A woman in a blue and pink floral dress walks down a mowed path through a high grass field with deep green trees behind her during a faux southeastern Connecticut engagement session for a Connecticut wedding photography video.

Introduction: Alternative Southeastern Connecticut Engagement Session Location Ideas

Harkness Memorial State Park. It’s one of the most popular Connecticut state parks…and for good reason (e.g., water, a mansion, and plenty of nature)! But this also makes it, however, an excellent choice for all types of photo sessions, especially engagement ones. This may have you thinking, “How about some other options for southeastern Connecticut engagement session locations?”

Well, that’s a good question. And fortunately, it has many good answers. So I’ve been giving it some thought and have come up with the following three towns that fit the bill of being great Connecticut engagement session location options.

Video Summary: Southeastern Connecticut Engagement Session Ideas

Why tell when you can show? Check out this short YouTube summary of the blog post right here!

Recommendation #1: Ledyard

Underrated rustic features

A female model in a floral dress laughs and pretends to be in a Southeastern Connecticut engagement session. Behind her are a large pond with lily pads and a sawmill.
Here’s my wife playing engagement make-believe. Please just humor me and pretend that I’m in the picture, too.

Firstly, Ledyard! I’ll admit, I’m a little biased because my wife and I live here. As far as engagement session location options go in New London county, Ledyard is definitely a hidden gem. A stone’s throw away from Mohegan Sun and home to the village of Gales Ferry, Ledyard offers a handful of good engagement session settings. For example, did you know that there’s a sawmill here? Yup, and it’s complete with a pond and plenty of forestry.

(Note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the actual mill part of Ledyard Sawmill Park is closed.)

Spots to consider for your engagement session:

  1. Sawmill Park
  2. Erickson Park
  3. Ledyard Center

For your engagement session, Ledyard is modest little town that packs a really scenic punch. Keep it in mind while thinking of unique locations for your photos!

Recommendation #2: Stonington

A woman poses in front of Stonington, Connecticut's Mystic River in the village of Mystic during a faux engagement session. She's wearing a blue and pink floral dress, red lipstick, and is smiling with her hand on her hip.
The actual Mystic River is much, much more pleasant than the movie of the same name.

Second on the list is Stonington. Now, if you’re not familiar with Stonington the town itself, you’ve probably heard of (or been to) one of its very popular villages: Mystic. That’s right, Mystic isn’t a town itself, but a village of Stonington (Mystic is actually shared between Stonington and another town, which is coming up next on my list). A wonderful blend of small city vibes, old town feels, water features, and greenery, Stonington has almost everything you could possible need for an engagement session.

Spots to consider for your engagement session:

  1. Mystic River Park
  2. Olde Mistick Village
  3. Stonington Borough

Engaged couples, Stonington almost has it all if you’re looking for a great photo for their save-the-dates. You definitely don’t want to exclude this town and its great perks. I’ve even photographed a proposal and an elopement here. Most popular of all, I think, would be a Mystic engagement session.

There are also plenty of great options for regular date nights in Stonington, too.

Recommendation #3: Groton

Big town = lots of options

A woman in a floral dress smiles and peers through ivy growing along a rock wall. Photo taken during a shoot highlighting southeastern Connecticut engagement session location ideas.
Groton is a super green town, as in grass, trees, and ivy plants.

Last but certainly not least, Groton. Unquestionably, this town is my best recommendation for southeastern Connecticut engagement session location options. Why? Because of its sheer size. Groton is a big town, the second-biggest population-wise in New London county. And with this comes lots of land and water on three sides (Thames River, Mystic River, and the Long Island Sound). Accordingly, there are plenty of photo location options for engaged folks like yourself.

Spots to consider for your engagement session:

  1. Haley Farm State Park (I photographed my first engagement session there!)
  2. Noank
  3. Avery Point

Now be honest: have you ever even heard of Groton? I bet not and that’s perfectly OK! But as I explain above and in the video, I think it’s currently the best option for engagement session locations in this part of the state.

Mary and Ted’s Fall Mystic Engagement Session

In addition to photographing them at Stonington’s Stone Acres Farm, I also photographed Mary and Ted’s fall Mystic engagement session downtown. Frequent visitors of the area, these two really love Mystic River Park right by the bridge. I also brought them to one of my favorite, lesser-known Mystic areas.

Jaime and Vito’s Winter Mystic Engagement Session

A man and woman hug in front of Mystic's famous bascule bridge during their Mystic engagement session.

Ready to brave the cold, Jaime and Vito were ready for their wintertime Mystic engagement session. This village holds a ton of sentimental value for them. Not only did they get engaged near the Christmas tree in Mystic River Park, but Pizzetta is their favorite pizza restaurant. You know me: I had to incorporate their love for pizza into their photos!

I just cannot wait to be their wedding photographer at The Overlook at Geer Tree Farm later this year.

Kamai and Kyle’s Winter Mystic Engagement Session

I met Kamai and Kyle when they decided to book me as their elopement photographer. As they would only be in town for a few days, we opted to do their engagement session after they actually got married.

Since we were already going to be in Stonington Borough for their elopement, Kamai and Kyle chose downtown Mystic as their engagement session location. It was awesome, despite the pandemic and cold temperature!

In Closing: Plenty of Engagement Session Games in Town

Let me say one more time that I really like Harkness. Be that as it may, southeastern Connecticut really does have a lot more engagement session location options to offer. From Ledyard’s rustic features to Stonington’s popular vibe to Groton’s understated charm, there’s clearly something for every engaged couple down here.

By the way, I’d love to help you plan out and realize the engagement session of your dreams! Just drop me a line on my contact page and we’ll get the conversation going.


I used the following references at different points in this post:

  1. Ledyard Up-Down Sawmill
  2. Wikipedia, “New London County, Connecticut”

Considering a Ledyard, Stonington, Groton, or Mystic engagement session?

I can help with that! Just click below for my contact page.

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