One of the best things about choosing Washington D.C. as the location for your wedding is the multitude of unique settings for your nuptial day portraits. Historic streets filled with quaint houses, museums featuring one of a kind pieces of art, theatres and award winning restaurants are just a few options.
If you are looking for something that screams "Washington D.C., the capitol of the United States of America", your best choice is one of the monuments located on the national Mall. Each memorial is one of a kind, with features that set it apart. The Lincoln Memorial is stately with it's stairs and view of the reflecting pool and the Washington Monument. The Jefferson Memorial is a quieter choice, but you can also utilize the beautiful tidal basin with it's thousands of cherry trees for some greenery.
If you are planning on portraits at any of the memorials, be sure to get a permit from the National Park Service. Not procuring a permit can result in your photoshoot being canceled. Park rangers regularly check for permits with anyone that is taking photos professionally. Your portrait session can be cut short and an additional fine may be assessed for not having permission from NPS.
Luckily, it's easy to get a permit to take photographs at the monuments. First, contact the National Park Service. You can find the information and the application in pdf form on their website, www.nps.gov. The application fee is $90 plus an additional $50 location fee. Be sure to apply for your permit at least 5 days in advance if you are faxing it in, two weeks if you are mailing in your permit application. Keep in mind that the mall and the monuments host a variety of events, marches, and even races like the Marine Corps Marathon. These events can conflict with your desired portrait session time, so give yourself enough time when contacting the National Park Service and check to see if any of these events conflict with the time you have scheduled for your portraits.
When you receive your permit, make sure to have a copy with you during your session. The park rangers are not given copies and if you do not have one with you, they have the right to stop the session. Be sure to be courteous of the visiting tourist. Yes, you have a permit, but you do not have the right to interfere with the people that are visiting the monuments. Do not take a long time in creating your portrait or monopolize a particular spot for too long. Yes, it's a beautiful location, but ultimately our country's monuments were created for everyone that lives and visits our beautiful capitol to enjoy.
Location: 13 East Basin Drive SW Washington D.C. 20024.