M any couples today want wedding photos that reflect more than simply the event itself — they want memories of their hometown and places there that are special to them. As a result, some wedding parties add a stop between the ceremony and the reception to take extra photos. No matter the location, adding this stop can make for one-of-a-kind remembrances youíll cherish forever. Keep in mind three essentials, says wedding photographer Mike Topham: The location should be beautiful, easily accessible and say Richmond. But focus on spots with significance to you as a couple, Melissa Worthington of Worthington Photography adds places truly relevant to your love story (it's OK if one photo features the pool hall where you met).
Virginia State Capitol
You need to get permission to take photos on this property, but its myriad areas for shooting make it worth the extra effort. "We've had a lot of fun frolicking out on the green. … It's almost a sacred place," Eric Miller of Miller Photography says, explaining, "Thomas Jefferson designed it, and there's a fountain at one end. You can stand at one end and aim the lens up and get the building in the shot. At the other end, there's a cascading brick sidewalk and benches."
Several areas throughout the Slip and the Bottom appeal to photographers because of the metropolitan edge they add to images. Jamie Hayes of Hayes & Fisk the Art of Photography particularly enjoys the area near The Martin Agency, with its cobblestones and fountain: "It has an urban feel to it, which is great." Peter Wright of PW Photography frequents the same area because it allows the couple to get cobblestones in the photo without holding up traffic on busy Slip streets. He also heads to an area a few blocks from Bottoms Up with train tracks, train trusses overhead and a gravel road. "It seems that many couples who choose to take pictures off-site are hiring a trolley and traveling through the city on their way to the reception, giving us the opportunity to make stops along the way," Worthington notes, adding that she's always wanted to take pictures of a wedding party on the bleachers of the 17th Street Farmers' Market but hasn't had the chance yet.
This National Historic Landmark is popular because it showcases large green areas in the middle of the city; because the grand trees and houses offer captivating backgrounds; and because the monuments give the photos a distinctively Richmond feel. The area provides a unique spot to shoot the entire wedding party on a grassy median or sitting on the Robert E. Lee Statue, Miller notes. The area is also easy to access, Topham points out: "You can just pull over, get out and take pictures." He adds that that the monuments make for meaningful backdrops: "They've got that stamp of Richmond that the couple will have in their album forever."
Libby Hill Park
Located at the intersection of East Broad and 29th streets in Church Hill, Libby Hill Park presents a remarkable view of the city. "You can see the entire city skyline and the river," Wright says. This location allows couples to have a view of the water in the background of their shots, without making the lengthy hike out to an area like Belle Isle.