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12 Locations for your Indianapolis Engagement Session

If you’re recently engaged, chances are you’ve just loaded your calendar full of to-do’s for your wedding. Your engagement session is probably one of the first things you’ll do. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate your engagement, make the announcement to all of your friends, and get the perfect photo for your Save-The-Dates or wedding website! There are infinite location possibilities in and around Indianapolis and plenty of themes to decide between. Indianapolis has plenty of character, variety and photogenic backdrops. I always believe that the best location is somewhere that represents the two of you or is special to your relationship. I also find that a good starting point is to decide between the vibe you’re going for – whether it’s more rustic, natural, vintage, trendy, retro or urban. Starting with your vibe or theme can help narrow down your selections dramatically, but if you’re still struggling to find the perfect location, I’ve included my favorite 12 suggestions below! This list is by no means comprehensive, but it will hopefully be a great starting point for you!

 

1. Downtown Indianapolis

Downtown Indianapolis has plenty of iconic backdrops including Monument Circle, Veteran’s Memorial Park, and the State House. It also has numerous monuments, alleyways, side streets, storefronts, and restaurants. If you love the urban setting, this is a great option.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free/Meter (depending on time of day)

 

2. White River State Park/Canal Walk

White River State Park is a very popular location, located on the Western edge of downtown Indy. It is the home of several well-known Indianapolis destinations including the State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, NCAA Hall of Champions, and Victory Field. If you’re going for a trendy/contemporary vibe, this is a great place for you. There is plenty of variety if you’re up for a little bit of walking, since the park technically covers over 250 acres. You can grab some photos walking along the Canal, or even catching a ride on a Gondlier. There are a variety of locations with beautiful landscaping, waterfalls, bridges, walking paths, gazebos, and willow trees. There are also some amazing views of the Indianapolis skyline from several vantage points.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Underground Parking Fee/Metered Lot

 

3. Fountain Square

Fountain Square has a an upbeat urban/contemporary feel. Located just south of Downtown, this neighborhood if perfect if you’re going for a retro or artsy vibe. You’ll find a variety of breweries, distilleries, and bakeries, in addition to one-of-a-kind shops that sell clothes, comics, instruments, fresh flowers and much more. Any of these could offer some unique lifestyle photo opportunities. It is also the home of the vintage Fountain Square Theater, located in the heart of the neighborhood.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free/Meter (depending on time of day)

 

4. Holcomb Gardens (Butler University Campus)

If you prefer a more natural setting, this place works great. There are ponds, bridges, stone stairs, elaborate landscaping, trees, flowers, a winding road, and a bell tower. It’s a very manageable sized park with a lot of different elements to work with. The Central Canal trail runs parallel to a river that goes right through the park/gardens, making for some great photo opportunities.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free

 

5. Holliday Park

Holliday Park has some beautiful grounds, containing tons of trails, a tree-lined walking path, an arboretum, a playground, a nature center, and a boardwalk leading down to the White River. There are lots of trees, shaded areas, and open grass areas. They also have some unique ruins and statutes, which can make for a creative look.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free

 

6. Broad Ripple

Broad Ripple neighborhood has a mixture of everything. Outside of downtown, this is probably one of the most popular scenes in Indianapolis, with laid-back cafes, eateries, brewpubs and restaurants. You’ll also find a variety of unique shops and storefronts throughout the area. The Monon Rail Trail passes through the neighborhood, which is popular for joggers and cyclists, and also links to the Central Canal Towpath – great location if you’re looking to bring your bicycles along to the engagement session. The Indiana Art Center is also located in Broad Ripple, which has some great views of the White River, beautiful landscaping, a sculpture garden and artsy exhibits.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free/Meter (depending on time of day)

 

7. Newfields (formerly Indianapolis Museum of Art)

Newfields is another popular location for engagement sessions, and it’s not hard to tell why. There is a mixture of beautiful architecture, elaborate landscaping, rivers, ponds, trees, bridges, in addition to the popular Love statue, and a mansion. The 100 Acres Nature Park is also located here, which features a combination of outdoor artwork, sculpture exhibits, and nature scenes.

Photo Permit Required: Yes – $50
Parking: Free

 

8. Mass Avenue

Located on the North-East side of downtown, and one of six cultural districts in Indianapolis, Mass Avenue, has plenty of photo opportunities to take advantage of. The location is a hub for public art, galleries, dining, shopping and more. There are also several hidden gems off of the main street, that can add a lot of character to your engagement session!

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free/Meter (depending on time of day)

 

9. Your Alma Mater

For those who are College sweethearts, revisiting your alma mater can be a great option! Whether you went to Butler, Purdue, IU, Ball State, or another institution, most universities have campuses and other facilities that end up being very photogenic!

 

10. At home!

If you’re looking for a more intimate or personal touch to your engagement session, your home may be a great option! I always love the idea of truly capturing you in your own element, just hanging out in the comfort of your own home.

 

 

11. Fort Harrison State Park

This park has acres upon acres of natural elements, including lakes, streams, wooded landscapes, walking paths, forestry, bridges, scenic vistas, fields, etc. If you’re the outdoorsy type, this is a great place for you. You can get some awesome photos here having a picnic, playing with your dogs, fishing or even bike-riding.

Photo Permit Required: $7 In-State Daily Entrance Fee
Parking: Free, except for entrance fee

 

12. Kawachinagano Japanese Garden (Carmel, IN)

I’m a bit partial to the Kawachinago Japanese Garden, since it’s where my wife and I did our First Look for our wedding! It’s a small garden tucked away between the Monon Trail and Carmel City Hall. It’s truly a hidden gem with some gorgeous grounds. There’s Japanese archway, tons of flowers, green space, and an expansive pond with lily pads and Koi fish. It’s also located near the Carmel Gazebo, Carmel Fountain, and Performing Arts Centers, which can make for some great photo opportunities, if you want some variety during your session.

Photo Permit Required: No
Parking: Free

13. Something Different!

I always love when couples choose a location that is sentimental to them, or somewhere that is just fun, or different from the usual! The possibilities are endless, and I’m always up for a new challenge. So if you have an idea in mind, don’t be afraid to give a try! If you have a favorite coffee shop, brewery, winery, bowling alley etc., it could make for some really fun and unique engagement photos! Some couples will even choose the first place they met as the place for their engagement session. It’s all about who you are and how the location represents the two of you!

 

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