Winter Engagement in Arlington, VA
Potok's World Photography

Winter Engagement in Arlington, VA

A Washington, DC, wedding photographer does more winter engagement shoots than you might think. Normally, Washington’s coldest months of the year would not seem an ideal choice for outdoor pictures of future spouses. Though not known for brutal winter weather, the Nation’s Capital can get pretty brisk in January, February and March. Snow and ice are realistic possibilities.

So why do so many DC-based fiancés schedule their engagement portraits during the winter? The reason why has mostly to do with scheduling. The average betrothal period for Washington couples is around a year. Any less than that makes wedding planning a rushed and stressful process. Any more than that is longer than most brides and grooms want to wait before getting married. So most proposals happen in the summer or fall the year before the marriage celebrations.

With couples getting engaged during those months, engagement portraits can then be scheduled in the subsequent fall, winter or spring. Depending on how early in the year the proposal occurs, fiancés can sometimes schedule an betrothal shoot in September or October. DC wedding photographers can certainly create some magical images when the leaves near the Nation’s Capital change! The foliage in the metro area, particularly near the Shenandoah Valley, can be quite spectacular.

Spring is also a beautiful time of year in the Washington, DC, metro area. That makes it a fantastic season for engagement shoots. Washington’s famous cherry blossom trees bloom in the initial part of that season. Every Washington, DC, wedding photographer loves to do portrait sessions by the Tidal Basin when those white and pink flowers are all around. As the spring progresses, the weather gets nicer and nicer. The later portions of the season are some of DC’s pleasantest. The cold of the winter is long gone, but the brutal humidity of Washington’s summers has not yet set in.

The problem with spring engagement sessions is twofold. Scheduling them in the early part of the season can result in the same challenges as winter engagement shoots. Cold weather is often still the norm in the DC metro area in March. Unlike the beginning of winter, though, the early spring has little new snow. Instead, it has added unpleasantness of mud and slush. Engagement portrait sessions later in the spring obviously produce much lovelier photos. The issue with planning these shoots during those months, however, has nothing to do with the weather. Many fiancés like to use their engagement portraits for the save-the-date cards that they send to their wedding guests. Taking those pictures in the late spring can make it difficult to accomplish this in time for a summer matrimony.

That leaves the winter months as a very suitable period for doing engagement photo sessions, scheduling-wise. If you and your fiancé(e) find yourself in that situation, please do not worry. Washington in the wintertime can be absolutely beautiful. The photos that your DC wedding photographers take can more than make up for having to brave the cold weather. Pictures of spouses-to-be in a snowy forest can look like something straight out of a fairy tale.

That is what we love about the image of two future spouses featured here. We took it in the dead of winter in the woods in Arlington, Virginia. That suburb of Washington, DC, is filled with beautiful parks and green spaces that are ideal for couples portraits. In this particular case, we brought the fiancés to Four Mile Run, a creek passing close to the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. The latter is a popular running and biking path that runs from Shirlington to the edge of the DC metro area.

Fortunately, it had snowed in Arlington in the days preceding the engagement shoot. That fresh coating of powder transformed the park areas around the W&OD Trail into a winter wonderland. So we took this future bride and groom hiking through the woods to find the perfect spot for portraiture. Fortunately, we did not have to travel very far. We found a lovely location just a few meters from Four Mile Run. There amid the trees and surrounded by a blanket of snow, the fiancés embraced and pulled one another close. We snapped off multiple shots and came away with some truly memorable images. Those pictures are indeed a testament to what can be accomplished during a winter engagement shoot.

Location: Washington and Old Dominion Trail, Virginia.

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