Ellen Biddle Shipman Garden engagement photo

Wildwood location guide

Wildwood Preserve is the most visited of all the Metroparks in the Toledo area. There are so many amazing places to explore with two sides to this park (The Main entrance and the Ward Pavilion Entrance) and I wanted to share some of my favorite photos and locations from the last 10 years I have been photographing engagements and weddings. 

I love the Manor House side and the Ward Pavilion equally. The Manor House side has a couple of AMAZING fields and a courtyard area and the Ward Pavilion side features a covered bridge, paths, and an adorable schoolhouse next to a field. Both sides feature clean and easy-to-access restrooms, which are also a plus if you’re doing an engagement session with multiple outfit changes. 

The Toldo Metropark website mentions, “The 493-acre park is the former estate of Toledo’s Stranahan family. Surrounded by natural habit, the stately home, now called the Manor House, played important roles in Toledo—and the park district’s—history.”

The Best Photo Locations at Wildwood

Let me break down some of my favorite spots for you at Wildwood Metropark:

The Manor House

A beautiful estate located on the property of Wildwood, this brick house is a perfect location for an indoor ceremony, reception, or both. You’re able to rent out individual rooms or the entire house. You can get the info for booking here.

The field close to the parking lot by the manor house

I LOVE this field – it is easily the most used place for me for engagement sessions. It photographs best in the evenings and looks great year-round. 

The Courtyard Next to the Manor house

Ellen Biddle Shipman Garden is a beautiful location for engagement and wedding photos, but also available for wedding ceremonies at the Garden Patio. Wedding time periods available for ceremonies between are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to dark. The cost is $250 and you can find more booking information here.

The lower part of the boardwalk and bridge on the main side

Located on the main side of Wildwood Park, the boardwalk is surrounded by trees and a small stream (or river? I don’t know). This is a less-frequented boardwalk and I prefer this one over the Ward side. There are also usually some good views during our walks – deer! Deer can be seen all over the property during engagement sessions. There are lots of steps we need to talk to the boardwalk , so I recommend a change of shoes and one outfit for photos here because once we are down there, it’s a trek back up and there are no restrooms on the lower level.

the covered bridge

Located on the Ward Pavilion side, this covered bridge is a VERY popular spot. Foot traffic from hikers, people walking their dogs, and other photos being taken make this a difficult photo spot to take photos at. I recommend grabbing a few photos here and moving on versus taking a full session here – you will have to stop and move out of the way every few minutes due to foot traffic. 

The only time I suggest the covered bridge is in the winter – it is almost impossible to take photos here in the fall when everyone is enjoying the leaves and beauty.  Also, bring a change of shoes if wearing heels from the parking lot because it is a long walk!

The boardwalk before the covered bridge

Located before the covered bridge, as the title suggests, the boardwalk is the pathway to the left after the parking lot on the Ward Pavilion side. This leads to the covered bridge as well as fields and, of course, the boardwalk. The wooden boardwalk is surrounded by beautiful trees and photographs great year-round, but I love it the best in the fall and winter (although the boardwalk can be slippery in the winter!).

The Oak Grove schoolhouse is an adorable and iconic part of Wildwood. Located close to the parking lot and alongside a great field, this is also a cute spot to stop at before or after you travel to the covered bridge for some photos. 

The field right after the covered bridge

After the boardwalk and the covered bridge is a field that is my favorite in the summer to photograph at. There are these black-eyed susans that cover a lot of the field and make for a beautiful backdrop. There are lots of tall trees and some grass where a couple can sit for photos. It’s a good location at Wildwood, just bring a change of shoes if you’re walking in heels from the parking lot because it is a long walk! 

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