Post # 1
My fiance and I have decided to elope, simply because a vacation sounds more fun than dealing with family drama. We had been planning to go to DC this year anyways and wondered if it was possible to elope with a backdrop of cherry blossoms. I’ve struck out Googling and I’m not super familiar with DC (only been there twice). Do any of you ladies have any suggestions? I read that you can elope in the park and that if you have a party of under 20 the permit fee isn’t required? Not sure how reliable that information is though.
Post # 3
I’m not sure on the regulations… but I grew up near DC and the cherry blossoms down by the marina are always PACKED during the peak tourist hours. So you may want to take that into account!!
Post # 4
Ooh… good point. I hadn’t thought of that and part of the appeal of eloping was not being in front of lots of people. Why is it so hard to pick a location? You’d think with eloping it’d be easy.
Post # 5
Oh I’m sure there are times of day where it’s not nearly as crowded… also, the festival runs for a while and certain days are much busier than others.
I’m sure you could schedule it so it works out just fine!
Post # 6
- Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House
I grew up near DC as well and never ventured down during the festival time because of the crowds. If you have your heart set on it though, I would say to look into hiring an independent officiant and having them meet you by the tidal basin. If you can swing it on a weekday, it should be less crowded for you. Here is a link to the National Mall Permits Page (they have links at the bottom that could help clarify).
Post # 7
That is were I got engaged last year. FI wanted to do it at the Tidal Basin but there were so many people (I am talking thousands and thousands!) during that first weekend that he decided against it and waited til we got back to our hotel. It is incredibly beautiful though- I’d make the trek every year if I could.
The Mandarin Hotel has a small landscaped area with chery blossoms in it. It is beautifully landscaped and might be the perfect area for a small ceremony…looks like a Zen Garden.
Post # 8
On a side note, my dad was the structural engineer for the Tidal Basin!
So if you walked on the concrete marina that holds all those paddleboats, that was my dad! You can tell the guy there that you know Grandpa Bee… that will mean absolutely nothing to them, but I’m sure my dad would get a kick out of it. 🙂
Post # 9
FI and I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival this last year, honestly….it wasn’;t quite what we expected but, that was probably because we went on the last weekend the festival was in town, it was extremely crowded, the Tidal Basin area with the trees was too busy to hang out at and we couldn’t get any good pictures of us by the trees because there was that many people just walking all over, I don’t mind large crowds usually but it was just so loud and busy, I guess we were just disappointed really……I’d be careful in picking a day to go, maybe a weekday morning would be good? Just a heads up. I think it’s really neat that you are eloping, we are too for the same reasons. Best wishes. 🙂
Post # 10
I work near the Tidal Basin and last year, on a weekday, they were setting up chairs near the Jefferson Memorial for a wedding ceremony. During the early hours of the day earlier it is not as crowded. That is when my coworkers and I always take advantage of the smaller crowds and eat our lunch and walk around.
Post # 11
My advice is to go to see them at sunrise. There will still be other people around—photographers like to go out that early—but you won’t face the crowds at other times in the day!
Post # 12
- Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union
My parents visited for the festival last year and I about died from the crowds. You can get married on the steps of the Jefferson memorial, but I would do it in the morning. It just turns into a madhouse.
What about central park in the spring? That would be amazing!
Post # 13
Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the times to stay out of DC and off the Metro, unless you go early on a weekday.
Post # 14
Hate to say it, but NIGHTMARE!
Not only because of THOUSANDS of tourists, but its usually quite rainy and cold! That and there’s no guarantee the blossoms will actually be blooming. They predict as well as they can, but it’s no sure bet. They won’t have an accurate forecast until about 10 days before peak bloom. Yikes!
I feel ya though- we’re hoping to figure out a good time to do a e-photo shoot amoungst the cherry blossom trees in Spring – but it will be easier since we live here and can judge bloom time, weather, festival timing etc…
The hotel sounds pretty cool! If you could find someplace like that, that has them on their grounds… it could make for a pretty sweet, and mostly private elopement. So cute!