Best Locations To Take Engagement Photos In Vancouver And The Lower Mainland
So you just got engaged, now what? Most couples are high on love and adrenaline, and cannot wait to marry their true love. Most couples enjoy their engagement, but find that they will spend a lot of their engaged time planning their wedding. As a wedding photographer in Vancouver, I encourage and include engagement photos with most of my services. Having your engagement photos done brings a nice break from wedding planning, and gives you some significant memories for you and your partner to enjoy.
One of the most asked questions I get is “Where are we going to have our engagement photos done?” The location is a crucial part for setting the tone and scene for how you want your engagement photos to look. There is so many locations to choose from, most couples end up drawing a blank. One of the most important things is that the location and background should tie together the theme and look of your engagement story as a couple, so picking the location is important.
There are many location types to choose from, such as parks, open grass areas, beaches, city, forests, and mountains. There (literally) are hundreds of locations you can choose from in the Greater Vancouver area.
I have put together a list of the best locations, and most requested locations for your reference. This list is by no means, a complete list, but is meant to provide a starting point of reference for you engagement photography session location.
Gastown is located directly next to downtown Vancouver. Gastown is an extremely popular location for engagement and wedding photographs to be taken. One of gas town's prominent features is the iconic steam clock. The Gastown steam clock chimes every 15 minutes, while belting off a blast of steam. This allows for a beautiful and creative backdrop for engagement photos. Gas town is also known for its older buildings with gorgeous brick work and historical details. If you want an historic urban feel then Gastown is it.
This is a popular spot all year round and is filled with hidden gems that provide a beautiful backdrop for engagement photographs. Granville Island is home to over 300 independent shops as well as renowned Emily Carr Creative University. One of the advantages to having your engagement photos taken at Granville Island is the vast amount of colorful backgrounds and the rich diversity of the location. You could easily spend hours here and leave with beautiful photos that look to have been shot at several different locations, all without ever leaving Granville Island.
Cypress Mountain, West Vancouver
Cypress mountain is located just north of Vancouver (about a 30-minute drive) and before Horseshoe Bay which makes it a prime location in the Vancouver for an engagement shoot. The snowy white mountains provides a beautiful backdrop and atomsphere for the mountain adventurous couple.
Coal Harbour & Canada Place, Vancouver
Coal harbour is a short distance to downtown Vancouver and boasts fantastic mountain views of North Vancouver and Stanley park. The unique Vancouver flavour of Coal Harbour makes this spot a great place for engagement photos. Canada place is right next to it and is home to the 2010 Olympic Torch and holds a distinct urban city feel which makes for fantastic engagement photos on Valentines Day or any other day.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver
This famous Vancouver landmark is located in North Vancouver, which is just over the bridge from downtown Vancouver. Nestled within the rainforest and suspended 230 ft over the Capilano river. Capilano Suspension Bridge is a dream engagement photo location and. is home to 27 acres of unspoiled rainforest waiting to be a part of your love story.
Pitt Lake, Pitt Meadows
Pitt Lake is located outside of Vancouver close to Maple Ridge, BC. The lake is 24 km long. And is surrounded by mountains and rugged terrain. Pitt Lake is another favorite among engaged couples with the beautiful mountainous backdrops and stunning landscapes.
Ambleside Park is located in West Vancouver and offers amazing views of Stanley park and downtown Vancouver. Ambleside Park has a skate park, beach and ocean-side walkway. You can also catch a spectacular view of Lionsgate Bridge connecting Downtown Vancouver to North Vancouver.
Light house park is located in West Vancouver, and is one of the most popular engagement locations in Greater Vancouver. The light house from the 1870's, situated in the park, is the main attraction and a National Historical Site. The trails around Lighthouse Park are fairly short and they are appealing to people of different fitness levels.
I am lucky to have done several photoshoots in Queen Elizabeth Park as I live very close to the park. The park is close to 52 hectares and has many gardens, the arboretum and is home to the Bloedel Conservatory.
Whytecliff park is located near Horseshoe Bay and has a beautiful view of the mountains and islands off of the coast. The park has everything from beach, hiking trails and a family picnic area.
Located at the west side of Vancouver, UBC is the main university campus of British Columbia. The UBC Vancouver campus covers over 400 hectares and includes Nitobe Memorial Garden, UBC Botanical Gardens and bordered by Pacific Sprit Park. Each of these are described in separate entries given the diversity and uniqueness of each.
The botanical gardens located in UBC are a popular engagement and wedding photography location. The gardens are separated into different areas and can host a wedding for couples with the capacity of 50-100 people. The gardens are beautiful and have a labyrinth of trails with multiple photo opportunities. The garden also offers three hours of complementary parking, which is win for both couples and photographer.
The Nitobe Memorial Gardens is located about a 20-minute walk from the UBC Botanical Gardens. Nitobe Memorial Gardens are a traditional Japanese Tea and Stroll Garden and is considered one of the top 5 Japanese Gardens outside of Japan. The gardens include a stream, koi pond, waterfalls, a Japanese tea house and stone lanterns. Nitobe Memorial Gardens is a great choice for engagement photos.
Jericho beach is located in the west Point Grey neighbor of Vancouver. Jericho beach is a popular destination especially in the summer. The views from Jericho are breath-taking includes the North Shore mountains and Downtown Vancouver.
Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Grouse mountain is located in North Vancouver and is relatively close to downtown Vancouver. Being such a popular tourist and skiing location, it’s easy to see why this a favorite location for engagement photos. The Grouse Mountain Skyride, or the “gondola” operates 365 days a year from 8:45 am to 10:00 pm and connects people from the base of Grouse Mountain to the chalet and ski hills above. I recently photographed a networking event for the non-profit organization A Wish to Wed. The view was spectacular, see for yourself.
Another popular engagement location close to Pitt Lake, Alouette Lake is like a whole other world. Alouette Lake is located in Golden Ears Park, which is one of the largest parks in British Columbia. Alouette Lake is located about 10 km from Maple Ridge and is made up of Alouette Beach, campground and lake.
Located among farmland and trails, Campbell Valley Park has close to 29 km of hiking trails. Campbell Valley Park is popular for birdwatching, picnicking and walking the trails. The park is also a popular location for photos. Campbell Valley Park also houses Campbell Valley Downs Equestrian Centre, for the equestrian lovers who want to include some horses into your engagement photos.
Downtown New Westminster is full of character, old brick buildings and alley ways. I have photographed here several times, and it always pleases me to see what the different backdrops and lighting conditions that Downtown New Westminster can bring.
Ah, Stanley Park! I could not leave this location off the list as it is such an icon of Vancouver. Stanley Park is famous for the seawall, BC Aquarium, and has kilometers of beaches and trails. Stanley Park offers a wide range of activities and backdrops for your engagement photograph.
Steveston village is located in South Richmond where the mouth of the Fraser River is located. Steveston village is full of old shops, wooden boardwalks, the Britania Cannery and Fisherman’s Wharf. Even with the number of people that visit Stevenson (making it a packed place) it is a great choice to get a variety of engagement photographs.
Yaletown is a trendy neighbourhood located to the south of Downtown Vancouver facing False Creek. Full of trendy shops, local resturants and brick streets and buildings it is not surprising why this would be a popular location for engagement photos.