cherry blossom dc

Washington, DC Cherry Blossom – Engagement Photo Guide [Updated 2024]

I thought it would be best to consolidate all the information into one EPIC comprehensive list for cherry blossom engagement photos in Washington, DC.
I took the most frequently asked questions and decided to share my finding here!

This article will cover information about the Cherry Blossoms in the Tidal Basin in Washington DC.

A few other spots where can you see the Cherry Blossoms are:
Kenwood Neighborhood in Bethesda, Maryland | Brookside Gardens | Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

photo taken early april 2019

What is the history of the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, I’d like sharing a little bit of culture:
The Cherry Blossoms in DC were a gift from Japan back in 1912 – there are approximately 3,000 cherry tree in the tidal basin.
The gift celebrates the friendship between the Japanese and American people.

Fun Fact:
There was an original donation of 2,000 Cherry Trees in DC back in 1910.
They had to be burnt because they were infested with bugs and diseases!

More history can be found here!

wedding photos in dc cherry blossoms

Engagement Photo Session Information during Cherry Blossom season:

The Washington DC Cherry Blossom is one of the most iconic events that happens in the area!
I’ve had a couple travel all the way from Alaska to have their engagement photos taken at the tidal basin!

In its full peak bloom, you are definitely lifted to a different place.
There really are no words for its beauty and it is hands down one of the top things to witness.

The best place to take these photos is the tidal basin – from the Jefferson Memorial to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial:
Google Maps: Tidal Basin

During the photoshoot we will be walking around the tidal basin.
Feel free to bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes!

Photos by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial are not allowed at this point.

All of my pricing for wedding and engagement sessions can be found in the menu.

cherry blossom tidal basin

When do the Cherry Blossoms bloom?
How long do they last?

From my experience, the peak bloom period is around the last week of March into the first week of April.
The last two years have been around this time frame.
There are slight deviations due to cold weather causing delays or super warm temperatures which provide for early blooms.

The flowers are pretty gentle and due to the massive amounts of foot traffic, wind and rain, they last about a week to 14 days.

Please do not climb the trees or pick branches.

Be aware of walking around the roots of the trees as ground compaction causes damage to the trees.

This video below was taken on April 1st, 2019 by my friend while I was driving from Hains Point toward the Tidal Basin on Ohio Dr SW:
Facebook Video From Justin Kunimoto: Sakura Blossoms – April 1st 2019
Pretty epic to see when driving, right?

Cherry Blossom Peak 2024 predictions can be found here:
Cherry Blossom Watch 2024: 2024 Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Forecasts

I use Instagram for most of my information.
You can track the progress of the blossoms here:
Instagram: DC Cherry Blossom Watch
IG updates are provided almost daily so you don’t have to visit the area to confirm the status of the bloom!
Bless you all for doing this~!
It’s super convenient!

engagement photos during the cherry blossom festival

What time of day should we visit?
When is the best lighting?

The best time to arrive is a little prior to sunrise.
Sunrise is around 7am that time of year.
There will be a few photographers, early morning commuters, and tourists during that time.
Yay for early birds!

Taking photos on a weekday morning would be my best piece of advice!
There is less of a chance to have people in your background!

sunrise in dc at the tidal basin during cherry blossom season

What do we wear for the photoshoot?
What stands out in relation to the Cherry Blossoms?

My biggest suggestion is to dress warm and be prepared for windy conditions.

DC weather is always tricky and has the potential to be cold and breezy around this time of year.
It is always easier to take off outerwear than to be shivering during the photoshoot.

To be honest, by the time the sun comes out, we might be sweating.
DC is always fun in this way 😛

Style wise, I leave this up to you.
I definitely favor both formal wear and casual wear.
I would recommend anything vibrant, vivid, and rich in color.
Anything that works well with pink or white on a overcast day.
Anything that works well with pink, red, or orange on a sunny day.

The start of the 2023-24 winter has been colder than usual.
This may result in a later bloom since winter has been longer.

Where do we park at the Tidal Basin?
How about the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC?

The most important question among all questions!

Fun, maybe not so good news, Fact:
55,636 parking tickets were issued during the 26 days of the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival.
**Although not all of those were around the Tidal Basin**

 Best Place to Park are:
Google Maps – Cherry Blossoms – Parking A
Google Maps – Cherry Blossoms – Parking B
Google Maps – Cherry Blossoms – Street Parking on Ohio Drive SW, the entire stretch from Lincoln Memorial to Jefferson Memorial

They are all paid parking – it’s not too expensive and they all can take credit cards.

If you have the Parkmobile app on your phone, it might save you time waiting at a booth.
Booths require you to put in your license plate in, so keep that handy!

In most places, parking is allowed from 6am.
Please read the signs when available.

Please view this for all Cherry Blossom Festival Parking

Cherry Blossoms with the Washington Monument in the background

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me!

Here is a elopement (non-cherry blossom) in the tidal basin / DC area