There are so many places to elope in Washington, D.C. The city is filled with American history and stunning architecture, making it an ideal destination for couples seeking a unique and memorable elopement ceremonies. Let’s take a look at the many locations to elope in DC for intimate ceremonies.

Places To Elope In DC: Monuments And Memorials

One of the most special things about an elopement in Washington DC is that there are so many iconic places to choose from. Here is a list of our favorite monuments and memorials that are also great places for your intimate dream wedding.

The Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is one of the few places on the National Mall where elopements and weddings are allowed. Located on the Tidal Basin, this iconic DC memorial features stunning white marble columns, and is absolutely stunning because of its waterfront location. If you are getting married in March or April you may be able to take advantage of cherry blossom season. You can easily elope here, however to hold a formal wedding ceremony at the Jefferson Memorial, you will need to obtain a Special Use Permit.

Cherry Blossoms Near Jefferson Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Another beautiful location for elopements in Washington DC is the Lincoln Memorial, located at the western end of the National Mall. This iconic monument with its grand marble steps and columns gives a breathtaking backdrop for couples who appreciate history. The reflecting pool here adds a special touch to this memorial. Again, a Special Use Permit is required for couples wishing to elope at the Lincoln Memorial.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is one of the most well known landmarks in DC. Again a special use permit for small weddings would be required.

Places To Elope In DC: Parks & Gardens

You would be surprised how many green spaces exist in a densely populated city like DC. There are many parks and gardens on the list when it comes to places to elope in Washington DC.

The National Arboretum

Couples who want a beautiful natural setting for their elopement can consider the National Arboretum, a 446-acre botanical garden in Washington DC. Not only does the National Arboretum offer a variety of scenic outdoor locations to choose from, but it also features the stunning National Capitol Columns, which are surrounded by cherry blossoms in spring. 

Keep in mind that photography permits may be required depending on the specific area of the arboretum you choose for your elopement.

Meridian Hill Park

Meridian Hill Park offers a beautiful setting to elope, with its historical charm and natural beauty. The park’s giant, beautiful staircases are a perfect backdrop for intimate ceremonies, and its location in Washington, DC, makes it an easily accessible destination.

Dumbarton Oaks Garden

Dumbarton Oaks Garden is a hidden gem in DC, featuring beautifully landscaped gardens and a serene atmosphere perfect for a private elopement. The lush grounds offer ample trees and open grassy space, creating an intimate and picturesque environment for your special day.

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is an urban park famous for hosting a tennis tournament in the summer months of July and August. It is also an great place for an adventurous elopement. The park has diverse landscapes with some forested areas, some open grassy areas, as well as serene creeks. Couples can enjoy nature and serenity during their ceremony, with the convenience of being in the heart of the District Of Columbia.

Constitution Gardens

Located near the National Mall, Constitution Gardens provides an iconic backdrop for couples looking to elope in the heart of DC. Surrounded by historical monuments and beautiful greenery, this space is a good choice, weather permitting. 

The Bishop’s Garden At The National Cathedral

Another one-of-a-kind location for an elopement is The Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral. This picturesque garden provides a serene environment for couples looking for a more intimate setting. The garden showcases beautiful Gothic architecture, making it a hidden gem among wedding venues in Washington DC. 

Similar to Dumbarton Oaks Garden, a special use permit might be required for hosting the ceremony.

Georgetown Waterfront Park

Georgetown Waterfront Park is a scenic spot along the Potomac River, ideal for couples who seek to elope with a stunning waterfront view. The park’s well-maintained grounds and picturesque setting make it a popular location for intimate ceremonies.

The Yards Park

The Yards Park, an urban retreat, offers a contemporary setting with its chic architecture and green spaces. Its close proximity to the water, open grassy spaces, and ample trees make it a fantastic choice for eloping couples looking for a modern vibe.

Gravelly Point Park

Located along the Potomac River, Gravelly Point Park has lovely views of the water and the city skyline in the distance. The interesting part about this park is that it is right next to DCA Airport (Reagan Airport). 

The unique location near the airport adds a touch of excitement as planes fly overhead during your ceremony. Some days can be more active than others with planes flying over head. Typically the mornings and evenings tend to be the busiest in terms of air traffic. 

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Theodore Roosevelt Island is a small island in the Potomac River. It is another picturesque option for couples considering eloping in Washington DC. This tranquil, wooded oasis is dedicated to the conservation-minded President Theodore Roosevelt and includes a statue and memorial plaza. While a permit may be necessary for a ceremony on the island, this unique location offers an intimate and natural setting for elopements.

The United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden is a popular location for couples to elope and celebrate their love. The gardens here are an lovely backdrop for wedding photos. It is important to note that professional photography may require obtaining a special use permit. 

Couples can visit the Botanic Garden’s website for more information on permits and guidelines.

Places To Elope In DC: Estates

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

The Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens is both historical and elegant. The estate has a wide range of beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures, providing plenty of opportunities for the perfect backdrop. Hillwood Estate also has an onsite museum that you can explore. It is definitely a unique elopement location and your Washington DC wedding photographer will be thrilled with all the photo opportunities here. 

The Franciscan Monastery Of The Holy Land In America

The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America is a lesser-known venue, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. This majestic location consists of an impressive church, charming gardens, and gorgeous architecture that would leave any couple in awe. 

Places To Elope In DC: Urban Gems

DC has many unique urban spaces that can also serve as a great spot for an elopement.

The Spanish Steps In Kalorama

Located in the heart of the District of Columbia, the Spanish Steps in Kalorama were built in 1911. It is an urban gem for couples in the DC metro area. Inspired by the original plan of the Spanish Steps in Rome, this is a great place to celebrate your wedding day. With its convenient location at a peaceful corner, it is the perfect spot amidst the bustling Washington D.C.

The Kennedy Center

For a sophisticated and modern setting, check out the Kennedy Center. It is a great choice because the terrace has panoramic views of the Washington D.C. skyline and the Potomac River. It is the perfect backdrop for romantic elopement photos.

The Kennedy Center has many spaces within the building. There’s a rooftop terrace and multiple smaller areas to host smaller gatherings. The website has all the information on the smaller spaces you can rent to have a small intimate ceremony here. 

Union Station

Union Station in Washington DC is one of the more unique elopement locations. It has beautiful high ceilings and a grand interior. 

Union Station, Washington DC

One of the best things about Union Station is that just outside the front entrance you will have views of the Capitol Building. Your elopement photographer will be able to capture beautiful photos for your micro wedding at Union Station. 

After your small wedding, head to one of the many popular restaurants near Union Station to celebrate. The H street corridor restaurants are also nearby as well for a post elopement ceremony dinner.

The Renwick Gallery

Another prime location for wedding ceremonies and elopements in Washington DC is the Renwick Gallery. The Renwick Gallery has stunning architecture and a unique event space that make it the perfect place for a memorable day. 

Places To Elope In Washington DC: Summary

DC elopements and intimate wedding ceremonies with just a few family members have grown in popularity. Exploring best places in Washington DC can ensure that your special day is memorable. With careful planning and organization, couples can enjoy breathtaking wedding venues that make a lasting impression.

In the nation’s capital, special use permits may be needed at some of the DC area memorials and monuments. For a very small ceremony you may go unnoticed, but anything more than an extremely intimate ceremony is gong to require a special use permit application. It’s a good idea to research your favorite places before hand so that you have a smooth experience. 

To ensure a seamless ceremony, couples should familiarize themselves with the DC Marriage Bureau and its requirements. This involves obtaining a DC marriage license and submitting a marriage license application within the given expiration date. The process can typically take a few days, so it’s wise to plan plenty of time before the ceremony to avoid any hiccups in your wedding plans.

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