There are a lot of great things about getting engaged or married in the Washington DC area. One of the best, though, is the opportunity to have your wedding or engagement pictures taken during the blooming of the city’s cherry blossom trees. Every spring, Washington’s streets and parks come alive as the cherry blossoms turn brilliant whites or delicate pinks. In particular, the area surrounding the Tidal Basin between the Jefferson Memorial and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial absolutely explodes with with color at that time of year. Cherry blossom trees ring the entire basin, and their flowers sometimes touch the surface when in bloom. That scene makes it one of the most beautiful settings for engagement or couples portraits you could ask for.
We can tell you from experience that the cherry blossoms make early spring a great time to be a Washington DC wedding photographer. More importantly for you, though, they make that season fantastic for newly engaged couples! Not surprisingly, lots of brides and grooms schedule a cherry blossom photoshoot when the trees are in bloom. Sure, there are a lot of tourists in that part of time during the Washington DC National Cherry Blossom Festival. But fighting the crowds is well worth it when the reward is gorgeous portraiture that will make your friends die of envy!
Because the cherry blossoms are such an important part of Washington’s history, we long assumed that it was one of the few metro areas graced with these 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. As we have mentioned elsewhere on this website, 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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