Looking for the best place to propose this spring?

Washington DC in the spring is truly beautiful and the perfect time to pop the question as the world begins anew. Trees begin to bloom, the weather warms up, and daylight lingers longer. Springtime is an enchanting season for creating magical moments and planning the perfect proposal.

In Washington DC, there are countless options for crafting a dreamy spring proposal. As a proposal photographer in Washington DC, I'm excited to present 10 spring proposal ideas to inspire you as you begin your journey toward this special moment.

1. By the Cherry Blossoms @ TIdal Basin

The Tidal Basin offers a myriad of romantic locations to propose amidst the ethereal beauty of the cherry blossoms in spring. One iconic spot is on the Jefferson Memorial side overlooking Tidal Basin with a sweeping view of cherry blossoms in bloom.

For those seeking a quieter and more intimate setting, the FDR Memorial section of the Tidal Basin tends to draw less crowd as it is further away from the rest of the Mall. Other great locations include areas near MLK Memorial and the Japanese Lantern.

If you are hoping for more privacy for the cherry blossom proposal, I recommend pre-peak weekdays during early mornings (before 9am) and evenings after 6pm.

No matter where you choose to propose by the cherry blossoms at Tidal Basin, it will surely be a memory for a lifetime.

Engaged couple at Tidal Basin during cherry blossom in Washington DC
Engaged couple in golden light at Tidal Basin during cherry blossom in Washington DC
Engaged couple at Tidal Basin during cherry blossom mini session in Washington DC

2. By the Cherry Blossoms @ EAST POTOMAC PARK/Hains Point

For cherry blossom viewing, Hains Point in DC offers space and waterfront views towards the Wharf and Virginia. As a Washington DC proposal photographer, I appreciate that Hains Point offers a serene and tranquil setting, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. On the easy side of the park, Yoshino cherry blossoms bloom during peak bloom (late March-early April). However, in mid April, the Kwanzan cherry blossoms bloom on the west side. I love the canopy created by the large and spherical blossoms from pink Kwanzan cherry blossoms.

Couple standing next to pink cherry blossoms in Washington's Hains Point

3. By the Cherry Blossoms @ The National BASILICA

Nestled in Northeast DC in the Brookland neighborhood, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception emerges as a breathtaking architectural marvel year-round. However, during the spring, when its 150 cherry trees burst into bloom, the basilica transforms into an enchanting haven for a romantic proposal amidst the cherry blossoms.

4. Underneath the Magnolia @ Enid A. Haupt Garden

To capture the elusive magnolia blooms in early March, Enid A. Haupt Garden on the grounds of the Smithsonian Castle is a favorite as it houses many beautiful large saucer magnolia trees. With meticulously manicured landscapes and elegant design of the Smithsonian Castle, this garden offers a serene retreat from the busy National Mall. During the springtime, the garden comes alive with the vibrant hues and delicate fragrance of magnolia blossoms, creating a captivating backdrop for a romantic proposal.

For a more intimate proposal, choose one of the tucked away corners such as the Moongate Garden archway. Weekday mornings are best to avoid crowds. Enid A. Haupt Garden is open from dawn to dusk every day except for December 25th.

5. Underneath the Magnolia @ Rawlins Park

Another DC local favorite for magnolia viewing in early March is Rawlins Park in Foggy Bottom near George Washington University. This public park turns into a sea of pink when magnolias are in bloom and the sweet scent will make the proposal even more memorable.

For a quick celebration after the proposal, cross the street to boba shop SecretTea and grab something pretty and delicious to sweeten the deal.

Magnolia engagement photo session at Rawlins Park in Washington DC
Artistic magnolia engagement photo session at Rawlins Park in Washington DC

6. Spring blossoms galore at U.S. National Arboretum

If you want multiple options for a spring proposal, the best place is the U.S. National Arboretum. With lots of space and so many different types of spring blooms at different times, you will definitely impress your future fiancé/fiancée with what the Arboretum has to offer. A few favorite spring blossoms I can think of are: cherry blossoms, magnolia, dogwood, and azalea.

Based on my photography experience, the US National Arboretum enforces their photography policy so a permit is a must to ensure a smooth proposal if you are looking to hire a photographer to capture the moment.

Asian couple at engagement photography session at National Arboretum next to cherry blossoms
Couple getting engaged at National Arboretum next to dogwood blossoms - captured by proposal photographer

7. Spring Garden vibes at Bishop's Garden

If you are looking for an overall garden vibe for your spring proposal in Washington DC, Bishop's Garden transforms into a fairytale - with stone structure, blossoming wisteria, vibrant tulips, and the majestic National Cathedral as a backdrop. This serene haven offers secluded nooks for an intimate proposal followed by stunning engagement photos bathed in the soft glow of spring sunshine.

For most spring vibes at Bishop's Garden, I recommend mid-April and onwards.

More information here.

LGBT couple getting engaged at Bishop's Garden in Washington DC
Couple getting engaged at Bishop's Garden in Washington DC next to roses


Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens, nestled in the heart of Northwest Washington, D.C., stands as a hidden gem of elegance and splendor. The estate's meticulously manicured gardens, adorned with lush greenery and vibrant blooms, provide a tranquil sanctuary for couples seeking a romantic backdrop for their proposal. One of my favorite proposals - a double surprise proposal - happened here.

More information here.

Couple getting engaged at Hillwood Estate in Washington DC
Spring proposal location in Washington DC - Hillwood Estate

9. Rock Creek Park

For nature lovers and outdoorsy couples, Rock Creek Park is a great option for spring proposal in Washington DC. Take them hiking and under the new leaves, perhaps you will ask for their hand by the Boulder Bridge. Celebrate your new engagement next to the flowing creek and talk about your future together on the tranquil trails. You can also bring some snacks for a post-proposal picnic.

Spring proposal location in Washington DC's Rock Creek Park
Couple getting engaged at Rock Creek Park in Washington DC captured by surprise proposal photographer

10. While flying a kite at the national mall

For this last idea, I wanted to incorporate an activity idea for your proposal. The National Mall is renown in Washington DC and many of the locations above feature various spots on the Mall. However, something I love about the Mall is its wide open space and one thing you can do in the spring is kite-flying since winds are most prevalent in the spring. You don't have to necessarily propose during the Blossom Kite Festival, which is a part of the Cherry Blossom Festival and is always crowded.

This may be a more spontaneous proposal idea since you can't predict the date and time for optimal windy condition. You can add a proposal message to the kite tail or attach a letter that will be noticed during take-off. After they say "yes" to the question, the two of you can take your kite (and your relationship) to the sky!

Want to capture your proposal moment?

I have photographed many DC surprise proposals and happy moments of "yes".

If you would like to have this special moment captured, I'd love to help!

If you prefer to keep your proposal private but would like an engagement session afterwards, check out my engagement packages.