GDA Weddings

Connecticut Engagement Review
Elizabeth Park
West Hartford, CT

Perhaps The Most Over Hyped Engagement Spot?

Here is a review of Elizabeth Park as your engagement photo location.

Please bear in mind that when I’m reviewing I’m not critiquing the couple in the photos! This is purely focused on the location, the look, lighting, and options you have while onsite.

Hopefully this helps you pick out the perfect spot for your engagement photos!

Models:
Semin and Will during an engagement Shoot

Gail and Joe during an engagement shoot

Alicia and Kevin during an engagement shoot

Overall Rating 70%
Variety 90%
The Look 70%
Unique Factor 70%
Cleanliness 90%
How Active 30%
Bonus - Flower Rotation 90%

The Review

Variety

Variety 90%

So there’s a solid amount of variety here.  Within a 5 minute walk anywhere in the park, you can shoot in front of flowers, in a greenery field, near stones, water, and woods.

Plus all of the variety here is well done.  While it’s not the best at any of these categories, you really can’t go wrong having a shoot here, even if you are out of season.

The Look

The Look 70%

So Elizabeth Park would be a solid 10 out of 10 if the flowers were in bloom all year round. Heck it would be a 10 out of 10 if they were in bloom all summer.

BUT that’s not the case. I took off a bunch of points here because the look that everyone wants from Elizabeth Park, which are flowers over arcs and fields of flowers, is only available during July.  For the rest of the year that huge field of flowers is just greenery.  While it doesn’t look bad, it’s also not the look you want when you are visiting this park.

Unique Factor

Unique Factor 70%

So I gave Elizabeth Park a 7 here because the big draw for Elizabeth Park is the vast amount of flowers they have on display.  But for 11 out of 12 months of the year there’s nothing that stands out here to set it apart from other places to have an engagement shoot at.

It’s a great looking place, but I wouldn’t drive too far out of the way for it.

Cleanliness

Cleanliness 90%

This park is always clean, the ONLY reason why I knocked off a point here is because the flowers out of season can sometimes look dead in the backgrounds.

But the gardeners here are super active, and this is rarely ever an actual issue.

How Active

How Active 30%

So this is my biggest issue with this place by a longshot.  Everyone wants to have their engagement, marriage, graduation, family, adoption,  quinceañera photos done here.

Consider yourself lucky if you only run into 3 other professional photographers on a Saturday.  The worse I’ve ever seen it was one time there was a small elopement wedding going on, and at the same time, AT LEAST 8 photographers were crammed in the little rose garden trying to capture photos.

So this isn’t so bad if you go on a weekday, but just be aware that there are often other people taking photos.  And this can be an issue during the off-season of flowers.  The last time I was there, a photographer was taking photos of a model in front of the best set of flowers for a full hour.  So you may be limited to sticking to the woods and stone sections.

Bonus - The Flower Rotation

Bonus - Flower Rotation 90%

So Elizabeth Park’s bonus category is the flower rotation.  So I knocked off a bunch of points because the flowers are out of season for most of the year.  BUT the gardeners do a fantastic job maintaining two sections of the garden almost year-round.

In these sections you will find fantastic looking flowers of all different colors and sizes for photos.

Final Thoughts

Overall Rating 70%

Before the first time I visited Elizabeth Park, it was hyped up to me as one of the best spots in Connecticut to do engagement photos.  After checking it out for myself and shooting there a bunch of times now, I gotta disagree.

To also add you have to purchase a permit in order to have photos done here.  It’s $25 if you live in West Hartford and $50 for everyone else, and you have to drop off the form in person which is pretty inconvenient.

You can read more details about it here
You can download the application here
Drop it off here:
50 Jennings Rd, 2nd floor
Hartford, CT

You are not doing wrong having your shoots here, especially if it’s close to your house then that’s perfect.  

But if you can’t wait until July, then there’s plenty of other places that offer a more unique look.  I would personally wouldn’t suggest people to travel out of there way to get photos done here outside of July.