When I ventured out to capture Megan and Bryce’s Winterthur engagement session last June, I was immediately struck by the miles and miles of lush forestry in every direction. A canopy of green completely enveloped us the moment we stepped onto the property. I was half expecting to meet Bilbo Baggins around every grassy knoll. Just below the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, this historic estate is set on 1,000 acres of pristine gardens, woodlands, and open fields. Keep reading for more information and tips on planning a Winterthur engagement session.
THE HISTORY OF WINTERTHUR
Winterthur is home to one of the last early 20th-century gardens in existence. Master gardener H. F. du Pont tended to 60 acres of gardens for nearly 70 years during his lifetime at the estate. Two generations of du Ponts designed and maintained the gardens before him, each of them working off the natural landscape of Brandywine Valley.
This historic property transports you to a bygone era; its opulent 175-room mansion is over 96,000 ft² and is on the list of biggest mansions in America. The grounds offer a kaleidoscope of natural beauty throughout the seasons, from vibrant spring blooms to the enchanting serenity of a snow-covered Winterthur wonderland.
With its historic charm and picturesque landscapes, Winterthur effortlessly blends old-world grandeur with the enchantment of nature, providing a dreamlike canvas for capturing the most exquisite moments of your love story.
WHERE IS WINTERTHUR MUSEUM LOCATED IN DELAWARE?
Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library is located at 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), about 15 minutes northwest of Wilmington, DE. Some notable sites on the property are the Winterthur Visitor Center and the Winterthur Museum Shop, the library, galleries, Reflecting Pool, Enchanted Woods, and Sundial Garden. Directly to the south is the Wilmington Country Club, and to the east is Brandywine Creek State Park.
The Winterthur Visitor Center as well as the museum and gardens are both open Tuesday–Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Winterthur Library is open Tuesday–Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT TO WINTERTHUR GARDENS
As the seasons change, Winterthur transforms into a wonderland. In winter, it becomes a vision in white, with the snow-covered landscape enhancing the romantic ambiance.
During this summer engagement session with Megan and Bryce, we could truly take advantage of Winterthur’s natural beauty at its peak. From seasonal florals bursting with summer color to the densely wooded greenery of the forest, the backdrop options were endless. And I have to say, it was hard not to imagine myself as a visitor to the Shire.
If you’re interested in planning your engagement photo during a particular season, check out Winterthur’s Yearly Bloom calendar. You can look through all the different plants and florals that will be in season during your session.
WHERE TO TAKE ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS AT WINTERTHUR
Believe it or not, Winterthur was actually our backup plan location for Megan and Bryce’s summer engagement session! We originally scheduled their session for Longwood, but the gardens shut down due to the Canada fires. Since they traveled in from NYC, we couldn’t reschedule, but based on how their gallery turned out, I’m convinced it was a blessing in disguise.
We started by taking photos on a picturesque hill that overlooked the mansion. We then headed to the surrounding open fields while the light was still a bit overcast. Afterwards, we captured a few photos in the sundial garden before heading to the heart of the Enchanted Woods. This section of the property is aptly named. Not only is there a life-sized bird nest, but there’s also several small huts and stone structures that are obvious gathering places for woodland creatures. And come on, you cannot tell me this bench wasn’t handcrafted by elves (or hobbits, or gnomes; I don’t discriminate).
Next, we stopped by the reflecting pool for some seriously dreamy shots just as the light was effortlessly filtering in through the trees. Can we just take a moment for this sun shower?!
Megan and Bryce coordinated engagement session outfits in simple blue tones which was such a classic and timeless choice for this backdrop.
FROM ENGAGEMENT SESSION TO WEDDING DAY: WHIMSICAL FLORAL WEDDING DAY DETAILS
It was really fitting that the Cody’s engagement session took place at Winterthur gardens since their Lancaster, PA wedding day was equally as whimsical. From the wedding invitation suite, to Megan’s getting ready robe, to her wedding dress covered in appliques, this July wedding was a bouquet bursting with intricate floral details.
“I sincerely hope that the Museum will be a continuing source of inspiration and education for all time, and that the gardens and grounds will of themselves be a country place museum where visitors may enjoy as I have, not only the flowers, trees and shrubs, but also the sunlit meadows, shady wood paths, and the peace and great calm of a country place which has been loved and taken care of for three generations.”H. F. du Pont
This quote from Henry Francis du Pont couldn’t be more well-suited to Megan and Bryce’s story. Megan’s wedding gift to Bryce was a gorgeous engraved watch that read “I’ll love you until the end of time.” Just as Henry Francis du Pont wished that the Winterthur gardens would be a place of inspiration for all time, The Cody’s love for each other is enduring and timeless. I think its safe to say that Winterthur was the perfect romantic backdrop to immortalize their love.
BOOKING ENGAGEMENT SESSION PHOTOS AT WINTERTHUR IN DELAWARE
History, elegance, and nature are perfectly intertwined at this enchanting Delaware wedding venue. From the majestic façade to the intimate interiors, every corner of Winterthur holds the promise of a love story waiting to be told.
If the thought of peacefully wandering through lush gardens while a luxury Delaware wedding photographer (me) subtly captures your epic love story sounds good to you, let’s do this! Fill out my inquiry form to get your Winterthur engagement session on the books!