carissa + erik :: cherry blossoms + love

wow am I excited to share these engagement photos! Prepare yourself, i've posted an unusually large number of photos here, but we had an incredible afternoon of hanging out, photographing, soaking up the day together. Plus, there's a slideshow with even more pics . . . see it by clicking here.

the scoop? carissa + erik are marrying in St. Louis next Fall in the Missouri Botanical Gardens. in the meantime, they brought me to Washington D.C. (they live in virginia) to photograph their engagement session during DC's annual. . . Cherry Blossom Festival!

oh my gosh, was it ever so lovely: we were in snow flurries of cherry blossom petals . . . petals in our hair, on our clothes, in our mouths . . . if you haven't been to the cherry blossom festival in DC, I recommend you add it to your "list of things you WILL DO while here on earth." (next year's dates: March 27 - April 11, 2010).

by the way, here's what cherry blossoms look like up close:

and here are carissa + erik at our first cherry tree of the day . . . in Old Town Alexandria (where carissa and erik spent time together during earlier dating days)

we took a "photo stroll" through Old Town, stopping wherever we felt inclined . . . at a cobblestone street:

in a residential courtyard:

and oh how i loved being with carissa + erik. he described driving around one day after he'd begun dating carissa, feeling SO VERY LUCKY to have carissa in his life that: "i felt like i'd just won the lottery!" i could see that feeling in his eyes every single time he looked at her:

and the feeling was mutual . . . just look at carissa's expressive hands:

and our next stop: a convenience store on the way to ice cream and the landing:

and then we dashed to the national mall:

on our way to the tidal basin to stand with hundreds of others (from all over the world . . . we heard dozens of languages spoken around us) watching the sun set on the more than 2000 cherry trees along the shoreline:

we had a day of being just steeped in abundance: in cherry blossoms, in history, in love. (have you clicked on carissa + erik's slideshow yet . . . have you?!)

and coincidentally, the day after i returned home, my son showed me a fourth grade writing assignment he'd just completed . . . on the Cherry Blossom Festival! here's what i learned from my 4th grader:

Writer and photographer (yes! the cherry blossom festival was the brainchild of a photographer!) Eliza Scidmore dreamed of bringing fruitless cherry trees to Washington, D.C. after seeing her first one during a trip to Japan in 1885. She enlisted the help of First Lady Helen Taft. Eliza persisted for years, despite setbacks. And in 1912, the first 2 trees were planted and are still blooming today (even though life expectancy for these trees in only fifty years). Now thousands of the trees bloom each year in DC.
and now you know too. dream big.