Kerry and Jason are getting married in Florida, but they decided to shoot National Mall engagement photos. I’m so lucky they did because… what cuties, right?!
Kerry sent me an email a few months ago because she wanted to shoot on the Mall. Kerry and Jason are from New York, via Florida. It surprised me that as newbies to DC, they knew the cherry blossom peak bloom on the Mall is THE time to shoot engagement photos for any beltway insider.
The National Park Service publishes an estimate of the peak bloom, and every year, the estimate is fairly close. I use this estimate in planning engagement sessions because my cherry blossom engagement session slots are extremely limited! I can only take TWO sessions on the weekend of peak bloom. Kerry and Jason booked several months out.
This year the estimates were way off, however. Washington, DC, experienced a LOT of snow, and then we had warm periods followed by cold snaps. The trees and National Park Service changed their opinion on when peak bloom would be– requiring that we change our scheduled shoot date several times.
What is so magical about the cherry blossoms? First, cherry blossoms are quintessentially DC. The National Mall used to be where cattle grazed and little shops popped up to sell milt, eggs and other sundry products. As the United States became more sophisticated, we pushing the cows and chickens out of the city and began dumping dirt to build up the land where the Lincoln is now located.
In the early 1900s, the United States received THOUSANDS of trees from the mayor of Toyoko. The first trees were planted around the Tidal Basin by someone from the Department of Agriculture, a head of the National Geographic Society, and the first lady. Crazy! To shoot engagement sessions on the Mall, it required a permit and weeks of waiting. Can you image a first lady with her large straw hat and gardening gloves just digging holes and planting trees?
History aside, the cherry blossom trees bloom for only two weeks. The flowers are at PEAK bloom only for a couple of days. Peak bloom is magical because pinky-white blossoms FILL the air and ring the Tidal Basin.
So, for beltway insiders in love, cherry blossoms represent romance, history, and the stately elegance of the DC monuments and skyline. Kerry and Jason embody all the is DC, even if they have only been here for a short time– refined elegance.
Kerry and Jason, thanks so much for picking me to photograph your National mall engagement photos and sticking with me through all the date changes as the flowers changed their minds about when to bloom! I hope you have an amazing wedding in Florida!
If you want to see more engagement sessions on the cherry blossoms see here.