If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that weddings don’t have to be massive to be special. They don’t have to be grandiose to be meaningful. And they don’t have to be complex to touch your heart. Flora and Nate’s DC War Memorial minimony was intimate by design. The couple married under the monument’s distinctive dome in the company of just their closest friends and family. As is often the case with small weddings, the intimacy meant that every relationship mattered. Every interaction meant something. Every moment was worth preserving forever in a photo. Though we only spent a few hours documenting their celebrations, we ended up with hundreds of photos that captured some meaningful emotion.
Touching DC War Memorial Minimony
Flora and Nate’s wedding day got right to the point. Both the bride and groom arrived at the DC War Memorial already in their wedding clothes. Nate helped the officiant and some family members set the inside of the monument up for the ceremony. Flora and her maid of honor waited out of sight on the National Mall. When the time came to begin the proceedings, the bride’s mother joined them. Then the three ladies walked together up the path to the DC War Memorial.
All the guests watched as Flora, her mother and her maid of honor climbed the stairs up to the platform where the marriage ceremony took place. Before taking her place next to Nate, though, the bride made one quick stop. Her elderly father was sitting in the front row, and Flora came to greet him. He gave her and Nate his blessings, and his daughter gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. It was one of those rare moments when even experienced wedding photographers like us got a little choked up. We created beautiful images of those moments that we hope the couple will treasure forever.
Once their DC War Memorial minimony got started, the mood shifted from touching to lighthearted. Flora and Nate’s officiant regaled the crowd with humorous stories about the couple’s relationship and courtship process. We captured so many photos of the guests, particularly the groom’s parents, roaring with laughter.
Fun Salsa Wedding First Dance
Like many small wedding celebrations, Flora and Nate’s was also very personal. And that is another thing that made it very special. All the stories, all the touches and all the moments were theirs and theirs alone.
Perhaps the most personal touch — and certainly the funnest — was what the couple did immediately after their ceremony. Instead of choosing a traditional first dance to a slow romantic song, Flora and Nate celebrated their first few minutes as a married couple with a very lively salsa wedding dance. They twirled and spun their way around the DC War Memorial, whose rotunda and circular platform made an ideal dance floor. And the best part? Flora’s father stayed up on the stage to watch his daughter enjoy her first dance as a married woman.
Stunning Wedding Portraits at the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden
After sending their guests off to their Potomac River cruise reception, Flora and Nate joined us for some post-ceremony couples portraits. While waiting for our Uber to arrive, we started by taking some lovely closeup shots of the couple posing near the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial. The photos were beautiful, and the connection between the bride and groom shone through in every picture.
The main location for their wedding portraits, though, was the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden. Not only was that location one of their favorite places in DC, it is also a great spot for really creative portraiture. Its unique and creative installations make fun and funky backdrops for striking couples pictures. We started by having Flora and Nate stand on a low retaining wall above the gardens. We went down into the main space and took some stunning silhouettes of them. Then we moved over to a funky sculpture made from red steel beams. We took some wide shots of them posing under it and some closeups of them framed by the structure.
Mary Livingston Ripley Garden Wedding Photos
The couples portrait portion of their day concluded with a stop at the nearby Mary Livingston Ripley Garden. That space’s curving walkways and lush greenery are perfect for very intimate portraiture. The highlight photos from that part of their wedding were actually something completely different. The first set happened completely by chance. A group of teenaged tourists saw Flora and Nate posing for pictures and insisted on getting a photo with the newlyweds. The second was by design. We were so enchanted by their salsa dancing that we asked them to do it again. We captured some lovely images of them dancing and celebrating in the most beautiful of settings.
Thank you, Flora and Nate, for making us a part of your wedding day! It was an honor for us to document them for you. We hope the photos we took always remind you of how magical your marriage celebrations were!
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