Want distinctively “Washington DC” wedding or engagement photos? Then schedule a cherry blossom photoshoot with experienced local wedding and engagement photographers! One of the best things about the Washington DC metro area is the opportunity to have couples portraits taken during the blooming of the city’s cherry blossom trees. In our opinion, cherry blossom wedding pictures are an absolute must if you are getting married or engaged in DC in the spring!
Why? Because if your wedding is in or around Washington DC, then the city has been a part of your love story. And if you want your wedding and engagement pictures to tell that story, then your photographers need to weave elements of the Nation’s Capital into those images. And nothing says DC quite like images of you and your future spouse surrounded by the city’s most recognizable flowers.
If you decide to make a cherry blossom photo session a part of your wedding and engagement plans, then the next step is to decide where to do it. If you are a DC resident, that might surprise you a little. You no doubt already know how awesome and quintessentially “DC” the flowers are. But you might not know how many great spots there are for cherry blossom wedding portraits around the metro area. Why? Because the natural assumption is probably that your session should take place at the Tidal Basin.
And it is no wonder! When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, that area of town becomes one of the most spectacular sights imaginable. The trees ring the entire basin, growing particularly thickly between the Jefferson and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorials. The flowers sometimes reach down gracefully to touch the surface of the water. The latter then acts as a mirror, amplifying the beauty of the scene. All told, the Tidal Basin is one of the most beautiful settings for cherry blossom wedding or engagement photos you could ask for.
The downside of having your cherry blossom wedding portraits taken at the Tidal Basin, though, is the crowds. Every spring, millions of tourists flock to Washington DC to get a look at the city’s most famous flowers. That can make staking out some real estate for photos challenging, even early in the morning or late at night. Many of your images will have people inadvertently photobombing you in the background.
That might not be an issue for you, of course. Maybe you like the energy and bustle of the city, and want that in your cherry blossom wedding pictures. Maybe you want photos with a real “DC” feel, tourists and all. If so, great!
If that is not your cup of tea, though, do not despair! As we said above, but the Tidal Basin is not the only location in the metro area where cherry blossom trees grow. There are little pockets of them all over downtown DC, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland. The Custis Trail in Arlington, for example, has a couple of lovely spots where the flowers bloom in the spring. Even the Arlington Central Library has beautiful cherry blossom trees in its front yard! So there are plenty of options for you if you want a cherry blossom photoshoot somewhere other than the Tidal Basin.
You can even get cherry blossom wedding pictures if you travel outside of DC for your marriage celebrations. Because the flowers are such an important part of Washington’s history, we long assumed that it was one of the few metro areas graced with their lovely trees. We knew that they are the national flower of Japan, of course. That was the country that gifted the cherry blossoms to Washington DC, after all. We were unaware, though, of how common they are in other places. We were surprised, for example, to find cherry blossom trees blooming in the spring in Hannover Germany. Similarly, we were delighted to find the white and pink flowers blooming near St. Louis during a trip to photograph a destination wedding there.
The cherry blossom trees in question were growing on the Edwardsville campus of Southern Illinois University, an institution of higher learning located about 20 miles from downtown St. Louis. We were there for the wedding party and wedding portraits portions of this lovely couple’s nuptials. They had just tied the knot at the St. Rose Catholic Church, which was about 30 miles farther into Illinois and closer to where their families lived. After exchanging their vows, the newlyweds boarded a party bus with their bridesmaids and groomsmen. The entire wedding party then drove to the university for some posed pictures. Because the newlyweds had first met while studying in Edwardsville, they wanted the university to play a role in their wedding and the images that we were capturing.
As destination and DC wedding photographers, we loved their choice of venue for their couples portrait. Locations with personal significance to you and your future spouse always make for great portraits. Whether it is where you met, where you went on your first date or where one of you popped the question, a spot that means something special to you can really make your wedding-day photos stand out. Why? Because they help tell your love story by highlighting a place that played a significant role in bringing the two of you together. They give important context and flavor to the images your destination wedding photographer produces for you.
In this particular case, it did not hurt that the spot they picked was also beautiful! The aforementioned cherry blossom trees were in full bloom around a lovely square at the campus entrance. That meant that there we had gorgeous backgrounds against which they were guaranteed to look great! Especially given that cherry blossoms are very easy to incorporate into couples portraits. Their branches tend to droop down as they grow away from the trunk of the tree. That creates little cocoons into which newlyweds can be comfortably tucked. The distinctive cherry blossoms will then envelope them, framing the couple beautifully as they pose.
We took a variety of closeup and wider-angle shots of these newlyweds standing under and near the cherry blossom trees. This shot ended up being one of our favorites, because we love its sense of intimacy. You get the impression that they are the only two people in the world. Just two souls in love with one another and surrounded by some of Mother Nature’s finest creations.
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