Dakota of Dakota Hersey Photography is a Wilmington, NC based wedding and senior photographer who specializes in bright, colorful photos for couples who can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together. Since she spends so much of her time photographing different couples around Wilmington, we asked her to share her favorite downtown locations for those planning their engagements and weddings! 

There’s no doubt that Wilmington, NC is filled with gorgeous locations for engagement and wedding photos. You would think it would be easy to choose a spot for photos but having so many options can also feel a little overwhelming! 

Photo credit: Dakota Hersey Photography

As a wedding photographer, I love using Downtown Wilmington for engagements and weddings because of the variety, all within a short distance. There is a unique mix of historic homes, cobblestone streets, lush landscaping, and even some more modern “city” looks. It makes it easy to find a location to match with every style and outfit.

Here are a few of my favorite go-to locations when shooting downtown!

Photo credit: Dakota Hersey Photography


For Katie and Zach’s engagement photos, they wanted a fall feel similar to their wedding (they’re getting married in October!). I love this little alleyway right off Orange Street that highlights the charm of historic downtown –– cobblestone streets, white picket fence, lots of greenery, and a small “pop” of color. 


Dock Street is filled with some of my favorite locations –– and it’s walking distance from The River Room! There is a mix of light blue walls surrounded by palm trees, to Saint Thomas Preservation Hall’s pink wall covered in ivy leaves, and the bold red 212 door. There’s no shortage of pretty locations here! 


Parking decks are another go-to location to get plenty of light and a stunning view of the city. There are multiple decks to choose from downtown, but the most popular by far is the 2nd Street parking deck. It’s white, has a little touch of teal, and the sunset is gorgeous! 


If you’re looking for something a little more “southern charm” you can venture down 2nd Street towards Ann Street and Nun Street into the historic district of Downtown Wilmington. Here you can find grand homes, spanish moss hanging from the trees, and a mixture of different colors and architecture. 

Photo credit: Dakota Hersey Photography


Last but not least is the Downtown Wilmington, NC classic…the riverfront! Did you even come to Wilmington if you didn’t get a photo on the riverwalk with the bridge in the background? The riverwalk spans the entire length of downtown so it offers multiple engagement and wedding photo locations. From the Federal Building with stone steps, fountain, and palm trees, to the wooden riverwalk with restaurants and boats on either side, there are a ton of options!

Downtown Wilmington, NC definitely does not disappoint when it comes to beauty and charm in photos…not to mention there are a TON of places to explore when you’re done with your photos. Hello date night!!! 

If you’re recently engaged and looking for an engagement and wedding photographer, I would love to hear more about what you’re planning for your big day! 

It’s so important to build a team of vendors who you love and trust, know all of the best kept secrets in town, and are ready to make your wedding dreams a reality. Between your vision, beautiful photos, and the team at The River Room, there’s no doubt it will be the perfect day!