Today’s blog post is one I am SO excited for! A few weeks ago, I shared some of my favorite (and dream!) engagement session locations in MD! Y’all absolutely loved it and wanted a DC version of the list!
I know that finding THE perfect location for your engagement session can often bring a bit of stress. That said, friend, it doesn’t have to! Picking the perfect location for your DC engagement session can actually be a lot of fun because there are SO many different types of locations and overall vibes that the city has to offer! So… we’ll get to the list in just a moment, but before we totally dive in, a few links!
If you were hoping to scroll through MD area engagement session locations, click here! Additionally… know that many of the locations below do require reservations or permits. If you would like to have a session on the National Mall, click here for details on the permit process! (I always happily walk clients through this process, just a heads up!)
Now… the good stuff! Here are some of my favorite engagement session locations in Washington, DC!
Nothing more iconic than the Lincoln Memorial! Just a heads up with this one: it is best at sunrise! If you want gorgeous views of the Washington Monument down on the Reflecting Pool, I definitely recommend being there right when the sun cracks the horizon! Most days, it’s early, but I promise… it’s worth it! Click here for an engagement session at Lincoln!
$140 NPS Permit Required
One of my personal favorite monuments! Jefferson is best known for Cherry Blossoms in the spring, but honestly, it is gorgeous year-round! There tends to be less foot traffic near Jefferson in the morning, and there are so many incredible views… one of my favorites is of the Washington Monument peeking over the trees with the Tidal Basin in the background! Jefferson is also best at sunrise… promise, it is worth getting up early for these views! Click here for a Jefferson engagement session!
$140 NPS Permit Required
DC War Memorial
This one is a bit off the beaten trail but is absolutely gorgeous. I almost like to refer to this one as a mini Jefferson! You’ll find a gorgeous domed monument with white marble pillars, surrounded by trees. The DC War Memorial is nestled on the south side of the mall between the Reflecting Pool and Tidal Basin. The DC War Memorial is also a gorgeous place for a wedding ceremony if you were looking for a stunning outdoor location! We visited the DC War Memorial for the ceremony during this wedding!
$140 NPS Permit Required
I fell in love with this spot when I photographed a wedding party here a few years ago! It has a little bit more of a natural feel, right in the middle of the city! And best of all? It has gorgeous views of the Washington Monument! I love the little bit of water this area features as well as the fact that it is a bit off the typical beaten trail. You’ll find Constitution Gardens off of Constitution Ave, between 17th St NW and Henry Bacon Drive. Honestly, a session any time of day could work here, but for the really good views of Washington, you would definitely want a sunrise session. We visited the Constitution Gardens for the ceremony during this wedding!
$140 NPS Permit Required
Spanish Steps + Dupont Circle/Kalorama Neighborhood
If you are looking for a spot that feels grand but is a little more off the beaten trail, I highly recommend looking into the Spanish Steps! These steps are nestled in the Kalorama neighborhood and are surrounded by trees and greenery. I love the architecture of this spot and how dynamic they feel. If you wanted to finish off your session with something fun, I would recommend taking a walk through Dupont Circle or Kalorama! There are so many cute streets and houses in proximity that would make great backdrops. This sweet couple’s session features an adorable pup… and the Spanish Steps!
Georgetown Neighborhoods, Waterfront, and Canals
If you are looking for a location that feels super historic and charming, Georgetown is THE spot for you! With cute streets, and historic views, all within walking distance, you can’t go wrong! I find some couples love to stick to the neighborhood while others like to explore a little further! The Waterfront Park as well as the Canal (When it isn’t under construction!) are two other gorgeous additions to any Georgetown session! Georgetown is gorgeous at sunrise or sunset! Click here for a blended engagement session— half at Jefferson and half in Georgetown!
This isn’t the official name, but we’re going with it! This is the east side of the Capitol, near the visitor’s center! I’m lumping a few locations into one because they are all so close together! Now… before I go any further with recommending this as a location, it’s super important to understand that this is quite literally our Nation’s Capitol and there are many secure locations around the Plaza. Recently, the area has been subject to protests, fencing, and other security threats. It’s important you are keeping an eye on the general happenings of the area to ensure safety (and gorgeous images). Now… all that said, this spot is one of my absolute favorites in DC. With Capitol views, and the steps of the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress literally just across the street, you can’t go wrong. This is a perfect spot if you were hoping for classic DC views… I recommend sunset for this spot! Click here for an engagement session on Cap Hill!
This spot has SO many cute murals, charming corners, and spots to explore. If you are looking for more of an urban vibe, Union Market is the spot for you! This is the home of the fun rainbow heart wall in DC… how cute would that be for an engagement session?! Finish off your session by grabbing a bite to eat inside… this would be the cutest for an “us on a date” feel!
On a note of cute murals, this alley in Shaw is a hidden gem! This is where you’ll find the rainbow love mural, as well as so many other cute murals and fun corners. It is definitely best if you want more of an urban feel. Best yet, it is in the middle of so many pretty street corners if you are willing to take a little walk!
This Kennedy Center is best for couples looking for a little sophistication meets city living! I love the white walls and riverside views… you can see hints of Georgetown, and views of the Watergate and National Mall too! The greenery here too makes this location so versatile! This branding headshot session was at the Kennedy Center! Take a peek so you can see ALLLL the gorgeous vibes this spot has to offer!
Meridian Hill Park
I love how casual yet gorgeous Meridian Hill Park is! There are gorgeous stone steps, some stunning architecture and greenery, and on a good day, there’s also a beautiful stretch of a waterfall! I’ve always thought it would be so fun to bring a picnic blanket to enjoy a fun, styled picnic on the stretch of green to end a session! This spot offers SO much!
I’ve always wanted to photograph a session at Tudor Place! Think: European garden, right in the middle of DC! This is great for a couple looking for a gorgeous location that hints at sophistication without the foot traffic of many locations in DC. I love the soft pinks of the manor home as well as the gorgeous gardens. Though this one does require a permit, you won’t regret the extra fee!
$200 Permit Fee and Reservation Required
Old Town Alexandria
I know this one isn’t technically DC, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it! If you are looking for historic charm, cobblestone streets and alleys, and maybe a little glow on the water, Old Town Alexandria is for you! I love how versatile this location is, offering so many locations in one neighborhood! If you do want glow over the water, I do recommend sunrise… worth the early wake-up call, promise! Click here for a gorgeous engagement session in Old Town!
Bonus: your home or neighborhood!
I’ve had the opportunity to photograph a few couples in their home and/or neighborhoods, and oh my goodness, what a FUN way to add a personal touch to your session! If you absolutely love your home, it offers gorgeous natural light, AND are obsessed with your neighborhood, incorporating your home can definitely be a fun way to make your session feel like you! I recommend planning a fun date night-like activity to do in your home to add a little personality!
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