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See, your love story– how you met, your first kiss, how he cheers you up, how you push his buttons– that's enough content to make a book. And while the prospect of documenting your fairytale love story thus far sounds nice, let's be real here: ain't nobody got the time, and ain't nobody got the money. Luckily, a tale of two souls coming together can be condensed into a few key 5 X 7s, and the gist of your relationship, at least the part you want to show the world, can be captured through your engagement photos.
You've seen it all– Vizcaya, the lighthouse at Key Biscayne, every grain of sand from Fort Lauderdale to South Pointe– or so you've thought. Miami has a plethora of beautiful destinations for engagement photos; all you have to do is think outside of the box. While it would be nearly impossible to name every beautiful vantage point in this city, we've taken the liberty of listing out a few that capture and enhance the beauty of your relationship, in all its color, in all its charm.
If the two of you come from domino-playing, colada-sipping families, then where better to take your engagement photos than in Little Havana? Between Ball & Chain, Azucar Ice Cream Co., domino park, and 8th street's colorful murals, it's the kind of setting that would make your abuelos proud.
With its mid-century modern motels, colorful sidewalks, and striking old-school Miami vibe, the MiMo District provides the perfect backdrop for vintage shoots with a bit of kitsch. Whether you hit up the newly opened Vagabond Hotel or you take simple city shots inside one of its many eateries, you're sure to have a shoot that's uniquely Miami.
The Redland is Miami's own agricultural backyard, where you'll find loads of you-pick-them establishments like Knaus Berry Farm and Burr's Berry Farm. Also in the area is Schnebly Winery, with its flowing fields of tropical fruits, and rustic chic and picturesque places for photo backdrops like The Walton House and The Cooper Estate, which are both surprisingly affordable places to host a wedding. Come to this area if you're looking for country wedding style photography, sprinkled in with some rustic props from a company like Unearthed Vintage.
Stiltsville isn't Miami folklore; it's real. Located off the shores of Biscayne Bay, the seven remaining houses of Stiltsville (there were once 27 of them) stand in the middle of the ocean as beacons of a Miami that once was, and set the scene for a photo shoot that's as serene as it is mysterious. Just make sure you book a permit in advance.
Natural backdrop are beautiful, no doubt, but if foliage and rustic barns feel foreign to you, the whole thing will seem, well, unnatural. You two are city folks– probably met at a bar in Brickell, count Miami's skyline as your backyard, consider Virginia Key as the closest you'll ever get to nature, and not by choice– so stop fretting about Pinterest-perfect country scenes and show the world that you two OWN this city. Twirl around Brickell Key with Miami's skyline behind you, hit up your favorite restaurant for a sultry scene, snap shot upon shot of the two of you crossing streets and hopping into cabs like the true city-folks you are. Manmade Miami makes for a beautiful backdrop, so take advantage and don't fight the feeling.
Lincoln Road has been getting a lot of flack these days, but it's still a visually stunning street that offers the perfect Art Deco and mid-century modern backdrop for any engagement photo. Pop into The Frieze Ice Cream for sweet photos and meander onto Lincoln Road's side streets for intimate ones. Dip into a cafe, like Books & Books, for a romantic lunch scene, or post up near the New World Symphony (pictured above) for a scene foliage that's bright and colorful. For grungier photos, pop into the architecturally stunning Herzog & De Meuron Garage, which offers a beautiful vantage point of the entire island.
Did you two, by chance, meet serendipitously while sitting next to each other on a plane? Are the two of you bound by a love for travel? If you can clear it with TSA, then a romp through Miami International Airport or Fort Lauderdale Airport may capture your love story in flight.
Florida Orange Groves
Is there anything more Florida than orange groves? These particular photos were taken in Orlando, however you can find orange groves closer to Miami in Davie. The Florida Department of Citrus lists Bob Roth's New River Groves as the nearest to Miami, however there's a long list if you're interested in heading north. Word of advice? Make sure to book your session when oranges are in season, which is typically between October and June. Bring bug spray.
Like Brickell makes for the perfect modern city scape, Downtown Miami has a few gems that make for the perfect old school city scape that resembles a Northeastern city like Chicago or New York, not Miami. Take the Olympia Theater, pictured above, the Alfred Dupont Building, or the historic Miami-Dade County Courthouse, with its Classical revival architecture and dramatic stone steps and columns. You can drop by the carrousel at Bayside for some colorful images and Museum Park for a view that's unparalleled. The Perez Art Museum, too, has beautiful angles and dramatic walls and artwork that would make for beautiful backdrops for any photo.