Guide to Engagement Photos at Princeton University

Guide to Engagement Photos at Princeton University

Tips for Brides

So you’ve scheduled an engagement session at the Princeton University campus! This is one of my absolute favorite locations for an engagement session thanks to the variety of backdrops it offers. However, because the campus is so big, it can seem overwhelming when trying to choose the spots you’d like to shoot in. Which is where this guide comes in! In this post, I’m sharing sample images of the backdrops available on the campus. If you’ve got your heart set on a specific one, definitely let me know! I really hope that this guide to engagement photos at Princeton University inspires you for your portraits!

Nassau Hall

This building is beautiful, but it’s also one of the most highly-trafficked locations on the campus so you can’t always get wide shots like this one with no one around. If you love it, though, it’s always easy to include because it’s right in the middle of all the other locations I typically recommend shooting at. Plus it’s right by Nassau St and Witherspoon, which is a great meeting point.

bride and groom hold hands walking at Princeton University in the snow rainy engagement session in Princeton NJ

Clio and Whig

This is one of my favorite buildings to shoot at, and luckily there are two identical buildings! I love the lighter backdrop this provides; works for a more light and airy feel to your photos.

bride and groom stand on steps of Clio and Whig during wedding portraits at Princeton University engagement photos at Princeton University outside Chio and Whig building bride and groom hold hands walking on the lawn outside Chio and Whig at Princeton Universitybride and groom walk down steps during engagement photos at Princeton University

There is also a nice lawn space in front of Clio and Whig so you can incorporate some shots with trees and greenery like this:

couple sits on lawn during fall engagement photos at Princeton Universitybride looks up at groom during engagement session on the lawn at Princeton

 

Mathey College Area

When you’re facing Clio and Whig, you’ll have to decide if you want to go West towards the residence halls or East towards the chapel. If you go West towards the residence halls, make sure to check current announcements as photographers are sometimes not allowed to shoot there, as it disrupts the students in their place of residence. It all depends on the time of year and day!

bride holds skirt of white dress out during engagement photos at Princeton University

This is the other side of that same building:
groom lifts bride up outside Mathey College during engagement photos at Princeton University

Rockefeller College

This is one of my favorite areas, but it’s in a residence hall so shooting there is sometimes not possible. I’m usually pretty lucky though and can get at least a few pics there. I love this area for its arches and textures on the walls with beautiful greenery!

engagement photos at Princeton University for couple walking under archescouple pops champagne on lawn of Rockefeller College during engagement photos at Princeton University bride leans against groom standing in archway at Rockefeller College engaged couple sits on the steps during fall engagement photos at Princeton University

This spot is one of the most desirable locations of Rockefeller College:

bride and groom lean against pillar of Rockefeller College during engagement photos at Princeton University

Look how pretty it is from the outside looking in as well:

bride and groom touch heads in window of Rockefeller College during wedding portraits in the snow engaged couple walks down steps of Rockefeller College during engagement photos at Princeton University couple kisses during fall engagement photos at Princeton University

Princeton Chapel Area

If you’re facing Clio and Whig and you decide to go left (East), you’ll end up on the Princeton Chapel Hall side. This is where this iconic spot is located:
engaged couple poses near chapel of Princeton University couple hugs on steps of Princeton Chapel bride and groom pose near chapel during engagement session in Princeton NJ

East Pyne Hall

This is right across from the Princeton University Chapel and is so pretty with all the greenery!

bride and from stand in doorway of East Pyne Hall at Princeton University couple kisses during engagement session at Princeton University's Pyne Hall bride and groom pose by historic building at Princeton University

McCosh Hall

Behind the chapel you’ll find McCosh Hall which is a lighter building and also has ivy.

bride and groom hug during fall engagement photos at Princeton Universitycouple hugs during engagement session in New Jersey

Surrounding Area

The city of Princeton is also a beautiful location for a shoot. Just outside of the campus, there is this beautiful path on Nassau Street:

couple kisses on sidewalk near Princeton NJ during fall engagement session

There are also lots of alleys and side streets with restaurants and cafes for a more urban feel to your photos.

urban engagement session near Princeton University for couple hugging

There are numerous other spots on campus that make for beautiful backdrops both outside these areas and right around these areas on the way from one building to another. These are just a few favorites! Where you shoot will largely depend on crowds on campus and any limitations, but if all areas are accessible, here are the circuits I recommend:

  • Nassau, Clio/Whig, and West side (Mathey and Rockefeller Colleges): 45-60 min
  • Nassau, Clio/Whig, and East side (Princeton Chapel area, East Pyne Hall, McCosh): 45-60 min

If you want to cover both East and West Sides then I definitely recommend a 90 minute session. And in both cases, flat shoes for walking around the campus.

Additional Resource

Download the campus map here.

About the Photographers

Idalia Photography is based out of Central NJ and specializes in romantic, timeless, and classic weddings. Our photography style can be described as a perfect blend of classic, romantic portraiture and authentic, candid moments. Are you planning a wedding? We serve NJ, NY, PA, and beyond. Click here to view our wedding portfolio or contact us for availability.

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If we haven't met yet, I'm Alex! I'm passionate about discovering beautiful stories, documenting genuine moments, and capturing timeless images along the way. Here I share our latest work, a peek into my life, and helpful resources. Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

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