Planning your DC wedding? I’ve photographed weddings at more venues than I can count, but these are my absolute favorites. You have novel, classic, modern, rustic (who doesn’t love a barn?!), and other adjectives. Now, let’s get to some of the best wedding venues in DC.
Best Wedding Venues in DC
Mexican Cultural Institute
Look at this place. Seriously, LOOK AT IT. Stare into its soul. It’s a BEAUTIFUL space. So many great spots for portraits. I photographed one of my favorite weddings ever here (as well as many non-wedding events).
Carnegie Institute for Science (Closed)
It has a rotunda as a ceremony space. A rotunda. That’s all that need to be said. Oh, and it also has library to get ready in.
Check out my in-depth review here.
Josephine Butler Parks Center
Josephine Butler Parks Center is an historic house in the Meridian Hill neighborhood of DC and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Sunset light is particularly excellent, especially on the balcony. I highly recommend getting a plant wall from your florist (see below).
Tons more info here from my older review!
City Club DC
This venue gives you that concrete, glass, and steel feel (because it’s all concrete, glass, and steel) Cavernous and bright, this is a great venue if you’re into the modern look.
The torpedo Factory Art Center used to be a Naval mutations depot, but now it’s not! Lucky for the guests! It’s located on King St. in Old Town Alexandria.
I admit that this isn’t the National Cathedral, but it’s in one of the chapels on the National Cathedral grounds. It’s a beautiful church regardless, and you’ll have the National Cathedral in the background for your portraits.
Long View Gallery
I’m a fan of art galleries that are used as wedding venues. The art here changes pretty frequently so the vibe can be very different from one event to the next. Blagden Alley is behind the gallery and the murals make for excellent photo backgrounds.
Holy Rosary Church
I’m generally not a fan of churches because they severely limit the ability for photographers to move around. However, Holy Rosary Church was extremely accommodating in that regard. In short, that means better photos for you.
The LINE DC
The LINE DC is actually a repurposed church! They even converted the pipe organ into a sculpture hanging from the ceiling. There are so many nooks throughout the building that offer great photo opportunities.
Here’s a link to my super in-depth overview of The LINE DC.
Woodrow Wilson House
This was (as the name suggests) President Woodrow Wilson’s house. There’s a beautiful terraced backyard as well as ornate interior spaces. There’s also a kitchen area where they store the original china, but you have to stand completely still and silent in the center of the room if you go in to not disturb the delicateness of the dinnerware. This is where they feed the vendors. Imagine how awkward that is.
Regardless, I award this venue 15 out of 10 stars. The moral of this story is that you should always feed your vendors because vendors are awesome and need sustenance for peak performance.
DC War Memorial
This is a very popular space for short weddings and elopements (what’s the difference you ask? I’m not entirely sure because all the ‘elopements’ I’ve photographed have had guests and were far from secretive). It’s on the National Mall, but very few people visit it. I’ve photographed at least twenty here.
Barns were the place to get married in 2015 and I’m pretty sure they’re still the place to get married. They provide a rustic feel that makes for great photos. This one isn’t really in DC (it’s about an hour outside in the Leesburg area), but it’s totally worth it if you’d like a bucolic locale for your nuptials (I just wanted to use the words “bucolic” and”nuptials”). You can view my in-depth review here.
Faith Like a Mustard Seed
This is a newer barn / farm venue (yes, “barn venue” is a category). My favorite parts were the resident cows and roaming turkeys.
The primary reason I recommend the Spanish Steps is because it’s a 3 minute walk from my apartment. The secondary reason is that the spot is really cool looking.
This stunning wedding venue also features a grove for wedding ceremonies where guests are surrounded by tall trees that are breathtaking in the fall.
See this article for some more photos and info!
If you’re reading this in the first half of 2021, I don’t recommend this site for your wedding; the monument is being renovated. HOWEVER, it’ll eventually be complete. Then it’ll be awesome. Have your wedding here! You’ll need a permit though, unfortunately.
National Park Service Permits
You’ll need one of these for any location run by the NPS!
“President Lincoln’s Cottage is a historic site and museum located on a 250 acre campus in Northwest Washington, DC. Here Abraham Lincoln made some of his most nation-changing decisions and developed the Emancipation Proclamation. Each day, we see how the significance of what happened here more than 150 years ago ignites courageous new ideas, encourages respectful dialogue, and promotes thoughtful compromise.”
It is super awesome, though.
Dumbarton HOUSE is not to be confused with Dumbarton OAKS, which does not allow weddings or photography.
The quintessential garden wedding. Tea time anyone? Ok, that was lame. Totally in love with this place, though. Those dog statues tho.
Great views of the Capitol and a side benefit of no one having ever heard of it.
Meridian Hill Park
One of the most popular parks in DC. I’ve photographed more than a handful of engagement sessions, surprise proposals, and weddings here. The great thing is that even though it’s usually crowded, you can always find an empty spot.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
This one isn’t exactly DC; it’s in Vienna, VA. That’s not too far on a good traffic day.
Library of Congress
Next to the National Mall! Next to the Capitol and Supreme Court! If you want your photos to be peak DC, this is the spot.
Pro: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Nancy Pelosi might walk by.
Con: Mitch McConnell might walk by.
I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if you’d like any other venue reviews!
You can view their websites at the following links:
Indoor Wedding Venues
- Mexican Cultural Institute
- Carnegie Institute for Science (Closed)
- Josephine Butler Parks Center
- City Club DC
- Torpedo Factory
- National Cathedral
- Long View Gallery
- Holy Rosary Church
Outdoor Wedding Venues
- The LINE DC
- Woodrow Wilson House
- DC War Memorial
- 48 Fields
- Faith Like a Mustard Seed Farm
- Spanish Steps
- Woodend Sanctuary
- Jefferson Memorial
- Lincoln Cottage
- Dumbarton House
- Tudor Place
- Bartholdi Fountain
- Meridian Hill Park
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
- Library of Congress
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See below some more articles containing detailed information about specific venues venue, as well as pricing.