Wedding 101

Washington DC City Wedding Photo Tips

July 17, 2023

CITY WEDDINGS! We love them and their chic sophistication and history. They are so popular and have been for years, for good reason! However, there are a lot of logistics to keep in mind when you’re getting married in the city, versus say a quiet vineyard in the countryside of Virginia. So I thought I’d put together a few tips for you if you’re getting married in Washington, D.C. and want really amazing city wedding photographs!

Hire a Skilled and Experienced Wedding Planner

Wedding planners are always a must, but ESPECIALLY when you’re dealing with all the moving pieces of a wedding in the city. There are so many details to juggle between the getting ready space, the ceremony space, the reception venue, getting people to different photo locations, transportation for couple, shuttles for the guests, catering, rain plan, set up and more. You need an amazing wedding planner to keep the day running smoothly, so definitely don’t skip this!

city wedding invitation suite flatlay with wedding rings and embroidered ring box

Hire a Skilled and Experienced Photographer

Similarly, don’t skimp on your photographer. Look for a wedding photographer who has lots of expertise and whose portfolio and style aligns with your vision for the day. Often weddings in Washington DC require shooting in various locations and all different lighting conditions throughout the day, so you want someone who can confidently work within all different scenarios and who is also someone you feel comfortable with!

Consider Incorporating Unique Elements

Washington, D.C. offers a wealth of unique elements that can add depth and personality to your wedding photographs. Consider incorporating elements like a vintage car to take you to your reception, or working in time for a a quick stop at your your favorite D.C. neighborhood bar to create images that reflect your story and connection to the city. Lots of places in D.C. do require permits to shoot at so be sure to talk to your planner and photographer beforehand if there’s a specific place you’re hoping to get photos at!

bride and groom dip dance kissing in front of old vintage car city wedding

Build Extra Time and Give Space for Candid Moments

Reality Check! Those beautiful candids you’ve been dreaming about, only happen when you’re actually living in the moment and interacting freely with your spouse and loved ones. If you only set aside 10 minutes for photos and are rushing from one photo-op to next, there isn’t going to be a lot of those carefree candids in your gallery simply because you did not prioritize building in space for those natural moments to occur. This is one of the reasons I often encourage couples to do a first look in order to allow for more time together on the day of and more opportunities for those genuine moments.

bride and groom listening to toasts and smiling at reception

Be Intentional with Picking your Spaces

Often when shooting in DC there may be different locations involved in one wedding day – a getting ready hotel, sometimes a separate ceremony location, sometimes a separate location for photos, and ultimately the reception venue. The locations you pick play a big role in your wedding photographs so, for a truly stunning gallery, I encourage people to be intentionally select places that have a cohesive vibe. For example, if you’re having a very modern wedding, pick a getting ready spot with a similar modern aesthetic, clean lines, and lots of natural light. Hopping between locations with drastically different aesthetics isn’t the end of the world, but it will disjoint the overall look of your wedding gallery.

bride and groom kissing outside reception space between two columns washington dc modern city wedding

Finally, don’t forget to soak it all in! There will be lots of people passing by congratulating you throughout the day so embrace and enjoy it!

guests toasting with vintage champagne flutes

If you love this city wedding inspiration, you will also love the other blogs in my Wedding 101 series!

Wedding 101: Choosing a Wedding Bouquet that Shines in Photographs

Wedding 101: Northern Virginia Engagement Session Locations

Did this spark any new ideas for you? Head over to my Instagram and send me a DM or follow me on Pinterest for more wedding inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


New Years business checklist

What to expect as a HBP couple

Should I invest in a wedding album?

© hannah baldwin photography 2023