Best Milwaukee Engagement Locations


You’re looking for the best engagement location in Milwaukee – you want beautiful surfaces and textures, architectural elements, and an option to showcase the beautiful Milwaukee coastline. No matter your taste for greenery, or not, water, or not, or brick or not, I have the most perfect and absolute best Milwaukee engagement locations for you.

The locations I discuss in this post are a dream team because they’re complimentary, close to each other and they have beautiful lighting. The color tones are complimentary to all skin tones, and the privacy is ideal for a romantic engagement session.

Let’s take a look at what the locations have to offer.

Couple walking down steps at Milwaukee engagement location Villa Terrace

Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum
(My No. 1 Best Engagement Location in Milwaukee)

Why Villa Terrace for Your Engagement Session?

Villa Terrace is the epitome of old-world charm and makes a magnificent backdrop to a romantic engagement session. With its garden-draped bluff, romantic architecture, and old world charm, Villa Terrace easily wins the hearts of couples and absolutely wins my top vote in best engagement location in Milwaukee (and all of Wisconsin). You don’t often find a private Italian escape so far from the coast of the Adriatic.

Couple sitting over-looking Lake Michigan in Milwaukee engagement location Villa Terrace

Starting with formal attire at Villa Terrace gives every couple all of the classic elements of an engagement session. You can rest easy knowing that you’ve created a formal, elegant look will withstand time for years and years. The Renaissance Revival location paired with beautiful wardrobe are a portfolio dream. It will look effortless on your mantel, showcasing the ever-important time in your life, and will serve as a beautiful compliment to wedding imagery.

Couples hands holding at Milwaukee engagement location Villa Terrace

Style at Villa Terrace

An engagement session at Villa Terrace can tell many stories. It can be about delicate touches, chivalry and elegant femininity, but it can also set the tone of a destination location with European charm and quaint arts corners.

It lends itself perfectly to an ethereal tone, endless natural light and dreamy color tones transplanted from another time and place. Stroll through the Florentine gardens, kiss behind Tuscan columns and sit in a quiet European courtyard among archways and iron-laced windows. If you are looking for a dreamy location, this is it. All without ever needing to hop a flight across the Atlantic.

Bride adjusting shoe at Villa Terrace wedding

As a little bonus, Villa Terrace has a surprise for you. If you’re craving a casual atmosphere addition to your shoot, just five minutes down the hill, is McKinley Beach. McKinley Beach is known for its white sand, endless sky, uninterrupted shoreline, and still water.

I welcome you to come see more of this Villa Terrace Engagement session on my portfolio.

Couple dancing in Milwaukee at Villa Terrace engagement

McKinley Beach & Marina

How to Get to McKinley Beach & Marina

Heading down the hill (by car, not on foot – see map at the bottom of the post) we have a 5 minute jaunt to McKinley Beach and Marina where you’‘ll get an entirely different look, landscape, air and sun. The open water, light sand and open air allows sunlight to disperse in a very different way than in and around architecture and trees.

Parking along Lincoln Memorial Road will give you a quick change location away from parking lot at the McKinley Marina. With outfit number two on, you can completely change the scene. New colors, more casual, a blanket and some lifestyle props, you have a whole new set of options here.

Same-sex couple holding hands at engagement on lakeshore

The McKinley Beach Aesthetic

You’ll be met with tranquil waters, and truly a dreamy palette of pale grays and blues. Walk along the white sand and sit amongst the gulls. It really is a beautiful by the water. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a horizon speckled with sail boats. One of my favorite views by the lake. I welcome you to come see more of this Lakeshore Engagement session on my portfolio.

Same-sex couple sitting on rocks on shore of Lake Michigan

Picking the Best Milwaukee Engagement Session Location

Selection Criteria & Considerations

These two Milwaukee engagement locations are by far my favorite and the best locations, in my opinion. Things to remember:

  • Pay attention to the time of day you plan to shoot. For a more diffused sun look (for a sun lower in the sky) pick a time in early morning or early evening.
  • Ensure the composition is avoiding distracting objects, like trees along the coast, or a stray pedestrian. Sessions that are private translate much better on film.
  • Book your engagement session with the venue to ensure you have access to the spots you want to have your photograph taken.
  • Try to pick a time that allows your session to be free of other people and in private.
  • Pay attention to clothing colors. Picking clothing colors that are complimentary to the landscape and architecture are key to making colors melt together in a photo. Look for colors and tones that bring out the best in your skin tone and the environment. That’s a little photographer trick to keep that in your back pocket.
Same-sex couple kissing at engagement session on Milwaukee lakeshore

Even in the rain, you cannot go wrong at these locations – the landscape and details are beautiful. They have so much to offer and are the gems of the city. And now you have the secret to the best Milwaukee engagement locations.

Now, if you’re still thinking about engagement locations, you are still in the wedding planning phase. In that case, I have a great article for you called Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid. See you there.

Same-sex couple running through water at engagement session on Milwaukee lakeshore
Map of drive from Villa Terrace to McKinley Beach in Milwaukee

Thank you for inviting me into your day.

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I truly hope this article serves you. I would love to hear your plans. Together we would create photos that will stand the test of time and that will be ready to grace the pages of a magazine.

Contact me via below for a complimentary consultation.

"Steph captured the beauty of us as individuals and our chemistry as a couple. I sobbed when of joy when we saw our photos. She captured our love - the what I felt when I held him, the fullness with which he loved me, the way we felt when we kissed. I didn't think those things could be captured on camera. But Steph did that."

- Olivia & Enzo

Toronto Bride & Groom

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