Take it from two experienced destination wedding and engagement photographers. Northern Germany is a great place for a destination engagement photoshoot. We have documented dozens of couples celebrating weddings and engagements there, and cannot recommend it highly enough. It has so many locations you cannot find near Washington DC. Fairly-tale forests, vibrant red poppy flowers, gorgeous yellow canola fields and of course, historic castles! The latter is a particularly compelling draw, considering how rare castles are in the U.S. And if that is what you are looking for, then one of the best locations for a destination engagement photoshoot in Northern Germany is Marienburg Castle. It has everything you (and your destination engagement photographers) need to create castle engagement photos that make you feel like a princess.
What makes Marienburg Castle such an appealing location for destination castle engagement photos? Its charm starts with its history. The backstory of the castle is filled with all the classic intrigue and machinations of Europe’s nobility. It is sure to thrill your friends when you relate it to them. (And maybe, just maybe make them a little jealous too!)
More importantly, it looks stunning in the backdrop of portraits. The castle sits atop a small hill overlooking gorgeous German farmlands. Its walls and spires are both old and well-preserved, meaning your photos will feel medieval without looking decrepit. Finally, Marienburg Castle’s grounds are open to the public free of charge. So getting unforgettable portraits with it rising behind you does not cost you anything extra. (There is a small fee to go inside the castle. In the opinion of these destination DC wedding photographers, though, the best photo opportunities are outside.)
Located about an hour’s drive from the city of Hannover, Marienburg Castle was once home to the last Kings of Hannover. That house was a British-German family that ruled the United Kingdom on and off from 1635 to 1901. Through an arrangement known as a “personal union,” the family also ruled the Kingdom of Hannover, a territory that included most of present-day Northern Germany. The House of Hannover lost the kingdom in 1866 when Prussia annexed it.
A few years earlier, the last King of Hannover, George V, built Marienburg Castle as a gift for his wife. The family intended for the structure to serve as a summer home. Instead, the castle sat vacant for 80 years until the end of World War II. At that point, it became safe for the House of Hannover to reclaim it. Less than a decade later, the family established a museum and opened parts of the building to the public.
Though House of Hannover still owns the castle today, more and more of it is available for public use. In fact, the current Prince of Hannover has been trying since 2014 to transfer the administration of the castle to the German government. However, his father has taken him to court in an attempt to stop the move. This was likely the result of the elder Prince of Hannover objecting to his son’s choice of spouse. (See? We told you Marienburg Castle’s history was worthy of a soap opera!)
The nice thing about Marienburg Castle being unoccupied for much of its lifetime is that it remains remarkably well preserved. The stones that comprise its walls and towers are still in excellent condition. The tiles that make the towers’ roofs are in equally good shape. What this means for you and your future spouse is that you get the best of both worlds. The structure that appears in the background of your castle engagement photos has that famous Old World beauty. At the same time, your photographers do not have to work around any of the rot or decay that afflict many historical buildings in Europe.
The grounds of Marienburg Castle have no shortage of spots ideal for awesome engagement portraits. The path leading to the building is a perfect location for pictures of you surrounded by German forests with the castle peeking out between the trees. Just as good is the building’s front lawn. From there, the edifice’s towers appear even taller and more impressive in your destination engagement photos. Moving around to the side of the castle, you find a small bridge that connects to the building’s entrance. That space gives your destination Washington DC wedding photographers the possibility to frame you against the sky with the castle looming next to you. They can also tuck you and your future spouse in the intimate nook under the bridge for more romantic engagement photos.
Perhaps the best spot for destination engagement photos at Marienburg Castle, though, is not even on the grounds. As we mentioned above, the building overlooks the surrounding countryside from atop a small hill. No trees obscure it on one side, meaning it is clearly visible from the land below. The footpath that bisects one of the agricultural fields is thus a perfect location for portraits with the castle sitting majestically in the background.
Even better are drone engagement photos in this spot. As the camera rises higher in the air, more and more of the gorgeous German countryside makes it into the frame. And that gives you a background that could double as a painting. Just imagine you and your future spouse posing for a picture like this one. The two of you, surrounded by the greens and yellows of the fields, with the blue of the sky above and of course, Marienburg Castle sitting majestically behind you. Destination engagement photos in Germany do not get much better than that!
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