Whether you're in full-on planning mode or just coming down off your engagement high, choosing the venue is at the top of every engaged couple's list of to-dos. If you're dreaming of a beautiful outdoor wedding in the Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia areas, this list is sure to help you find a mansion or a National Historic site that will offer the perfect setting for your special day.
Outdoor Wedding Sites In Washington, DC
National Park locations - Wedding ceremonies are allowed at two locations on the National Mall, at the Tidal Basin west of the Jefferson Memorial and at an area near the World War I Memorial. In Virginia, wedding sites include the grounds of Arlington House, above Arlington National Cemetery; Great Falls Park; and the Netherlands Carillon, near the Iwo Jima Memorial.
- Capacity: The National Mall sites accommodate about 200, the Virginia sites 50 to 100 people.
Arts Club of Washington - This is a National Historic Landmark founded in 1916 and is the oldest non-profit arts organization in the city. Ceremonies and receptions can be held inside as well as outdoors.
- Capacity: 25 seated dinner, 300 buffet, 125 in the garden.
Decatur House - Decatur House is a historic house museum located one block north of the White House on Lafayette Square. You may rent the entire site including the brick Federal townhouse, courtyard, carriage house, and conference center.
- Capacity: 500 people (standing).
Historical Society of Washington, DC - This beautiful Beaux-Arts building, featuring monumental arches, terrazzo floors, marble staircases, and skylights, offers an elegant museum venue with reception spaces in the Great Hall, the Reception Hall, and on the manicured grounds.
- Capacity: 800 people.
Meridian House - Two French 18th-century historic homes are situated on three acres of manicured gardens, located a mile north of the White House.
- Capacity: 400 standing, 200 seated.
Sewall-Belmont House and Museum - The women’s history museum is an elegant Federal-style mansion on Washington, DC's historic Capitol Hill.
- Capacity: Interior terrace accommodates a dinner for 40 or a cocktail reception for 75. The garden area with a brick patio and spacious tent will accommodate 350 guests standing or 150 seated.
Thomas Law House: Tiber Island Cooperative Homes - This historic Federalist house built in 1794 faces the Potomac River.
- Capacity: 50-150 indoor, 300 outdoor.
White-Meyer House - The historic mansion is a National Historic Landmark that is owned by Meridian International Center.
- Capacity: 400 standing, 180 seated.
Woodrow Wilson House - The last the home of President Woodrow Wilson was given to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
- Capacity: 175 in-house and on the terrace. Garden may be used for 200 if a canopy is rented. Wedding ceremonies and dancing in the house are prohibited.
Outdoor Wedding Sites in Maryland
Leaning more towards Maryland for the site of your big day? There are many mansions and National Historic sites in the state that offers the perfect, scenic setting.
Billingsley Manor - This brick Tidewater Colonial plantation house sits on 430 acres overlooking the Patuxent River.
- Capacity: Indoors 20 to 60, outdoors 100 people.
Brookside Gardens - Montgomery County’s public display garden offers several gardens/sites to choose from.
- Capacity: Ranges from 20 to 250 people.
Gaylord National Resort - The resort and convention center offers many indoor and outdoor spaces for wedding ceremonies and receptions. The venue offers panoramic vistas of the Potomac River, Old Town Alexandria, and the Washington DC skyline. With 2,000 hotel rooms, guests can enjoy the convenience of the wedding and accommodations all in one place.
- Capacity: 10 to 1000 people.
Lodge at Little Seneca Creek - The rustic Montgomery County meeting place is designed as a replica of a classic log cabin.
- Capacity: 180 buffet style or 120 seated.
Kentlands Mansion - A mansion, built at the turn of the 20th century, offers a unique setting.
- Capacity: Maximum 150.
Montpelier Mansion - The Georgian-style mansion is a National Historic Landmark on 70 acres of beautiful parkland.
- Capacity: 100 people.
Newton White Mansion - The Neo-Georgian-style brick mansion sits on 586 acres that include Enterprise Golf Course.
- Capacity: 200 people.
Riversdale House Museum - This National Historic Landmark is a restored stucco-covered brick plantation home built between 1801 and 1807.
- Capacity: 75.
Glenview Mansion - This neoclassical, 19th century home, is located on the grounds of the 153-acre Rockville Civic Center Park.
- Capacity: 225 guests.
Rockwood Manor - This is a unique retreat and beautiful setting, operated by Montgomery County Park and Planning.
- Capacity: 150 buffet style, 100 seated.
Mansion at Strathmore - The Georgian Mansion has several different venues for weddings.
- Capacity: 225 standing reception, 150 seated dinner. Tenting can add to capacity.
Woodend Mansion, Audubon Naturalist Society - This grand estate has historic grounds that date back to a 1699 land grant.
- Capacity: 150 or more with additional tenting.
Woodlawn Manor - The Georgian-style Manor House is in a quiet setting.
- Capacity: 125 indoors, 200 with the use of a tent.
Wedding Sites in Northern Virginia
From historical to architectural, there are a variety of great destinations for an outdoor wedding in the northern area of Virginia that will fit the bill.
Boyhood Home of Robert E. Lee - This 19th-century historical home makes for a lovely setting in Old Town.
- Capacity: 100 people.
Cabells Mill - The mill is a unique setting located in the wooded acres of Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.
- Capacity: 150 people.
Carlyle House - This historic mansion in Old Town was the home of Scottish merchant John Carlyle in 1752.
- Capacity: 80 seated, 100 standing.
- The 556-acre estate was built in 1755 by George Mason, author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights.
- Capacity: 130 seated, 180 standing.
Old Town Hall - Old Town Hall, built in 1902, is the architectural cornerstone of the downtown historic district.
- Capacity: 200 people.
River Farm - Once owned by George Washington, River Farm is now the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society.
- Capacity: 125 indoors, 200 using the tented terrace.
Woodlawn Plantation - This grand house overlooking the Potomac River was a gift from George Washington to his nephew Major Lawrence Lewis and his wife Eleanor "Nelly" Custis. Receptions may be held in the House and formal garden only after 5 pm.
- Capacity: 75 standing, 50 seated inside, 1000 people outside.