Sarah and James met in 2015 through her cousin. Her parents have Jersey Shore summer vacation home (amazingggg!), and James came to the house that summer with her cousin. They hit it off immediately, and the conversation just felt natural. Even though Sarah was going to Penn State at the time, and he lived in New Jersey, it wasn’t hard for them to keep up a long-distance relationship for a bit.
The two knew right away they had something special. I love their natural, easygoing relationship. They both knew where their relationship was headed, so instead of picking out the ring himself, Sarah and James had fun designing her engagement ring together—and it’s GORGEOUS! He did, however, surprise her with the proposal and popped the question one perfect evening at home with their two sweet pups in tow.
For their engagement session, they wanted space to wander, explore, and relax–an outdoor space with a beautiful backdrop and lots of colorful flowers. After researching several Charlotte, NC botanical gardens, they settled on one of my absolutely favorites: The Andrews Farm in Midland, North Carolina. (Be sure to check out one of my recent weddings there as well!) The farm as a whole is breathtaking. In the spring and summer, the hydrangeas are in full bloom, as you can see from Sarah and James’ engagement session. Sarah looked like she walked straight out of a magazine, and I was convinced she had modeled before. Needless to say, I’m in love their engagement photos. Here’s a peek into their garden engagement session!
Charlotte, NC Botanical Gardens Guide
Couples often ask about the best garden locations for engagement photos, so I thought I’d provide a helpful guide for you to compare gardens around CLT.
Here are my top 5 Charlotte, NC botanical gardens:
1. The Andrews Farm: Midland, NC
As you can see, the sprawling farm is absolutely stunning. If you book your engagement photos with me, we would rent The Andrews Farm out for an exclusive session so no one except the owners are there. They have multiple gardens, and the house looks like a white French mansion. They plant seasonal flowers and greenery year round. Even when the hydrangeas aren’t in bloom, there’s sure to be something you’ll love.
Photo Session Fee: $200
2. Duke Mansion: Charlotte, NC
Whether you take your engagement photos here, host your wedding, or both, this grand estate never disappoints. A pond and fountain at the entrance welcome you to Duke Mansion, both of which are stunning in photos! The Mary DBT Semans Gardens were designed by an artist, garden designer, and landscape group for a picture-perfect experience. Succulents, mature trees, and year-round blooms cover the 4.5-acre garden.
Photo Session Fee: $350
3. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens: Belmont, NC
Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens features nine individual gardens each with their own distinct style for a wide variety of photos. Water and rock features add extra dimension and allure to the gardens. This is one of the largest gardens in the area, covering 110 acres connected by shaded walking trails.
Photo Session Fee: $250-300 (depending on the day)
4. Queens Road West: Charlotte, NC
This historic area features pretty homes, tree-lined roads, and endless greenery, giving off an authentic Charleston feel. While it’s technically not a garden, the well-manicured lawns and incredible landscaping make it a noteworthy spot to take photos. Couples are always happily surprised by how beautiful it is. It’s truly so, so pretty!
Photo Session Fee: None
5. McGill Rose Garden: Charlotte, NC
This hidden gem of a garden is nestled on the edge of the Noda Arts District in CLT. The roses at McGill Rose Garden look like something from a painting, and you can easily extend your engagement session into a date by staying for coffee and wine in the garden. Rosie’s Coffee & Wine Garden is a treat! Twinkling lights, shaded benches, and colorful murals make this a Charlotte favorite. It’s one of the smaller options, but it’s pretty in the spring and summer.
Photo Session Fee: $300
Book Your Charlotte, NC Botanical Gardens Engagement Session
Still have a few questions about a certain garden location or your upcoming engagement session? I’m here to help! Connect with me here to get started.