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A stone’s throw away from the National Mall, the Smithsonian Hirsshorn Sculpture Garden off Jefferson Drive is an oasis of art. The garden does not allow photographers to bring in tripods, but that should not stop you from starting your photo session there. With sculptures by famous sculptors settling in between the shaded grassy areas, this garden is an idyllic backdrop for your Washington DC wedding photography. Sidle up to a Rodin or a Matisse and have your photographer catch the way the filtered sunlight plays off of your gown, or have your bridal party line up along the reflecting pool for some group shots.
About a block away you will stumble upon another beautiful garden, the Enid Haupt Garden. This delightful slice of flowers and greenery sits off of Independence Avenue, in between the Freer Gallery and the Arts and Industries Building. With freshly mown lawns, vibrant blossoming buds, and perfectly trimmed hedges, your wedding pictures will come out looking natural and ethereal. Walk through the garden with your spouse-to-be and look deep into each other’s eyes while your wedding photographer captures the romantic moment. Bridesmaids can surround the bride against the garden background or have the groomsmen stand beside her for a less traditional angle.
To add a touch of character to your Washington DC wedding photography, you can complete your photo session at the well-loved Smithsonian Carousel, which is directly behind the Enid Haupt Garden. The carnival colors will make your solid white or ivory dress stand out and recall fond memories of fun and childhood. You can ride around the carousel with your groom, or get a shot of all of your bridal party riding their own horses around and around. After enough garden shots, you will be happy to let loose a bit and just have fun. The laughter and smiles caught on camera will always remind you of your special day.
For a varied wedding album, the Eastern Market neighborhood offers two spectacular, but completely opposite, wedding photography locations. First, stop at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, which is on 1st Street between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street. The building was built in the 1890’s and has an elegant, classical architecture that will lend itself beautifully to your wedding pictures. Get some images of you and your bridal party staged among the building’s arched entryways with the gorgeous columns and copper dome rising into the sky. The Thomas Jefferson Building also has a fountain featuring the Roman god Neptune, which adds to the classic vibe. Once you’ve had your fill of the classic, traditional shots, move on to the next, less traditional location.
Hop in your limo and ride toward 7th and C Street where you will find the neighborhood’s eponymous farmer’s market, the Eastern Market. The market is great for some fun, journalistic shots set against vegetable booths and flea market vendors. Peruse the stalls with your future-husband and let your photographer snap candid pictures of the two of you out shopping in your finery. Your wedding garb might pique the interest of more than a couple of fellow shoppers, but interacting with the folks in the market as you shop makes for some fun social scenes that you can cherish forever. The eclectic wares and multi-color will translate to film as a beautifully dynamic backdrop. The outer building is somewhat institutional-looking, but the symmetrical architecture will provide a nice contrast with you and your bridesmaid’s flowing dresses. The inside can get crowded, so your photographer will be able to snap an interesting shot for future games of “Find the Bridal Couple!”
Meridian Hill Park is brimming with photogenic backgrounds and hidden gems of Washington DC. Wedding photographers can have a field day staging shots of their couples and their wedding parties. Perhaps the best known feature of Meridian Hill Park is its 13 basin cascading fountain and reflecting pool. The fountain is an opulent setting for your photos, with stairs going up either side, balustrades, stone arches, and crystal clear water surrounded in lush greens. Have your wedding party stand on the steps leading down the fountain with you and your future-spouse at the front of each line.
The park is also home to several statues, which you can incorporate into your photo shoot. Above the cascade, you can visit the Joan of Arc statue or the Serenity statue, letting the pretty sculptures fill the backgrounds of your images. Below the cascade, you will find statues memorializing former-president James Buchanan and the Italian poet Dante. Take the time with your wedding party to create unique shots around these statues, then head to the 16th street entrance to the park to capture images with the Washington meridian, which marks where one of the prime meridians intersects Washington DC. Wedding photographers can get amazing pictures here, because the marker stone is a towering arched doorway. The classical architecture will look beautiful in your wedding album.
After you have exhausted the photographic opportunities in Meridian Hill Park, make your final stop at the Tivoli Theatre (now the Gala Hispanic Theatre), located at 14th Street and Park Road in the Columbia Heights neighborhood. Since the theatre is well over eight blocks away, you will most likely want to catch a ride with your limo driver. The Italian Renaissance style architecture of the theatre provides a great backdrop for your couple shots, or you could get pictures of the bridal party underneath the glowing Tivoli marquees. These shots are sure to be a hit with all of your family and friends.
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