There are so many perfect spots at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens where one might propose a lifetime of love. Although no one particular spot is better than another, there are three different gardens that are more popular than others.
Chris Springhorn, of The Huntington’s Weddings Office, said the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Lily Ponds are some of the favorites.
The Rose Garden contains more than 3,000 individual plants and more than 1,200 different cultivated varieties across three acres. All the colors and fragrances of the roses could provide a wonderful sensation. The Spring blooms begin in late March and extend beyond Thanksgiving. An Herb Garden is adjacent to the Rose Garden, which provides a more secluded feeling for someone at The Huntington who may want to have an intimate moment, Springhorn said.
Springhorn described the Japanese Garden as “dramatic” because it overlooks a beautiful and romantic landscape. Couples could sit along a row of benches looking out at the distinctive moon bridge, the historic Japanese House and the koi-filled ponds before the question gets popped. It’s especially nice when the Wisteria is blooming in the late winter, Springhorn said. The Zen Court within the Japanese Garden is popular as well.
The Lily Ponds are another great place people have found to be special. It’s another one of those secluded spots – sort of a retreat. The water lilies bloom in various hues from mid-Spring to mid-Autumn and the flowering lotus blooms here in mid-July. A variety of aquatic plants, bamboo and trees grow in this area.
Some who intend to propose have a particular spot in mind while others roam around until they feel the moment is right. Springhorn advised it is best to find a place away from a crowd as this is a very intimate moment for a couple embarking on the rest of their lives together.
All engagement shoots are very personal, unique and wonderful, Springhorn said. She has been involved in overseeing engagement and wedding shoots for eight years at The Huntington. One of the more memorable wedding photo shoots she remembers is when a couple and the wedding party stepped out of the limo; the wedding party started singing and dancing traditional African music to the bride and groom. They sang and danced all through the gardens, she said.
If it is just the couple, the ring and the question, Springhorn said they do not need to get permission from The Huntington. However, if it is anything more than that, a private escort takes each couple around to the gardens. All photography requires a permit from the city, which The Huntington staff takes care of. A fee is also required.
The Huntington escort will also help to make sure the shot is clear of other people, to help ensure the most memorable experience for the couple and other guests at The Huntington.
Couples must bring their own photographer, Springhorn said.
“I believe it’s the most important decision you make,” she said regarding the relationship between the couple and the photographer for the engagement shoot.
Springhorn said she noticed that the “goofy smiles” couples have when that special moment happens last for hours, and it is great to have someone capture that intimacy.