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A Picnic-Themed Engagement Session at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens


Sure, the occasion demands to kill the fatted calf but for the time being a small fête with just you two and a big professional camera would do! Congratulations on your engagement! If you have landed on our page, then we are sure you are seeking inspiration for your picnic engagement session near Washington, DC. Welcome, ‘tis the blog for you. From undeniably playful to elegant authentic-looking photos, there’s something for every couple below to take cue for a remarkable nature-inspired photoshoot.


About two years ago we met this charming lovey-dovey couple in 2019 right before the pandemic year when everything was fine and dandy. OMG, all the years before 2020 now seem as pretty as a picture! They were tying the knot the same year in October (2019). The wedding had been already planned to the tiniest of detail and the ceremony venue along with the reception venue was already booked at Oatlands Plantation aka Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg, VA (JSYK!). Therefore, they had enough time at hand to plan a simple yet mind-blowing engagement session in the city if not in a faraway land! To get the ball rolling when we asked our newly engaged outdoorsy couple, Siboney and Peter what location they have their hearts set on for their botanical engagement session in DC. They said they wanted to find someplace ethereal. Well, it’s safe to say our search ended at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, peacefully nestled in Vienna, VA! Not only did they get the perfect light, but it had the perfect mix of greenery and the beginnings of spring. And since they both got all dressed up for the shoot, every single spot we went to seemed straight out of a fairytale storybook!


The shoot location

They picked Meadowlark Botanical Gardens for their alfresco spring engagement session. And it's easy to see why! You’ll find various sculptures all over the garden and concentrated near the beginning of the Native Tree Trail begging to be part of your photoshoot! At the core of Meadowlark is a wonderful public garden; a pleasure garden for strolling and relaxing, a botanical garden with large ornamental and native plant collections, an exceptional open space endowed by the aesthetic magnitude of Virginia's rolling Piedmont, and of course a breathtaking setting to capture remarkable moments behind the camera lenses. Three gorgeous lakes lend scenic views, while neatly tended forest gardens harbor thousands of plants from across the temperate world. Meadowlark is a bold, yet intimate space. Quiet and insulated from urbanity, but replete with nature’s bounty; birds sing, cherry trees bloom, frogs jump, Koi swim intently and dozens of turtles bask in the mid-day sun. Close by, a Great Blue Heron stalks minnows in a bed of emerging waterlilies. Each season brings an entirely different effect to the garden. While winter paints the pretty picture of leafless trees and frozen lakes creating sinuous textures of ice and water. Fall arrives with celebratory colors and ever-welcome cool temperatures. Spring reveals the profound beauty of temperate landscapes, and summer is a riot of color and texture. Boasting myriad photo locations for jaw-dropping photography, this hidden gem of Vienna is indeed a crème de la crème of the photogenic engagement locations near Washington, DC!


The highlights

To nail a remarkable open-air or outdoor engagement session you don’t have to bounce to Canyon Lake, Arizona or Painted Hills of Oregon, or Trocadéro, Paris, or Santorini, Greece or Kensington Palace Gardens, United Kingdom, or Taj Mahal, India. A serene garden nearby can also create magical backdrops and endless photo ops for your couple portraits. Tons of greenery, a cartload of colorful flowers, plenty of natural light, deep blue skies, momentous golden hours, that big orange ball coming up and going down somewhere in the skies painting it in ombre hues, what else one may need to mark the beginning of their love story in the most beautiful way?! Maybe some creative photo props to gild the lily! Siboney and Peter’s Meadowlark Botanical Gardens engagement session had it all. Even more! How? You may ask. Well, first, the duo did two outfits, one dressier and one in more casual clothes to have the variety, and second, they brought with them some picnic stuff to make their photoshoot even more interesting and meaningful! When you get into the swim of things, you'll be much happier. The couple already knew what was the best time to visit Vienna, so they decided to have their engagement shoot in the month of April. When spring was in its full swag! And the garden was flourishing with April-May seasonal flowers and chirpy birds! Blooming with daffodils, bulbs, tulips, magnolias, flowering cherries, potomac valley native wildflowers, rock garden, conifers collection, and lenten roses, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens seemed no less than a clone of paradise! The daffodils near the Woods Gazebo and Lake Carolyn irises and cherry trees created a spectacular backdrop for magical couple portraits. Not only did they get the perfect light, but it had the perfect mix of greenery and the beginnings of spring.


The season

Most lovers get down on one knee in the season of flowers- spring! ‘Tis the time when the weather is temperate, and people are eager to shake off winter hibernation. The winter angels pack up their bags of snow and chilly winds say goodbye, giving way to the spring fairies to wave around their magic wand and breathe life into the dull, lifeless trees. So they can joyfully sway again with countless brand-new blooming flowers and sweet fruits spreading stunning colors and sweet smells in the world. A photoshoot with seasonal blooms – like cherry blossoms or tulips – for a natural, floral background makes for eye-popping photos. No doubt, outdoor engagement pictures can turn out awesome at any time of year, however, fall and spring are when you can maximize the potential of a natural setting! And we were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed that we got to shoot a spring engagement photo session!


The wardrobe

For their Washington DC engagement session, the cute couple decided on two different looks which paid off well! Siboney donned a laid-back powder blue wrap V-neck denim jumpsuit romper with pockets and extended shoulders, for the first round of the session. A lovely pendant, a brown sleek belt, and white sneakers tied (literally) the look together nicely! Her barely-there make-up and black, worn-down hair spoke to the season! On the other hand, her handsome fiancé, Peter, wore a white button-down shirt in an untucked style and paired it up with a pair of beige pants and white sneakers. His clean-shaven look and a million-dollar smile were making him a man of dreams! For the second round of the shoot, she slipped into a white and peach plaid square neck sundress and paired it with a white shrug for a sweet look. We love the way her red lipstick, pearl jewelry set, and nude pointy-toe d'orsay flats were complimenting her cool yet sophisticated ensemble! A very versatile color, peach is such a lovely color – it’s not bold like red, nor is it fragile like pink. While, by choosing to stay in between both these colors, our soon-to-be bride perfectly matched the vibe of the season. Plus, she decided on a roll-and-hold hairstyle for the next half and swept the front section of hair back and tucked it over the undone section of the rest of the hair! Her light-hearted groom-to-be chose to cut a dash in formal attire and changed into a classy navy blue suit and teamed that up with a checkered white shirt and brown formal shoes for a much-needed contrast. Doing a shoot in two different engagement session outfits is almost like getting two photoshoots done for the price of one because it makes the photos look so versatile. No wonder our smart couple opted for a two-look engagement session. To add enough variety to the photos, our professional and affordable engagement photographers near DC captured the duo with diverse elements and frames!


The theme

What better way to celebrate the courtship period than planning a fun picnic in a park with food and champagne from a favorite restaurant for a foodie couple! Because the target is actually the best place on earth. Just when you thought picnicking there couldn’t get any more fun, our couple took it to new heights. We’d say they hit a bull's-eye with some romantic couple portraits. For their alfresco fête, they brought with them a plaid red and white picnic blanket, and a picnic basket, which by chance was matching the second look of our bride-to-be. Distant shots or close-ups, candid or posed, we loved the way pictures turned out when they were posing on the comfy blanket! Our engagement photographer has done a phenomenal job of adding bokeh to the wide-angle shots! The picture where they are sharing a kiss sitting on the blanket amidst foliage is already giving us IRL heart eyes! You are sure to fall head over heels like us in love with the picture where Peter is kissing his fiancée! The idea of featuring coke in the ring shots is impressive! We all know when coke comes into the picture, romance automatically follows it! And the kissing shots with coke focusing on Siboney’s bling are something that we won’t forget anytime soon!


Whimsical photo ops!

The outdoors, especially the parks and gardens, can be a great place for creative and beautiful engagement photo ideas. We walked through the magnificent gardens to explore the stunning nooks and corners and seized the awesome shots along the way! We caught a break with delightful photo props and woodsy backdrops and clicked incredible snaps of the cute couple hugging, kissing, and striking romantic poses! The magical location with abundant greenery and blooms was no less than a treasure chest of photo ops for our creative DC engagement photographers. Besides kisses, they geared them up with the vibrant colorful flowers, green leaves, winding trails, wooden bridges, and even logs and benches. We didn’t even have to go far to fetch the ethereal woodland beauty. We love the captures where the duo is sitting on a log against the woodsy backdrop. Gathering all the picturesque natural rustic elements, with tasteful touches of elegance and tons of greenery, Siboney and Peter’s Vienna, Virginia engagement session just 30 minutes drive away from the nation’s capital is splendid, captivating, and enchantingly romantic enough to make your heart skip a beat! If you look at the pictures in which our soon-to-be-married couple is taking a stroll hand-in-hand, you are sure to be daydreaming with the love of your life! Peter’s fiancée was all smiles as she posed swinging in his arms in the middle of the road, flanked by colorful blooms and shrubs! The couple’s forehead-to-forehead snaps are also dang cute, be it the ones capturing them sitting on the log or the close-up ones when they were standing amidst the woods! The couple portraits capturing them standing on the roots of nature’s three-in-one riddle sure belongs to stock photos! And the stills where Siboney is sitting on the logs with her legs on the lap of Peter exchanging sweet nothings and laughs testify that our Vienna engagement photographer owns a creative mind besides skilled hands! Whether it was Peter’s peck on Siboney’s cheek, their leisurely stroll on the terrains full of crisp leaves, or Siboney feeding Peter cookies during the picnic time, every single shot testifies that our artistic DC engagement photo expert bent over backward to flaunt Siboney’s dazzling engagement ring thoughtfully picked by her BAE while showing off their personality as a couple in every picture!


This bunch of pictures pleased us as punch!

The location was flourishing with cozy rustic backdrops and Monica, our professional and affordable wedding photographer in DC, brought her A-game with the setting offered by Meadowlark Botanical Gardens. We love the heartwarming pictures of the couple, and the serene captures of the lake in the property are just a few of the many gems that were captured along the way! The dramatic green-rich trees dancing to the tunes of breezy waves, the rustic wooden bridge that has already witnessed so many footsteps heading to their forever together, the flirty sun rays playing peek-a-boo from behind the leaves swaying with the wind, and the breathtaking backdrop full of dreamy nature-made wonders enabled the couple to land some exceptional couple photography. We especially love the pictures taken with the rustic bridge and majestic waters in the background. One of our fave bridge shots is the one featuring their dip kiss next to the reddish tree juxtaposing the capture! Did we mention that the power couple stance against the red-brick visitor center building is the ultimate!


Our creative photography team can transform even your own backyard or perhaps the nearest park by your residence for a perfect woodsy backdrop. All you need to bring are your smiles, laughter, and kisses to make it all dreamy. Our Washington DC engagement photographers gave them the pictures that will remind them of who they are at the end of the day when it's only the two of them! We loved the way the betrothed couple channeled springtime vibes by donning attires that were extremely within their level of comfort. We can’t wait to exhibit the photographs we captured for Siboney and Peter to cherish forever and a day at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which is no less than a piece of heaven! Scroll down and enjoy! You are free to pin anything you love about this romantic picnic engagement session!


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