Shelly Pate

Engagement Photo Guide for Every Season at the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront

Old Town Alexandria is a small, tucked-away town in Virginia that appears to be frozen in time. This city’s waterfront borders the Potomac River and it is within view of Washington, DC. Noted as the third oldest historic district in the United States, Old Town Alexandria is known for its restaurants, boutiques, and historic museums. I take my couples here for wedding portraits, proposals, couples sessions, and of course, engagement photos. See how beautifully we can capture your engagement session within the variety of locations, seasons, and times of day at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront. 

bridal portraits at Old Town Alexandria waterfront

What the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront is Perfect For

couple walks holding hands along Old Town Alexandria waterfront

What generally draws couples to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront is the historic feel of the town combined with the variety of spaces to explore. It has a quaint feel with 18th-century townhouses, cobblestone streets, and florals on every corner in the warmer months. King Street is lined with restaurants and boutiques housed by historic buildings perfect for strolling, shopping, and dining out together.

Many of my couples return to Old Town for their engagement session because they have a memory there or it’s somehow part of their love story. Some couples spend a lot of time there, had a special date in the area, or live there currently. You can even take river cruises directly to Georgetown and the National Harbor. The waterfront itself offers a ton of different backdrops from the green waterfront parks to the piers that follow alongside a harbor full of water taxis and river cruise ships.


With a similar link and feel, Washington DC’s Georgetown neighborhood boasts of an old world look with its own cobblestone streets. It has a similar quaint, historic town look like Old Town but it tends to be more crowded. You can still capture similarly amazing engagement photos there!

couple stands holding hands in front of rainbow-colored wall

Session Photo Spots for Every Season & Time of Day

couple kisses at Old Town Alexandria waterfront

Besides capturing your love at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront, there are many other spaces to explore! Even though this is a small town, it can get busy especially on the weekends. For any waterfront shots, I recommend sunrise so we get the beautiful light without the crowds.

Sunset sessions also work out really well in this location! The main Waterfront Park is the only area that gets really crowded, but I also love taking couples to the waterfront at the far end of town. Another bonus is it’s a great spot for pets to join! The park area allows some room for your furry friends to play while avoiding cars.

Old Town Alexandria Engagement Photo Locations

couple stands in front of tunnel at Old Town Alexandria waterfront engagement session
  • Wilkes Street Tunnel or “Tunnel of Love”: a little off from the main downtown area of the Old Town Alexandria waterfront, this spot has a more urban feel even though the space can still be covered in ivy depending on the time of year.
  • Alleyways: are always my favorite! There are so many, so we often stop in as we are exploring the streets. These are usually framed by bricks and ivy and rest on cobblestone. We also always come along beautiful houses covered in ivy and iron gates or fences as we explore.
couple walks through alleyway at old town alexandria engagement session
  • Captains Row: speaking of cobblestone, Captains Row is a cobblestone street surrounded by colorful townhouses on either side.
couple walks holding hands on cobblestone street at engagement session
  • King Street: perfect for the evening with all of the street lights! I love to end sessions here as the lights come on during blue hour.
couple stands in front of pink column building at engagement session
  • The Athenaeum: a historic building that hosts art exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, and other events. This pink building is a super fun stop!
couple stands with wedding party at waterfront wedding


Old Town is perfect for wedding party, couples, and family portraits before or after your wedding. I’ve often taken couples to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront when they can’t get into their venue early or they want photos outdoors. I usually take the larger group photos at the Waterfront Park and then do a little more with the couple exploring the area.

An Old Town Alexandria Waterfront Love Story

couple kisses by water at Old Town Alexandria waterfront engagement session

Alex is an amazing bluegrass musician from Baltimore, but he and his fiancée Kathleen chose to come down to the Old Town Alexandria waterfront for their engagement session. Check out their bluegrass-themed wedding here! They love Old Town because it has a similar feel to Baltimore with its historic brick houses and waterfront.

Alex brought his bass and serenaded Kathleen by the Waterfront Park! We then explored the city area, wandering and stopping by pretty houses and alleyways that we came across. We caught the sunset on the other side of Old Town at the “Tunnel of Love”. They ended their session on the waterfront during blue hour and watch the bridge light up in the background! Basically, there is so much variety in this one place–it’s crazy!

couple kisses by water at Old Town Alexandria waterfront engagement session

Let’s plan your own Old Town Alexandria engagement story!

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