one of my favorite places to take engagement photos in Pennsylvania. 

Outdoor engagement photos can add amazing pops of color and unique elements to your photos and there are few places better than Longwood Gardens when it comes to these locations. 

With amazing and diverse areas throughout the garden and year-round exhibits, you will not be disappointed by what you find at these gardens. Let’s take a look into why Longwood Garden Engagement photos are so beautiful and all the unique areas you can explore throughout! 

About Longwood Gardens 

Longwood Gardens is an unmistakable area in Kennett Square. If you have never been there, you don’t want to miss out on the beauty and thought that has been put into every corner of this garden. 

The botanical gardens span over 1,000 acres so there is no shortage of spots for you and your partner to explore during your session. This also means that even though it is a popular palace for people to visit, you can normally find quieter areas with fewer people to have a bit more of an intimate session. 

The gardens are actually separated into six different districts (yes, it is that big!) and each one has a unique vibe and backdrop that will make all of your photos so unique. They also have different seasons throughout the year so regardless of if you are having your session in the middle of spring or in the dead of winter, there is something going on at the gardens that will make for amazing photos! 

Throughout the year, their seasons include the Winter Wonderland, Spring Blooms, Festival of Fountains, Chrysanthemum Festival, and A Longwood Christmas. They also have a section of their website that shows exactly what is in bloom (and where in the gardens it is located) which is perfect when you are trying to plan out your session there! 

The Districts

Let’s take a look at the districts throughout the gardens and the amazing features each of them has! 

Chimes Tower District

The Chimes Tower District has two different gardens within it, the Hillside Garden and the Oak and Conifer Knoll. This district is a four-season district so it is a perfect place to add to your location list regardless of when your session is. 

Not only will you get a great variety of rare plants and trees here, but there is also a water feature and an old tower covered in vines that creates an incredible backdrop for your engagement photos. 

Conservatory District

The Conservatory District is one of the bigger areas of the garden and has nine different areas encompassed within it. A few of the highlights of this area include the Acacia Passage, the Green Wall, the Historic Main Conservatory, and the Orchid House. 

The Acacia Passage has an almost enchanting feeling to it with its vines and greenery growing all along the walls. This area is even more beautiful right at sunset as the light flows through the glass wall and illuminates the space. 

The Green Wall is a long walkway with plants growing all along the walls. The pops of color are so bright and really make your photos stand out. Plus there is a reflecting pool at the end! 

The Historic Main Conservatory is an absolute must-see area. Always blooming with colorful and amazing plants and flowers, this is a great place to head to if it is a cold or rainy day! 

Finally, the Orchid House is filled with hundreds of orchids of all colors. There is also a glass roof and walls that allow so much natural light to filter through!  

House and Theater District

The House and Theater District not only has the Peirce-du Pont House which takes you back in time to when the gardens were originally started, but it also has a wooded area, a park, and a few water features. 

The park is a great place if you are looking for something that is a bit more open. Pierce’s Woods makes you feel like you are transported into a fairytale woodland area and has a unique vibe to it. 

There is also a Flower Garden Walk and Open Air Theater that both have fountains that are beautiful and create the perfect contrast with the surrounding greenery. 

Lakes District 

The Lakes District not only has Large and Small Lake, but it also has the Italian Water Garden. 

This area makes you feel like you are transported to the grounds of a small European garden. You’ll find perfectly manicured lawns with various fountains throughout creating the picture-perfect backdrop. 

Large and Small Lake is a bit more of a low-key area, but you can find the Cathedral Canopy Treehouse right nearby as well as a beautiful gazebo right off of the lakes. This is also an amazing place if you are planning your Longwood Gardens engagement session during the fall. The changing leaves really make the photos pop and are so beautiful to look at! 

Main Fountain Garden District 

While the Italian Water Garden does give off a European vibe, the Main Fountain Garden District makes you feel like you are transported to Versaille. This area is absolutely massive and every single detail of the gardens is meticulously planned out to create a truly grandiose area. 

The Main Fountain Garden itself is something that you will not want to miss. The fountains are really a spectacle of their own and the gardens just add to the beauty of them. 

Throughout this district, you’ll also find a Topiary Garden with meticulously manicured yew hedges and a rose garden that is both peaceful and colorful! 

Meadow and Forest District 

Finally, we have the Meadow and Forest District. If you are looking for an area that is a bit less crowded and more intimate this area may be perfect for you. There are two different areas here, the Forest Walk and the Meadow Garden. 

The forest walk leads you through their beautiful forest as well as to their treehouses that are truly special. The Meadow Garden is a wide open space that gives you expansive views of the surrounding area where you can really enjoy the beauty of the space! 

Tips for an engagement session at Longwood Gardens 

Make sure you check the weather 

First and foremost, be sure to check the weather before your session. While there are indoor options throughout the gardens, you want to make sure that you are prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at you. 

If it is going to be a bit warmer (or colder) it may be a good idea to try to plan out your session so you head over to the conservatories in the middle of the session to give you a bit of a break from the elements. 

Be sure to also bring water, especially if you are going to be walking around the gardens throughout your session! 

Plan out your session ahead of time

As you’ve already seen there are a ton of different areas to this garden and you may not be able to visit all of them during your session. Make sure you and your photographer have a plan about where you are going to go during the session and any specific areas you definitely don’t want to skip out on! 

Purchase your tickets ahead of time

It is important to note that you do have to have tickets to get into the gardens. The gardens are also a popular place to visit in general so there may be times when tickets are sold out for the time you want for your session. 

Be sure to also check with your photographer before you book your session. I personally have a membership here so I am able to get my couples in for free, but that may not be the case for all photographers. 

The last thing you want to happen is to get there and realize one of you doesn’t have a ticket to get in! 

Be conscious about what you are doing during the session

Finally, be conscious about what you are doing during your session. These gardens are absolutely beautiful and are so much fun to explore, but you want to make sure that you leave no trace. 

As you are taking photos, be sure that you are not walking off any of the paths, leaning on breaking any of the plants, or leaving any trash around the gardens. Just like when you are out in the mountains, you want to leave no trace! 

Final Thoughts on Longwood Gardens Engagement Photos

If you are looking for an outdoor session location with a ton of variety, a Longwood Gardens Engagement photoshoot is the perfect option. There are so many different areas for you to explore and all of them are just as beautiful as the next. 

Now that you have the perfect place for your engagement session, all you need is the perfect photographer to capture these moments. Click here to get in touch and see how I can help tell your unique love story!

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